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what is grass detaching??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eliahwoodcutter, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. eliahwoodcutter

    eliahwoodcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    i did a lot of aerating before but never detaching. a lady call me today , she want her yard detaching , over seed and then straw..
    what is that?
    how you do it . does it help any?/
    the yard is very small
  2. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    come detach mine when your done. :D
  3. eliahwoodcutter

    eliahwoodcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    i asked for help not for sarcasm
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    LOL. Actually, the term is deTHATCHing. It is the removal of the thatch layer using a machine that runs vertical knives that pull out plant, rhyzomes, and the thatch layer (if there is one). There are two types of these machines. Ones that run solid knife blades, and ones that run spring loaded tines. Both are mounted to a bar type axle that turns under the machine and with the proper depth setting, scratch the surface and just a little below it.
  5. eliahwoodcutter

    eliahwoodcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    SEE I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT Thatching. not even how to spell it.
    ANY WAY ;after you doing that, do you have to over seed and ... straw??
    do you get a lot of costumers asking for thatching??
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    No, it is not all that common, and rarely ever really needed. The straw after the detching is a bad idea. No use for it, and it will just create more of a mess.
    The idea of putting straw down on a newly seeded area of bare ground is so the seed will have some shade and not sweltering out in the direct sunlight. (Indirect sunlight will germinate it). Also, the straw retains the moisture better to keep the soil moist and cool. With dethatching, you still have the majority of grass there, so both of these things are done withOUT the straw.
  7. eliahwoodcutter

    eliahwoodcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    the reason i ask about the seeding and straw is because this lady the one she call me ,sad that her neighbor used to be a landscaper ,and he told her that the yard need dethatching ,over seeding and straw.
    today she had done the aerating.
    what are you think, aerating it is better than deTHATCHING??
  8. OCTO13ER

    OCTO13ER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Two seperate functions. Aerating is generally done once (sometimes twice) a year to keep the soil from compacting. Dethatching, also known as verti-cutting or crosscutting, is used to remove the layers of dead grass (thatch) that develops on top of the soil. That's in plain english for those who want to argue what thatch is. :rolleyes:

    When there is an excessive thatch layer the root bed (depending on type of grass) will grow into the layer of thatch instead of the soil. When the roots get established into the layer of thatch there is not enough protection from the elements. The thatch will cool down and heat up much faster than the soil causing very unhealthy conditions for the root bed.

    You can rent a dethatcher from almost any rental company, it drives like a push mower (the kind I've used anyway). After dethatching mow and remove all of the clippings. You may need to mow over it several times (again depending on the thatch and grass type) to remove all of the debris. It's not hard and is very healthy for the grass. Just be careful what depth you set it at. I would start shallow and work my way down until you see that you are scratching the surface of the soil. You don't want to dig down too deep. When you are finished, aside from light lines you should not be able to hardly tell it was done.

    It's not unusual to do a layer of topdressing after dethatching. Basically a light sprinkle of soil (or in my case sand) over the grass and brushed in. You can use a big push broom if the area is not too large.

    Also, I agree, no straw.
  9. The Happy Gardner

    The Happy Gardner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but here in the NorthWest dethatchings a little different.

    OCTO13ER s correct but if your in an area that gets a lot of thatch or moss it's not so easy. We can't mow it up. I did a 4,000 sq ft lawn yesterday and ended up with a full truck full of thatch. That's jump on top of, strap down and drive fast to the dump before the cops see ya full.

    What we do is after dethatching blow the thatch into rows the rake onto a tarp.

    Also stay away from the straw. The only reason to use it is to keep the seed moist. So If you don't think you client is going to water enough, do it later in the season when heat is not a concern of use a light coat of pete moss. ( no weed seeds)

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