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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No I`am not really a dumb ass
but what is the purpose of dethatching
a lawn?what is the best way to do it?
what should be charged?approx.
using 60"ztr gravely.
please dont laugh too bad
 

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The purpose of dethatching a lawn is to get the customer to part with their money.

If a lawn has less than 1/2" of thatch, there is no need to de-thatch.

If a lawn has more than 1/2" of thatch, there is something wrong with the lawn, soil or fertilization/cultural practices.

A healthy lawn w/ all things in balance should never need de-thatching.

It is a great and easy service to sell, but completely unnecessary in most cases.
 

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Thatch build up is a natural process in any
bluegrass lawn. Bluegrass lawns need to be
dethatched yearly to maintain health and
vigor. You must cull the herd or thin out
the crowd so the remaining plants have room
to breathe and prosper.
 

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There is only two good reasons to dethatch a lawn.
1- If the leaves were not cleaned up at all last fall, especially in a weak lawn, you may save time on spring cleanup by running a powerrake over the lawn, then cleaning it.
2- In a lawn with very excessive thatch, you can aerate in 3 to 4 directions. Since this would have 8-10% of the actual thatch sitting on thr surface, a powerraking would enable you th remove this quantity of thatch, while leaving the soil from the plugs on the lawn.

Dethatching, or powerraking is generally done as a spring cash generator. You churn up and haul away a tremendous amount of material, so the customer just knows you are doing something great. And since it is so impressive, you can charge a pretty penny for it. Lazer stated it simply above.

"Dethatching" is not removing thatch. It is mostly pulling up a lot of dead grass that would decay in the next 6 weeks on its own.

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Jim
North central Indiana
 

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De-thathing does make a lawn look more groomed now thru April when the (northern) grass really gets growing. The grass is standing up nicely and looks better kept.

As far as making any real difference? No.
I've even de-thatched half a lawn in April and there was no way to tell which half by mid-May.

Part of the "dead" grass greens up and grows and the other part decays.
 

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Lawrence Stone, thanks for your post, now we know how little you actually know about horticulture. Are you self taught or do you have any training. You may know about the business end of the business but God help your clients, as you have no business doing anything but mowing!
 

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give him a break kermit why are you bashing him? the administrator asked us to keep it kind so please do

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CJC Landscape Management
Winter Haven, Florida
 

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Whoops, remembered two more uses for powerraking:
3- In northern grasses, esp bluegrass lawns, you can control the spread of weed bent grass and slow the spread of zoyzia by powerraking in the spring. These are both stoloniferous: spread by stolons, above ground stems. In the case of bentgrass, you tear up a lot of the new growth from last fall. Have kept it in check in one lawn for 7 years by this method.

4- When northern zoyzia begins to green up, you should cut it as short as the terrain allows. If you have a new property with zoyzia, where this practice was not done in the past, you cannot cut it very well. Powerrake it first, to remove all the dead grass leaves from previous years, then you can cut it short. As much as I love a bluegrass lawn, if you do this to zoyzia it will blow everything away in Jul & Aug.

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Jim
North central Indiana
 

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Today at the school district I was able to
get the spring sports fields applied with
fert. 70% urea with pre-m then the motor
for the JRCO spreader died in its fifth year
of service. Wait for UPS try next week for the rest of the turf.

More tine raking the girls spring sports field and aerating the infield with my polish dancer on Thu.

The following is clipped from:

http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/hort/g06705.htm

Thatch control
Thatch is a layer of undecayed and decayed plant parts at the soil surface. It forms a barrier to water and air movement in the manner of a thatched roof.
Thatch is primarily a problem of intensely fertilized and watered lawns. These practices promote excessive lateral growth of stems (stolons and rhizomes) and shallow roots; these shallow stems and roots are the main cause of thatch because they are resistant to decay. Properly mulched leaf clippings decay readily and do not contribute to thatch. Aggressive species, like Kentucky bluegrass and bermudagrass, and those that produce plant tissues resistant to decay, like zoysiagrass, are prone to thatch.

Thatch removal should be initiated whenever accumulation exceeds 1/2 inch. Early fall is the preferred time for dethatching bluegrass lawns.
 

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"Thatch removal efforts should be undertaken only when conditions favor rapid recovery of turfgrass. Spring and late-summer/early fall are the best times to remove thatch. While several machines will remove thatch, a vertical mower (also referred to as a power rake) is the preferred device. Unlike rotary lawn mowers which drive a blade that is on a horizontal plane to the surface, vertical mowers propel a series of knife-like tines on a plane that is perpendicular to the surface. The tines should be adjusted so that a bit of soil is brought to the surface together with the thatch.
"De-thatching using a properly adjusted vertical mower will produce an astounding quantity of stems and other plant parts which must be removed from the lawn. Before running the vertical mower over a lawn, consideration must be given to disposition of the debris."

Above excerpt from <a href="http://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/coext/regions/southeast/berks/mg/hgargd/turf_thatch.htm">PA Coop Extension document<a>

See also http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay8.htm

>There are dethatching machines to remove thatch. The Purdue site recommends a sod cutter :eek: for 1" or more of thatch. Both the PA and Purdue sites state that a vertical mower, with fixed blades or tines, is the preferred machine to use for lesser amounts. If you have ever used a vertical mower with fixed blades, cutting through the thatch to the soil, you know what lawn destruction is! Most dethatching, or powerraking, we see done in the springtime is done with vertical flail type machines. The flail type "dethatchers" do not do anything to remove thatch, you need a fixed blade machine to honestly sell a thatch removal job, and it's gonna be a mess when you are done. Aeration is a much more preferable remedy.

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Jim
North central Indiana

[Edited by GroundKprs on 09-08-2000 at 03:29 AM]
 

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BUBBA,YOU SHOULD ONLY WORRY ABOUT (VERTICAL MOWING)ON A WELL MAINTAINED,ST.AUG. LAWN WHEN THE GRASS SEEMS TO BE (SITTING)OR GROWING UP HIGH ON THE THATCH. (ABOVE THE CURB) YOU'LL HAVE TO RENT A VERTI-MOWER,RAKE UP AND HAUL OFF ATON OF GRASS,AND THEN COME BACK AND ROLL IT IN.IT'S AN ALL DAY MESS SO BID ACCORDINGLY!

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DON
LIANNES' MOWING
 
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