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dethatching or aeration?? what do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by scooterdayton, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. scooterdayton

    scooterdayton LawnSite Member
    Male, from Wisconsin Rapids
    Messages: 46

    what does everybody prefer? aeration or dethatching?
    whats better for the lawn?
    do you leave the plugs on lawn after aerating, run a mower over them, or rake them up?
  2. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Two different things. For two different reasons. PR
  3. BW Landscaping

    BW Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    do both........you can do airating at anytime...and yes leave the plugs on the grass (do not pick them up) and best time to thatch for me on long island is in the fall. but do both it will make your customer and u happy
  4. scooterdayton

    scooterdayton LawnSite Member
    Male, from Wisconsin Rapids
    Messages: 46

    thanks PR and BW for your input,
    i heard that if you aerate it will take care of the thatch buildup?
  5. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Scooter, Yes, if you are trying to lower thatch build up aeration will help in that. Remember in cool season grasses (like we have here in Wisconsin) need some thach. 1/2 inch is a good thing. 3/4 inch or more should be controled. We core aerate last week in September - first week in October. Leave the cores on the lawn, it helps in breaking down the thatch in the same way top dressing does. It take's about 3 weeks for the cores to break down. Make sure you are mowing at 3 to 3 1/4 inches so that you are not hitting the cores with your blades on you mower. It will dull them in no time flat. Now as far as de-thatching goes, I do not recomend true de-thatching. You know, that machine down at the local hardware store that has the knifes on it and it rips and tear's the turff. This is not nessary in our area. I have only ever seen one lawn in our area that had eccessive (more than 2 inches) of thatch. Those machines might come in handy down south with some warm season grasses, but here all they do is open up the ground and invite weed seed to germinate. Hand raking or tine raking ( power raking) as we will start doing next week is better in my opinion. A JRCO tine rake in the spring, mulch do not bag grass, and areation at least once a year should take care of any eccessive thatch that you have. PR
  6. scooterdayton

    scooterdayton LawnSite Member
    Male, from Wisconsin Rapids
    Messages: 46

    thanks so much PR, that helps out like you wouldnt beleive!!
    yea i heard of a lot of people power raking around our area .
    ill have to look into getting one of them for my bunton.
    thanks a lot for all your time and knowledge.
    take care
  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I do both services. Some customers prefer thatching, some want aeration done. I prefer aeration myself. In the mid to late summer to fall, its a huge cash cow of a service to offer!!
  8. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I recommend dethatching if the lawn has a lot of browned out dead material (thatch) in it, which will make the entire lawn look puffy. I use dethatching only as a curative solution to thatch, then aeration annually should continue to take care of it, unless someone has been pouring the fert on it for years then it might still be building thatch. But Once you have thatch under control annual aerations hould take care of the thatch, but what it also does is work on those tough clay soils or compaction caused by the little rugrats or the bocce ball players, and even your lawn mowers!

    So in a nutshell

    dethatching - curative only to remove thick puffy turf

    aeration - annualy to prevent thatch buildup and reduce compaction

    Oh this setup also help you out because it gives you something to do in the spring (dethatching) and aeration in the fall, gives you recognition throughout the year.
  9. thesargent

    thesargent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    i think thatch can be controlled with regular core areation.

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