January 19, 2007

Lawn Dethatching

dethaching your lawnLawn Dethatching is often confused with lawn aeration but the processes are two completely different lawn maintenance procedures. Both will help with keeping your lawn looking lush and beautiful though. Lawn thatch is a layer of clippings, debris, leaves, grass stems and roots that settles onto the ground. For lawns that are regularly raked and cared for, not much thatch will accumulate and the rest will eventually decompose. But for lawns that see excessive amounts of thatch, for lawns that are not properly cared for or for lawns that have never been aerated, lawn dethatching may be necessary.

What is Dethatching

Dethatching the lawn is simply removing the thatch that has built up over time. To know whether or not your lawn needs dethatching, simply observe the lawn to see if is has stopped responding or slowed down responding to fertilizers and waterings. You may even notice that no matter what you try, your lawn just doesn’t have the same lush look it had in years past. This means that the proper nutrients aren’t getting into the soil because the thatch is too heavy and won’t allow air and water to penetrate the soil.

If this seems to be the case, then you may need to dethatch your lawn. Keep in mind that not everyone needs to go about lawn dethatching. Some gardeners can instead simply aerate their lawn or do regular maintenance of picking up grass and leaf clippings. Eventually, though, almost everyone will have to do some type of lawn dethatching, but there really is no routine that each lawn needs. The major reason that each lawn is different is simply because some thatch is good for providing nutrients for the soil, as well as protection from sunlight and excessive rain, usually up to ½ an inch of thatch.

The best time to dethatch a lawn is in the spring. It is best not to try and dethatch a lawn in the fall or winter months because more debris will collect during those months and will simply negate the lawn dethatching process. It is also best not to go about lawn dethatching in the hot summer months when there may be a drought, heat wave or a chance that the lawn will not be able to get the proper water nutrients it needs to recover from a harsh dethatching process.

Power Dethatching

Power dethatching machines can be rented from a lawn and garden store or landscaping company. These machines will help to “rake” up the debris and thatch that has covered the lawn. Dethatching machines are really only necessary for yards that are close to an acre or more in size. If you have a normal sized yard, you can simply go about manually dethatching with a leaf rake or a specialty dethatching rake. Although a power dethatching machine may be less time consuming, it tends to be a little more stressful on the lawn and should definitely only be done when the weather is cool and there will be plenty of opportunity for rain to replenish the thatched areas, usually in the early spring months.

Also keep in mind that you may need to power dethatch if you have more than an inch or an inch and a half of thatch covering most parts of the yard. It would be difficult to manually thatch with any more coverage than this. If you are using a thatching or yard rake, then it is important to make sure all of the thatch is picked up from the yard once you have compiled it into one area of the lawn.

Tags: Landscape Garden Tools

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Filed under Landscape Garden Tools by landscapeliving.
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