• Online Events For Landscapers!
    With GIE+EXPO cancelled, virtual education and product launches are filling up the fall. Check out dates for Caterpillar, Exmark, NALP, and more. Click here to learn more.

Fall thatch and/or aerate

Acute Cut

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Bellingham WA
Ok all. Here is the deal. I bought a new thatcher and new aerator this week. I am ready for the fall $$$$ to come RUSHING in! (Well, i can dream cant i?)

What do i push? Thatching? Areating? Both?
What do i need to know about either for fall time? I am concerned that by thatching in the fall that it wont grow back and be bare all winter. I might lose customers that way. That would not be good. Well, maybe it would be good on the bad acounts. hehe.

I have thatched once in the spring and it came back fast and nice. But even bad mowing comes back fast and nice in the spring.

Thanks for your help on this.

Acute Cut
 

bob

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
DE
I won't de-thatch. Its just too much of a mess to clean up. Aeration, now thats another story! I'll line up aeration jobs a week at a time and do them all on one day. If you aerate yearly you"ll reduce the need to de-thatch.
 
OP
A

Acute Cut

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Bellingham WA
but will it grow back to fill in all the bare spots created by thatching? I mean before winter starts up. Spring i know it will, but what about fall?

Acute Cut
 

MOW ED

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
N.E. Wisconsin
This is just me but I do all my thatching in the spring. You can do it with the renovation like Larry said above but I get much more by selling thatching in the spring, fertilizing during the year and now I'm starting to sell aeration for the fall.

I have found that the thatch is easier to pick up in the spring when the lawns are brown since there is less moisture content in the blades. I vacuum all my thatch up with the Walker and usually dump it on the curb or charge a lot more to haul it away.

It must be a area thing but no one thatch in the fall here. Check around with guys in your area and see if they are thatching. Good Luck.
 

jeffyr

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northern NJ
mow ed,

I have found the same in my neck of the woods. Most people and most landscapers prefer thatching in the spring. Usualy I try to push it in the fall (less competition from weeds for the new seed and no chance of crabgrass). This year with all the rain we have had in the east, there is very little renovation work, so I am pushing the aeration, as long as the thatch buildup isn't great.

Does anybody lower their cut before aeration and seeding and skip a week for the seed to set, or carry on as normal?
It's funny, but some customers will complain that they will want it cut shorter all the time if I do it once, and others will complain that I sucked up all the seed that I just put down !

jeffyr
 

SJR Lawncare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Maryland
Im In Maryland, & heres what I do in September:
1. Cut lawn short
2. De-thatch
3. Aerate
4. Spray lawn with Trimec plus broadleaf weed ctl.
5. Seed
6. Top coat with Compro or orogro

It may seem a little early to do this, but I need the new grass to set in before the leaves fall, because seed & baby grass dont take too kindly to a 250 mph blower during leaf removal.

SJR Lawncare
 

SLSNursery

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
West Haven, CT
SJR -

Keep the weed killer out of your plan and you'll be OK, otherwise people might wonder why the seed isn't growing. Maybe you are spot spraying, so it probably hasn't affected you terribly, but be careful. We have better luck with Drive75, it is labeled for use on the newly seeded turf. New this year, we've been dabbling with a tow behind topdresser for some of the bigger areas. We spread about 50 yards over a football field last week, first we aerovated, then seeded, topdressed and dragged it. Its growing pretty well now.

Typically in the Fall we'll aerate, overseed, and topdress (lightly by hand if needed) for any of our accounts which need the service. We end up doing the renovation work mostly on non-regular customers, as a one time deal, or for other companies who don't have the equipment. Most of our lawns get aerated once or twice per year as part of regular maintenance to begin with. And, yes, that Walker works great to pick up after thatching. We use the JRCO tine rake in the Spring on the Walker for a light thatching before Pre-emergent applications. This works well too.
 

SJR Lawncare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Maryland
Thanks SLS,

I do only spot spray the weeds. I'll check out the Drive75
for newly seeded lawns. Where do you get that? I do appreciate the advice, I'm always learning.

SJR Lawncare
 
Top