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Order to Aerate & Dethatch

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tlc1994, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I offer aeration every spring and am getting into dethatching, as many customers' lawns are coming due for a dethatch. Which order should I go in, and how long of a period in between should each be done? Logically, I would find it most efficient to dethatch first and wait a little while, so I don't put to much stress on a lawn at the same time. Suggestions?
  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I dont know how it is over there..but in the east..we aerate and seed in the fall...i dethatch as needed unless the temps are over 90. Aeration also breaks up thatch..but it isnt a bad idea to dethatch and then aerate right after
  3. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    if we are gonna be servicing a one time customer we dethatch, them aerate right after, we always mow it after we rake up the thatch. For our yearly customers we power rake them all, turn timers on, let lawn water for a week, or two the aerate them and fert them all. This is ideal for us. For our weeklys we do aerations every year, and thaching as needed or every 3 years. so 33% one year then another 33% and so on. With thos we power rake and aerate same visit otherwise we will be missing some or overloaded trying to fit the one times in. The key is to get a system and stick to it, customers love that we follow the same schedule every year.
  4. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful.
  5. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    True dethatching is turf grinding...flail blades kicking down into the crowns of the grass and below and kicks up much debris. Power raking is flail blades or even spring tines set higher not grinding into the crowns of the grass - just above it.

    Hard to keep these people happy you either took too much out now the lawn looks scorched or not enough taken out because the last lawn guy took out more than you did and charged me less than half of what you did. :hammerhead:

    Much of what people want is the dormant dry dead looking grass to go away in the Spring. A low mow is the way to go and less stress to the grass. Each core pulled with a aerator is a cure for that spot for true thatch. A higher percentage of surface area plugged should really eliminate the need for all that power raking.

    How many passes are you all making with your aerators?? A double pass with my Plugr 850 delivers a shocking amount of plugs and can only be exceeded by 4 passes with the rolling tine units of common spacing. Exception being the Lawn Solutions Stander and 21" WB @ 3.5" x 6" Even tighter than a Plugr 400 or 600.
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,764

    Dethatch first, then aerate. If you are maintaining bermuda or zoysia, look at your height of cut, irrigation and fertilization practices. If those are not correct, you will have to constantly dethatch.
  8. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Raleigh
    Messages: 583

    The clay here in Raleigh is pretty bad. I just finished a turf course at NC State, and the prof said that in all the research they've done, they did not come across a single residential site that was not compacted.

    So I'm offering spring aerations this year, even to the clients that I aerated last fall.
  9. 1.2.3. green

    1.2.3. green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    How do you price your thatching
  10. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Raleigh
    Messages: 583

    That's not a service that i offer; all the thatch that I've come across has been mild enough that a few passes with the aerator took care of it.

    If I find a really bad one I might have to consider it, though.

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