regarding dethatching

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have read some posts regarding some people that are dethatching during the spring months...now maybe I am wrong but from my education and certification dethatching during the spring months is not a good idea, it should be done around August/September.

    By dethatching during the springs months you remove the excessive 1/2 inch or more of thatch and thus giving weeds a better chance of germination. But by waiting until late summer/early fall weeds are starting to die off and thus dethatching lets the grass be able to take over more than the weeds.

    Let me know what you guys think? What is your opinion on dethatching during the spring months?
     
  2. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I live in WI where the grass is dormant for a long period of time. From what I was told dethatching in the spring will bring up the dead grass along with disease in the grass helping to prevent some weed growth. I could very possibly be wrong I was only told this I didnt read it anywhere. Something I think I'll look into further though.
     
  3. mike9497

    mike9497 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 954

    i start doing them in may and i stop in november.never had a problem,but it is better to do it after the summer.atleast thats what i learned in school.
     
  4. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    Are you guys de-thatching any lawn or only lawns with a severe thatch layer (greater than 3/4")? I was taught that de-thatching should only be done as a last resort and should include over-seeding and a fertility/weed management plan as well.

    Core aeration works well for lawns with a slight thatch problem.
     
  5. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Because so many do the aggressive raking of a lawn in the springtime, many customers and uneducated people in the trade feel this "dethatching" of a lawn is necessary and beneficial in the springtime in cool season grasses. Really, you are removing so much fluffy rubble from the lawn, how can it not be beneficial? LOL. And with all that impressive rubble, you are doing such a great job, you can charge a pretty penny.

    But running a gas powered vertical spring or flail rake (many mistakedly call it a "powerrake"), or a machine mounted spring tine rake (ignorantly called a "dethatcher" by its maker), does nothing about real thatch. If you want to know what thatch really is, <a href="http://members.aol.com/groundkprs/Thatch/FindingThatch.html">Read These Pages</a>.

    The common spring "dethatching" is just a cash generator, with very little functional benefit for turf as a general procedure. It does remove much surface debris, which exposes the soil surface to light, giving you a lot more new weed growth in a lawn so treated.
     
  6. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    I think I understand what's being done but man I used to do de-thachings years ago when I worked for another company and a 4m lawn would produce 2 pickup loads of debris. Very labor intensive and sucked! I don't offer it and and don't want it.
     

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