Dethatching/Power Raking

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by cgaengineer, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    In reading UGA's website about dethatching I am a little confused. According to the bermuda care calendar they suggest June and July as best time to dethatch, but in another UGA publication it suggests to do this prior to greenup (Jan/Feb). I did find more information leading me to believe that Jan to Feb would be the best time, provided you were prepared for weeds that may come up. I plan on power raking this week and then follow up with a core aeration shortly after, and then an application of pre-m in 10-14 days.

    If I am incorrect please guide me in the right direction.
     
  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,833

    What is your temperature Dow There? :waving:
     
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    Well its GA so it changes daily!! But upper 30's to mid 40's at night, and 55-65 during the day.
     
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Several ways to clean out Bermuda, and the way it's still done around here is just the old fashioned scalping. You don't have to cut clear down to the dirt, but pretty low. Ususally there's a point where it's just low enough that the mower will suck up all the brown "fluff" that bermuda gets in it and leave soil showing. Since Bermuda really dosn't green up from the parts that are above the ground, you need to cut that stuff off anyway, even if you ran a powerrake over it you would still need to mow low to suck everything up. That's the bad thing about it, a rake and tarp dosn't work well at all! A good bagging mower is the only way to go. And prepare to be miserable from the dirt, and have a large recepticle to dump into, because one 'average' size lawn can yeild a couple truck loads! Charge accordingly too.
     
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783


    Thanks for the reply Jason,

    Well my Bluebird PR22 has a bagger so that will make it alot easier, but as far as the time is it better to do just as bermuda is greening up or go by what UGA says and do it now.
     
  6. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Most of the time in this area I just scalp bermuda and sometimes will thatch the fescue. Around here the bermuda is already getting pretty thick by June. I usually get started around the first or second week of march doing clean-ups and stuff. The fescue here is already getting pretty green!! I would reccomend scalping it at any time, but not later than about April. I like to get it done before it starts turning green. It is definitely a messy job but it has to be done!
     
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I would do it before it greens up. That's when it's done around here anyway. But further south like you are there may be different rules. Heck, the best thing for it really is to burn it off. No hauling that way! Just watch out for the house siding... Oh, and the fire department.
     
  8. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Yes I agree! haha Thats what my dad always does with his yard.
     
  9. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    I would suggest that you Aerate first, Then Verticut the Bermuda ( that is use a machine that has knife blades that cut thru the thatch down to the dirt. Blade should be at least 2 inches apart to minimize damage. Do not use flail or swinging blades. They do more damage than good. They were designed for rental dummies not Professional use. I know I was there. After you aerate and verticut then you go across the turf with a good vacum bagging mower set lower than normal. This will scalp the grass and pick up the thatch and debris. The bagging dethatchers again were designed for rental. They pick up too much dirt with the thatch debris. Good quality mowers will pick up the loose stuff leaving the dirt. Do all this just before the good growing season and I even put down a little Fert afterwards. Just water and the green will happen and happen fast if it is warm enough.
    Turfcobob
     
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,783

    Burning it would really set my neighbors off (and its redneck!)....they already think I spend too much time in my yard! Not to mention they would call the fire department, they call for everything else that is none of their business.
     

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