Dethatching question

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by BufalinoLand, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. BufalinoLand

    BufalinoLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    I have only dabbled in it, dont even own a dethatcher yet,

    I have a client who wants it done

    Give me the jist of it, how deep, criss cross

    can i just bag it with a walk behind or should i rake

    thanks a bunch
  2. northernsvc's

    northernsvc's LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    i have a giant vac dethatcher i just go over once, and only for lawns that need it, i aerate 2 times a year, that and a good fertilizer tx are all most of my places need. i blow all the gras into a pile and rake it up, then aerate and overseed then roll.
  3. lawncare18

    lawncare18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 742

    Here is what I do... I also think it is a great practice and will help the lawn plus makes cleanup a lot easier.. and trust me when i say this... the lawn will look amazing after it gets done...

    - Rake all the stones/crap about 3 feet back on the lawn...
    -sweep gutter or road to get up stones etc from the winter
    -de-thatch the whole yard up and down across doesnt matter to me... i usually only do it once...
    - mow with a bager... or if you dont have a bager mow in a big square shooting all the thatch in the middle then rake it up
    - put some fert down and your good to go..

    - You will be amazed at how much **** you will get up and haul away.. ON 1 acre I average a full trash can to 2 trash cans full after winter...

    -You can rent the machine
  4. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    we average 8-15 bags of thatch on a 5,000 sq foot lawn (KENTUCKEY BLUE SOD) these are large compst bags, on an acre we would average60-120 bags. We go over once and try not to damage it too much (dethatching is quite stressfull to a lawn) i imagine3-4 pickup loads. 90% of the time it is damaging to the lawn becasue thatch is good , very good. If your thatch layer is over 1/2 " you should thin it out a bit because soluable water fertilizer get stuck in the thatch and do not penetrate the soil surface well.If you have disease fungus molds , problem insects they generally live in the thatch zone and yo ushould remove such said critters by dethatching, then using fungiceide,insecticide, (if liscensed) to eliminate the rest od said problem. Thatch is an insulating barrier between the sun and shallow root systems that lie near the topsoil. removing the thatch (Too Much) will creat loss of nutrients , beneficial bacteria, cause rapid evaporation, and burn shallow root systems, causinf drought stress in july , august. We have an easy test to see if you need dethatching , well 2 tests, we run a knife thru the lawn (scraping it over surface) if not much comes up it doeant need it. Best way is to get on your hands and knees , seperate the blades of grass with 4 fingers of each hand, if you see shallow roots and soil it does not ahve a buildup problem. In actuallity most lawns need more thatch not less because of all the mulcing and bagging today , as well as aerating, over 90% well over 90% of the homes we cut , quote, do not have enough. Aeration breaks down thatch among 100 other good things.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I was going to say...with a TRUE dethatching, you will get bags and bags out of a lawn. Much closer to what Chriscraft said. Many people do this to lawns that don't even need it, and when done properly, is one of the harshest things you can do to a lawn. It can take an entire season for the lawn to build back up to desired thickness. that is why I like devices such as the ez-rakes and the Jrco rake. They are the best of both worlds. They do a thorough job of raking and cleaning without stripping the so much out of the lawn like is necessary with actual dethatching.
  6. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    One of my mowing customers got his yard dethatched last year not by me and it WAS a nice thick bluegrass yard. Now he has weeds already this year I have to spray for the weeds. He has lots of small bare spots wear the dethatcher took up to much thatch/grass. Some areas of grass still thick and other areas real thin. Worse thing he could have down. I tried to talk him into aeration but he wouldn't listen to me.
  7. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    Thank You RUNNER you made a nice ending to another otherwise bland day, that plus an old friend and former foreman has closed his buisiness which was not doing well and coming back to our team where he was greatly missed and needed, Its going to be a great year we hope
  8. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    runner thank you unlike most people on this site and in this industry you actually have knowledge for what you do. also from your post you seem to care about what your customers lawns look like because it is a reflection on you.

    now on the topic of dethacthing: if the lawn you have has over a 3/4'' of thacth the lawn shouldn't be dethacthed it should just be removed and you should start over. if its less than that it should be aerated.
  9. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    What do you mean?


  10. RLSLandscaping

    RLSLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    hey listen I rented a dethatcher from HD for 65$ for 24hrs LOL so cheap..I set up my accts. gotta have the ducks in a row especially when around do all yer accts in a day with the machine if ya can. charge what ya charge..I get $125 min. get all yer lawns done. the next day go back with yer guy(s) blow it into piles. tarp it up. if I put a mower on any of my lawns it would take a month for the tracks to go away. tarp is quicker thatch is as light as it gets. the machine is real easy to work with/adjust/get the hang of. not fun to push around. common sense do a couple tests go real easy to start..just want it to look like u gave it a good rake. not drove a tank over it. the uneven areas ouch! el scalpo!

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