renovate a dead lawn, root system intact


LawnSite Senior Member
So. New England
Today I renovated a front lawn where the grass was dead but the root system was still intact. Like a dead piece of sod. Except this WAS a well estabilshed seeded lawn. I ended up using a dethatcher as low as it would go to try to churn it up. It worked ok, but not quite deep enough. Other than using a rototiller, what other type machine could I have used?


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
When you say this "root system" is intact, are you sure it's not actual thatch? REAL thatch is a fiberous material that is much like solid paperboard or something. It is very lightweight, and hard to pull apart. It appears just as a dense pack of root system , almost like compacted humus.


LawnSite Fanatic
N.E. Wisconsin
Flail knoves on a vertical mower. If it is true thatch you will not get it with the classic "dethatcher" which does nothing more than spank the top.
Jim (GroundKprs) is by far the expert in this field. Check his posts out on thatch. Here is one to start with;

This is what helps seperate professionals from yard robots.

Here is a good shot of thatch in a cross section. You can see how a power rake wouldn't do much to it.

thatch cross section.jpg


LawnSite Fanatic
Clinton, NJ
Originally posted by MOW ED
This is what helps seperate professionals from yard robots.

Yard robots? I like that one.

And you are right...Jim is about the most knowledgeable about thatch that I have read/seen around here.

Envy Lawn Service

LawnSite Fanatic
North Carolina
This unit Yazoo/Kees makes or any good power rake with a delta knife reel installed..


Deep core aeration also works very well...

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