Power Rake or Aerate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jeff@SGLC.ca, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    Who does both, does it need both, one or the other ok.....
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Power raking (de-thatching) does a better job of actually removing thatch build up. And aerating along can't do that.

    On the other hand, aerating does a better job of counteracting soil compaction.

    They both have their own purposes.

    To complicate things, it depends on the kind of soil you have and also the variety of turfgrass you have. Perennial Ryegrass, for instance, tends to break down thatch about as fast ast it's builds up thatch. So there is rarely ever a need to power rake a Ryegrass lawn.
  3. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    Most of our grasses up here are a combination of Kentucky Blue Grass and Rye Grass. We have pretty decent soft, black soil lol.

    I was only asking because I'm looking at buying an aerator for the spring time and didn't really wanna buy both this year. That being said I don't see a lot of power raking going on up here.

    I know the benefits of both, just trying to see which one would be the best up here.
  4. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    For cool season grasses a Aerator is all you need.
  5. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    That was my thinking but with all the warm weather guys on this board, you get bombarded with the power rake stories.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    In 11 years of this full time, I've never even been asked to have someone's lawn de-thatched...only aerated.
  7. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Aeration will do a better job of breaking down thatch (the accumulation of dead roots) than dethatching. Better airflow throught the soil will lead to more microbial activity thus better breakdown of tissues.

    Aeration is a profitable service to sell and it is more beneficial to the lawn. Dethatching is a freebee that we include with the spring cleanups. Dethatching and verticutting can stimulate growth through the shearing of roots, thats why we verticut fariways/greens/ and tees.
  8. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

  9. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Although I get several dethatching requests from uninformed customers, i either convince them to aerate or they go sommewhere else. Since the majority of microbes are in the soil, areation brings that soil up and spreads it throught the top layer of thatch. This increases activity from the top down. This process dose not happen over night and sometimes takes a couple of years on thatchy grasses. On a lawn that actually has a thatch problem 5/8" or more, I would aerate twice a year. I recomend to anyone that does dethatch to seed afterward to replace the live plants they have ripped out and promote diversity in the turf.
  10. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    All informative....nice to see I joined a good site lol. I used to go the rent an aerator route but the units aren't as good. I'll be looking into the Plugr PL800 this season. The machines really do pay for themselves.

    A follow up question, does anyone still roll?

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