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remove thatch material or leave it before seeding

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Keith P, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Keith P

    Keith P LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I recently did a lawn renovation where I used a dethatcher to remove years of compacted grass clippings that caused dead spots in their lawn. Do you guys normally leave the pulled up vegetation or remove it by either mowing it or bagging it before overseeding and fertilizing. I seed using a broadcast spreader. Would aerating have solved the problem of compacted vegetation as well as the dethatcher as well. From all of the posts I have read, it seems aerating does the work that a dethatcher does too.
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no, it doesn't. and yes, clean it up b4 u seed
  3. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    If it needs dethatching then do it. It does help scrap the soil up but you still need to plug if you're going to seed. Plugging is good if nothing else just to break up the compacted soil. And do clean up before you plug or seed. Bagging with a mower is fine or rake it up.
  4. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    how thick was the thatch? thats the biggest question. if you have an extreme amount of thatch it would benifit the lawn more to just sod cut and reseed. thatching does a lot of damage to grass and can actually do more damage than good in the long run. you said the lawn has dead spots, did you check for grubs? on aeration i would say to aerate if you plan on reseeding you will get better results; go with a double or triple pass. benifits from the aeration- reduces soil compaction, adds o2 into the soil, releases toxic gasses from the soil, increases root growth, reduces thatch, reduces diseases( red thread, rust, dollar spot, grey leaf spot, and snow mold ), and it will give your seed better soil contact.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If it's that heavy, remove it. If you're broadcasting, after it's cleaned up, I woyuld seed then go over the ares again with the dethatcher. This will mix the seed down into the soil. When we renovate, in many cases, we just leave the top layer. Do yourself a favor and apply some starter fert. as well.
  6. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    I agree completely, maybe broadcast half, run dethatcher over, then broadcast other half.

    All depends on how heavy thatch is, if over 1 1/2 " or so, remove thatch. Aerate anyway, will help w/ compaction and decomp, etc. b4 you seed.

    It all depends on your situation, it's easy for us to say when we have all the equipment. Sometimes we go in w/ a Dingo or Bobcat and scrape off the thatch, or harley rake it and get a smooth grade on the yard at the same time.

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