Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by LewisL230, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Cool season is the one I talk about and KBG/PR are our 2 main culprits... e-how and/or wiki. are not necessarily giving good information and certainly doesn't deal with the 'whys' and 'wherefores' adequately...

    I remember when CONVENTIONAL WISDOM was that you really dug out the thatch with a Spring raking and of course, I believed them.... Once I started analysing what was really happening and how barespots are actually created and the Spring raking exasperated the issue I had to rethink the entire schedule for cultural practices...

    Slowly,,, our horticulture/lawn dept. at the extension offices are catching up to what is good for CentroWisco and what is not good... they've done a 180 on the Spring dethatch/verticut thing... well almost 180...

    I'm waiting for them to discuss fixing barespots in the Spring, rather than pre-m to keep the barespot bare for the entire season of pounding irrigation water...
    I try not to come off as a jerk,,, but I suppose there are lots of sensitive people coming into the industry and I should try a little harder to be NICE... I'm too old to be PC and coddling the emotions of a MAN is just sick... :)
  2. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    My reply to the original question is a combination of others. IF the customer requests it and you see it as not being needed give your professional input. If I think aerating is a better choice I will point that out. IF they still want the dethatching I will quote it for them. When preparing the quote keep in mind that renting a dethatcher isn't hard it is fairly cheap. To use it like was said earlier, it's like a 21" mower. You just walk behind it and although it isn't self propelled it will help move itself after you get the blades set to be at ground level. Make sure you mow the lawn shorter before using it. Then you can rake it up when you are done. I use a bagger on my stander to pick it up, or have used a lawn sweeper pulled behind my ZTR. You will pull a lot of debris off the lawn. I always package up aerating and over-seeding when I dethatch. It is a great time to get new seed on the lawn. Remind the customer that the lawn needs water and sun to grow. Fertilizer is also a good idea. As for price 2.5 x lawn mowing is the rate I utilize. Good luck and hope I was able to help.
  3. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    The problem is not thatch, it is excessive thatch. KBG is prone to excessive thatch when soil conditions at the root are not ideal, and in this world, ideal soil is a goal, not a reality for most lawns. So thatch removal is a constant concern, and I have no hesitation about removing thatch on most lawns I encounter, simply because it should not have been there to begin with. If there is enough thatch to detract from the appearance of the turf, I remove it. But I don't stop there. I consider the conditions that promote thatch, primarily excessive N, and compacted soil. You take care of those, you won't have a thatch problem going forward. BTW, PRG is not a thatch former, and does great in compacted soil, which is why I am liking it more and more, even in DC/MD, where the summers are not exactly PRG's friend. If I was as far north as a lot of guys on this board, I'd make it my mainstay.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    So bad soil causes thatch. But not if ryegrass is growing on it?
    Or does excessive nitrogen cause thatch? How much nitrogen? Does compaction cause thatch--if so how much compaction?
    To me thatch is a sign of an aggressive cultivar of Kentucky bluegrass...doing what it is supposed to do...get really thick.
    Power raking is fine--if the customer believes it will cause quicker greenup in spring. (Probably will not). The brown appearance of certain grass types probably reflects the slow spring greenup of certain high-quality Kentucky bluegrass cultivars...which will look truly excellent later on.
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,294

    Ha you run a walk behind dethatcher it is NOT a piece of cake. A LOT of work. Dirty, way dirty too yet. The only way to offer 'dethatching' is to do a power rake job with a JRCO on a Z with a bag unit. I found that out the hard way doing it with inferior equipment for a couple years, pain in the butt unless you are set up with the Z and attachments.

    Also I think power raking/bagging is a waste of time for the most part. Doesn't serve much of a useful purpose IMO. BUT, and this is a big but, customers line up to have me do this to their lawn. This is one case where what the customer wants, the customer gets.
  6. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    To clarify, if you have excessive thatch with KBG, too much N and compaction are likely causes. KBG won't need or "want" to form excessive thatch if those are addressed. Some thatch, yes, but not un-cosmetic amounts. PRG is not a thatch former no matter what you do -- it does not have rhizomes or stolens, so it can't form thatch. It also does well in compacted soils, where KBG is going to form thatch unless you do a lot of aeration. So that's my thinking on that.
  7. birddseedd

    birddseedd LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,111

    I have only done small jobs

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