Spring is dropping off quickly and summer will soon be rushing in, but it is never too late to aerate! You guys know I am a huge advocate of lawn aeration, but what if you think you need to dethatch?
De-thatching the lawn means you use a machine, appropriately called a “dethatcher” that literally combs through the lawn just above the soil line with a spiked roller. These spikes rip and pull the thatch from the lawn. I rarely recommend dethaching unless it is an extreme case.
Recently in my lawn care travels (yep, I see many lawns each week here in the Midwest) I have stepped on several that desperately needed dethatching.
Thatch is the layer of mostly dead grass roots and other organic matter that reside just above the soil line. If the layer of thatch is less than a half inch thick, we’re good, but when it gets thicker, and the lawn feels “spongy” underfoot, then something must be done.
If the thatch layer is around 3/4 inch or less, you can have the lawn aerated in the spring and fall and keep it within an acceptable range. If you are at the top end of this scale, go over the lawn twice with the machine.
However, if you are over that 3/4 inch limit, you need to rent the dethacher and get to work. The good news is that most dethatching machines can be adjusted, height-wise. My advice is to test it out on a small spot first. You don’t want to scrape it down to the bare dirt. In fact, leave that 1/2 or even 1/4 inch in there.
So keep in mind, it is fine to dethatch, but only in extreme cases. If your lawn just won’t green up, even when you fertilize, check the thatch layer and see if this is the problem.____________________________________________________________
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