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Dethatching

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by LewisL230, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. LewisL230

    LewisL230 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I have a client who has showed interest in getting there yard dethatched. I don't have the equipment to do this so I would be renting said equipment. My problem is I have never done this. It seems pretty self explanatory, but I was looking for any tricks or tips you guys had. Is this something easy to do, or do I need to get someone else to do it?
     
  2. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    Piece of cake. rent a thatcher. its like a 21" mower. set it to be about level with the dirt. hit the go lever and go over the grass. then rake it up.

    dont blow it up as that will just blow it back in.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Dethatching is just like aerating these days... do it just becuz its the thing to do... never bother asking 'why?' niether as LCOs should we care about the 'whys' and 'wherefores'... just do it...

    If it wasn't for ol' wives' tales,,, we'd all be out of work... :)
     
  4. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    I disagree. thatch CAN become a problem. I have seen it myself. it just doesn't happen very often.
     
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    As a general rule I don’t do them anymore unless it is a prep for a verticut. Besides rates here are barely double the mowing rate around here. I low mow dormant grass in mid March through early April when it is dry enough and in repeated test low mowing always inflicts less injury to the crown of the grass and promotes a faster green up.

    These clients who insist on them are also tough to educate on proper lawn care that prevents the supposed need for this service.

    I do get a chuckle out of seeing these done on commercial properties. I often wonder is this a extra the contractor is wasting his time with or a dictate demand by the property owner as per contract. Sure enough EVERY commercial property I see this done on fails to thrive because the contractor and/or applications Co. Is not putting down enough Nitrogen in the late Autumn to mid November. Every lawn that I have fertilized properly at those times just rockets to life in late March.and Early April.

    There is a mentality in lawn care that this is the way we have always done it....so why change. Give the client what they want.... :hammerhead:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,114

    Can you explain this a bit more please
     
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,770

    I always thought dethatching was a big job for low pay. Picture raking up about 1000 pounds of dead grass. Be sure to charge what it is worth. The lawn looks terrible for a couple of weeks and then recovers to about what it was before.

    A premium fertilizer--or premium overseed would probably do more the the customer.
    I would be tempted to offer an organic or enzyme-based thatch treatment. Lots less labor--and the results look about the same; saves the customer a lot of money.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    This is by far the best way to treat BOTH KINDS of thatch,,, but I would go a step beyond and say the turf will look BETTER(not just the same),,, i.e.,,, fuller and healthier, becuz none of it roots were tore loose, so,,, spend zero(0) time recuperating from the episode and the digestion of thatch increases CEC, OM and s.structure...

    All mechanical thatching leaves behind is exposed soil and roots exposed to the sun and all its natural cover,,, GONE... :)
     
  9. Ducke

    Ducke LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    Thatch is the layer of living and dead stems, roots, stolons, and rhizomes between the green blades of grass and the soil surface.

    verticut is a vertical cut mower or a Power rake [​IMG]
     
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Okay....here on my home lawn it is KBG dominant. It is very thatch prone and I aerate 4-5+ or more each season with my Pugr® 850's with the high plug counts. Unless it is the first or last application of the season or a test section I favor the organic based bridge products to breakdown that thatch and I mow high 3.5"+. Summer height is 4.0". I'm still testing molasses and but honestly the best bang for the buck on this lawn [for me] is repeated aerations vs liquid dethatch products which I'd like to test.

    I'm basically at the point with my application program where on smaller lawns I'll bundle multiple aerations in with a season long package. I want all my accounts to look great and be healthy as possible. I was mowing an account today before sundown that had the heavy Fall Nitrogen input and I was thinking, "the sprinklers must be cycling now and there is zero reason for sprinklers to be on when temps at night are so low". Going to call or email her and ask to confirm. Over fertilizing and over watering is what fuels thatch....except in my lawn. KBG is just higher maintenance turf. The neighbor had the same Co. Hydro seed and his lawn is horrid and he does most everything wrong and won't take head to to what I say or suggest but he does flat out admit this lawn has never looked better....ever.
     

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