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Dethatch ?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GSPHUNTER, Mar 25, 2007.


    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I just got a call from a HO that wants me to dethatch and aerate. I'm in the St. Louis area, and the grass has already started growing. I've heard that it is fine to aerate any time of the year, but for dethatching the grass should be dormant. Is this correct?
  2. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    for both aeration and dethatching I prefer the grass to be activly growing. that way, specifically dethatching, it will grow in and leave less chance of weed problems later. I allways try to upsell over seeding with both but specifically with dethatching. good luck.

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Thanks I guess I heard wrong then.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    I saw this not long ago that someone had written on here that dethatching SHOULD be done when the turf is dormant. Actually, this is totally incorrect. Dethatching is optimally done in early fall, although it CAN be done at anytime including spring. One thing is, is to understand exactly what dethatching is. Many people do raking operations with machines like the JRCO rake, walk behind power rakes, and other similar products. Power raking is NOT true dethatching. Now, doing power raking basically goes by the same principles as dethatching by means of timing of operation, but does not do as much damage. For the power raking, as I believe is what most people are refering to and inquiring about this time of year, it IS actually best to do when the grass is NOT dormant. Here is why When you do power raking (OR dethatching), you are removing not only dead grass, but you pull up alot of live plants and material, as well. When these plants are dormant, they don't have as well of a hold as they do when they are actively growing. Therefore, you are pulling up alot of live rhizomes and good healthy turf along with all the dead material. In short, you are pulling up more than you should. Now, in dethatching (true dethatching), it is much different than power raking regarding the material you are pulling out. With dethatching you are pulling MUCH more out, and you are pulling much live organic matter out. You are digging out a woody later of both live and dead material that is smothering the soil surface and keeping air, water, light, and nutrients from reaching the surface.

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