What is Dethatching (and Does My Lawn Need It)?

Are you sick and tired of having a lawn that looks dead half of the time?

Does your lawn have a mix of dead-looking yellow grass mixed in with the green grass?

If so, you probably have a built-up layer of thatch that needs to be removed.

What is Thatch?

In the simplest of terms, thatch is a layer of dead turfgrass that usually sits below the green grass but above the soil.

The reason we’re talking about thatch is because it’s not good for the health of your lawn. This layer of thatch prevents all of the necessary water and nutrients from reaching the roots — thus, preventing your lawn from reaching its true potential.

Luckily, there’s a process for removing thatch from your lawn — dethatching.

While mowing and watering are things you should be doing regularly, dethatching is something that should be done as soon as it’s needed (which is usually once or twice per year during the early spring and late fall for those living in the Northeast).

The Process of Dethatching

Normal dethatching can be done by simply using a rake to remove any existing thatch. Simply push the rake tines down into the grass, and begin pulling in the usual raking motion. This should rip up the excess thatch.

It really is that simple!

You can use a regular leaf rake for this, allowing you to remove excess leaves and debris while you remove thatch. For the best results, you may want to consider purchasing a dethatching rake, also known as a convex or “power” rake. This will make the process easier and quicker!

Why Can’t All of the Thatch Be Removed?

For those with badly compacted soil, regular dethatching with a rake won’t be the answer.

Instead, you’ll need to aerate your lawn.

Core aeration involves using an aerator to poke holes in your lawn to break up the soil. This will allow water and nutrients to penetrate the surface of the soil AND make the dethatching process easier.

Since aeration and dethatching aren’t maintenance you perform as regularly as mowing or watering, it’s not always worth it to purchase an aerator and find the space to store it.

Your best bet is to hire a local landscaping service to perform this maintenance for you — and we know the perfect company for the job…

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