Aerating or Dethatching First?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Wolfie's L&L, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Wolfie's L&L

    Wolfie's L&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Now that the season is upon us to think about our aeration and dethatching programs (yeah!?), do you aerate before you dethatch, or the other way around? Also, when do you ladies and gents start your fall fert programs for lawns and beds?


  2. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,230

    I would de-thatch first so you don't have to worry about the soil turds in the way.
  3. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Are you dethatching to remove a thatch problem? Remember that a thick canopy of thatch will limit the depth of your aeration holes by holding the machine up higher. So if you have a thick thatch layer remove it before aeration. Cool season grasses can do ok with up to .5 inches of thatch but more than that you should remove it.

    I like to walk across a lawn in hard soled boots aka cowboy boots work good. I can feel the thatch level with them. When I get to a soft spot I take a sample and show the customer the thatch layer with my core sampler. If you walk the lawn and it all feels like commercial weave carpet with no pad chances are there is not a thatch problem. If it feels like a nice soft plush carpet or good nike shoes chances are there is a problem.

    Also before you aerate be sure to check soil density and hardness. If you cannot stick a screw driver into the ground you cannot aerate either. Or check with a soild sampler. If it won't go in the ground neither will your aerator.


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