two part Dethatching question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jt5019, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    I got a call the other day a customer wants his lawn dethatched.My question is,is it to late in the season to dethatch? It is getting pretty hot here with the past week ranging from 85 to 95 degrees.The lawn looks very healthy but he says it hasnt been done in years and wants it..

    My other question is... today i just get a call from his neighbor wondering if he gets his lawn done too can they get a group deal?I already quoted the first house.Would you give a deal? If you would about much would you take off? I already worry i may have underbid the first house a little as i took over my fathers business and this is my first time quoting a job like this.
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Are we talking real dethatching by a power rake fitted with a delta knife reel, or are we talking spring tine dethatcher raking?

    If we are talking real dethatching, have you pulled a core sample to see if it's needed? If needed, have you considered educating him on managing thatch by regular scheduled core aeration?
  3. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    Would be using a brand new power rake im borrowing from another company that gives me some of their overflow jobs.This job is not a full time customer just someone that called and said "hey can you give me a quote for dethatching" I said ok give me a day or two to get out there and look at it he said ok.I stopped by but the man wasnt home to talk to, but his lawn did look to be healty and rather green except where the sun is starting to dry it out.
  4. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

  5. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    I do not know of your type of turf.

    I do know that there would be reasons for de thatching. You need to know if it is indicated, or if it would just be snake oil you were selling.

    In my area, with our turf type, de-thacthing is a remedy for some circumstance which inhibits a real "healthy" lawn, yet, the huge chem companies just sll the snake oil with their cold calling.

    Again, I do not know of your circumstances, but laying on a certain cultural practice should be warranted by definite signs and symptoms other than, it hasn't been done, or, so and so says I need to do it.

    Careful with the responses you get from your query. Regional diferences, climate, temperate zones, heck, even the equipment, will vary.

    (There are many that are such "black and white" thinkers that will reply that get hostile when a dissenting reply is forwarded to you that they are willing to fight over it.)
  6. rmartin

    rmartin LawnSite Member
    from mass
    Messages: 204

    see if you can wait for the fall. Doing it now will sprout the growth of crabgrass. Crabgrass loves the hot weather. Dethatching disturbs the barrier set down by the first application of fertilizer applied with the crabgrass control. Once you disturb this its a free for all for the crabgrass.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I would personally wait. Dethatching puts the lawn under stress for 20 to 30 days and this late in season is something that I would try to avoid
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I will just answer your question as if someone asked me to dethatch a lawn now. I tell them that dethatching means different things to different people and I do not dethatch once the lawn is in full growth as it is not healthy for the lawn. If in fact there is a thatch problem and it is a true thatch problem I would suggest a course of action based on regulation of fertilizer for the summer and then the problem can be addressed in the fall. Aeration would be my first suggestion as the microbial activity of the decomposing cores actually help to control thatch. The flip side is that aerating in hot and dry conditions is opening the lawn up for disease and weed infestation and possibly drying the root zone too much. If you have good conditions then I would say its ok to aerate now but not much further into the season until the cool wet days of fall.
    If it is true thatch then you will be doing a destructive flail blade dethatching. I doubt if you will be doing this but if the problem is really severe thatch then you have to learn whats what and take care of it.
    From your post I see you will be using a verticle mower with tines on it. That will lift dead material from the surface of the thatch but it will do little to truely dethatch. Ya see some of this stuff is basically fluffing a dormant lawn and pulling dead grass to above the line. Its cosmetic. It can be done in the spring but if you do it now you will be putting undue stress on the lawn and possibly introducing weeds and disease.
    I would sell yourself as having knowledge and you will address their concern at the correct time. Don't take a job because the homeowner tells you he wants it done. Be the professional and tell him what you have to do and when you have to do it. Any mope can run a machine over the lawn at any time and take the money. Be a pro and I guarantee that you will get much more business in the future. Good Luck and keep us posted.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Mow Ed covered everything I was going to say. Follow that info.
  10. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    Thanks for the info, i think i will try and get them to hold off untill the fall.The past two weeks have been pretty hot with little rain and i can already see the lawns browning so i dont think it would be a good idea.It would be nice to have some extra work already lined up in the fall anyways.Ill tell ya if they go for it.

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