De-thatching: Is it to late?

Green Acres

LawnSite Senior Member
I have a customer that would like to get there lawn
de-thatched. I'm not sure if its okay to do at this time or not with the weather getting colder. Today it's about 40 degrees and suppose to be colder next week. So please tell me what you guys think. Thanks

John DiMartino

LawnSite Silver Member
I have never done one this late,i usually do them while the lwan is actively growing,and can fill back in,I dont know if it will hurt anything,but if they want it done-and you dont do it-I bet they call someone who will,so you might as well do the job,unless you find out it is real bad for it.

Samurai WeedWacker

LawnSite Member
Laramie WY
It would dry out too much during the Winter. It would be too much stress on the grass to traumatize it right before it goes dormant for the Winter.


LawnSite Fanatic
N.E. Wisconsin
Does the lawn have a thatch problem? Did you look?

I personally don't do any dethatching in the fall but I don't believe that it is very harmful. The thing I would do is sell them an aeration now and tell them that you will dethatch in the spring. They will get benefit from the aeration which can increase microbial activity and assist in breaking down thatch.
Here in WI. we start with the dethatchings in the last week of March and the lawns are still dormant. Once the lawn is really growing its more difficult to thatch and I believe more harmful if you are using a vertical mower. I use the spring tines on the Walker, it is less aggressive and doesn't rip all of the new growth up. If a lawn has a real bad thatch problem I go over it a few times. Most lawns don't have a bad thatch problem. Good Luck.
Hello Everybody:

You only suppose to detatch in early spring!

It's not near the same as aeration?

You will be removing a lot of dead growth & exposing a lot of new growth because of cutting into the grass & soil. It will not be able to grow because of temperature & would probably kill most of the grass if dethatched properly.

As Powerreel said a Mud Pit! That's a fact Jack!

Do it in the spring because it promotes new growth!

Then only do it if you have a desire to make good money. Any thing you can do to stay away from cutting grass, because cutting grass is your most unprofitable job that you do. Besides travel & LOL breakdowns.

While you are dethatching & you get up all the dead growth. Whoop some fertilizer on there too. Then you make more money & a few weeks to a month later you have a very happy customer.

Aeration, Fertilization & Dethatching are some of the best profit centers in your business. I forgot to mention doing spraying too, but I do not know if you have a license or not?
Now that the rain has arrived locally I will be dethataching my sports fields next week.

I use a 46" Jcro tine rake attached to a 52" walk behind
(sit down sulky) and rake and mow with double blades in two directions.

The thatch just lays and will either decompose or blow away by next spring.

Then everything gets a round of fert with pre-m to control winter weeds. I sprayed some fields with selective lawn herbicide about 3 weeks ago and the rake will also remove all the dead weeds in the process.

In March of 2001 I again rake and BAG the baseball and softball fields plus apply pre m again.

To remove the thatch in the spring removes all the brown dead junk and makes the field look better. It's work but between March 1 and 15 (the first baseball game is around the 22nd) I don't have much else to do.

[Edited by lawrence stone on 11-11-2000 at 04:00 PM]

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