(De)Thatching Vs. Aerating

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rodeoking, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. rodeoking

    rodeoking LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Does thatching have any advantages over aerating a lawn?
    Please advise.
     
  2. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    areation reduces compaction and de thatching removes viable plant material. i.e dead and alive. your talking about 2 diffrent things.
     
  3. Turf Smart

    Turf Smart LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    We are comparing apples & oranges.
    Dethatching is best done in the spring, prior to pre-emergent, to "rake" the lawn. It does remove live & dead grass but only removes about 10-15% of the thatch. It "fluffs" it up to make it look like a lot.
    Aeration is best done in the fall, along with overseeding. It offers many more advantages than dethatching. It will open the soil to allow penetration of air, water, and nutrients as well as reduce soil compaction, prune the roots, and remove 15-20% of the thatch.
    Aeration is one of the best things you can do to a lawn and it is a profitable, add-on service. Dethatching is much more time consuming, labor intensive, and you still have to remove & get rid of the thatch!
     
  4. lawnlubber

    lawnlubber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    In my area aeration is sold as an annual service to control thatch. I don't think it is very effective in this regard. My "dethatching" rake from JRCO gets a lot of use in April. It is not a true dethatching but I think the results are good. Combined with a compost topdressing the results are remarkable. Yes it is hard, dirty work so I only offer it to my best clients.
     
  5. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    why not offer it to all of your clients? just wanting to know
     
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    the problem with dethatching is it puts the lawn under a lot of stress. The lawn usually needs 20 to 30 days to recover from such a process
     
  7. lawnlubber

    lawnlubber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    This is why I only do this in the spring before the lawn is ready to mow. There is a short window where this works really well. Outside that I aerate like everyone else. Also bear in mind that I'm working with fescues and KY bluegass mainly so I really don't have the thatch problems I understand you guys in the south get.
     
  8. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 435

    Does dethatching cause more stress than plug aerating?
     
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    no it doesn't
     

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