Lawn De-thatching

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mhussey, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. mhussey

    mhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    I was wandering if you can de-thatch a lawn at any time or is there a certain time to de-thatch? Any advise would be helpful.
  2. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I quit dethatching 10 years ago. I just core aereate in the fall every 2 to 3 years.
  3. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Best time is usually in the spring. It gets all the dead leafs and grass out and helps the grass green up a little quicker.
  4. mhussey

    mhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    The reason why I ask is this. My front yard really looks good untill there is a lack of rain. Then it starts to die out. Note that I have 2 parts to my front yard and the upper part that I am refering to is the problem area. The lower part stays green and nice, however, the upper part is really thick. A lot thicker than the lower. I was thinking that because it's so thick I may not see a lot of the thach and build up and causing smothering. I was just a thought I figured I would run by you guys. Any help would be great. Thanks.
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    You really only need to dethatch when the thatch reaches 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. 1/4 inch is ok and is actually good for the lawn. Upwards towards and inch and you have real problems. Check your lawn for thatch build up and if it is less than 1/2 I would aerate real good 12 to 14 holes per sq ft and do it every year not just every 2 or 3...Aeration can help control thatch build up if you do it often enough. Dethatching is a last resort kind of practice.
  6. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Good answer bob, Mich States agro dept suggests dethatch every 5-7 years as needed and only when needed. When needed is when thatch is 1/2 " or more. Thatch is a good thing (very good), it is all biodegradeable material. It is also an insulating blanket between the sun and the topsoil, shallow root systems etc. true lawns seem to green up quickly in the spring but are prone to drought stress in july august if there isnt a sufficient thatch barrier. It is good to dethatch if yo uhave a fungus, mold, disease or insect problem that is manifesting itself in the thatch layer however. Then you should dethatch, and use a fungicide, insecticide,pesticide to get rid of the problem(assuming you are liscensed and certified for pesticide application}. We aerate 1 or times a year on several of our customers. It is less expensive and 5 times easier and 5 times better 95% of the time.
  7. mhussey

    mhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I plug aerate my yard every year in the fall. I guess because that part of the lawn is exposed to sunlight almost all the time it tends to take a worse toll than the other part that is partially shaded. Anyways thanks for all the good advice.

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