Dethatching Your Lawn

A power rake dethatcher is a tool that can be used to help remove built up thatch that could be choking your lawn’s natural growth. Thatch is basically a natural buildup of dead grass, leaves, roots, weeds and other organic materials. This build up can have a negative effect on the growth of your lawn. Removing the thatch will help your lawn flourish by allowing more water, air and other nutrients into the soil and ultimately the roots of your grass.

There are many different types of lawn detatchers including gas powered models, electric models and even some you can pull behind your lawn mower or tractor. A lawn dethatcher works by using metal blades or prongs that penetrate your turf down to the soil in order to remove the layer of thatch which has built up. It can be a very labor intensive process which is sometimes seen as a last ditch effort to help save a lawn.

When to Dethatch Your Lawn

Typically, the very best time to dethatch your lawn with a power rake is in the spring or fall. It’s always best to dethatch during times which will disrupt your lawn the least. In spring and fall your lawn will be at the beginning or end of its yearly growth cycle which makes it an ideal time for thatching a lawn. This allows your lawn plenty of time to recover before winter and avoids damaging your lawn during times of summer heat and drought.

How Do You Know if Your Lawn Needs Dethatching?

Most experts would recommend dethatching your lawn only if the layer of thatch has grown to be more than 3 inches deep. The reason is that using a lawn thatcher can be quite damaging to your lawn, especially if you don’t know you’re doing. Not only that but using a power cake will often be extremely labor intensive and may be completely unnecessary. If your thatch is less than 3 inches thick you can often use a lawn aerator which will help to promote microbes which will break down the thatch naturally.

Types of Dethatchers

  • Manual Dethatching Rake – Using a manual dethatching rake is by far the most labor intensive method you might use. It’s best to only consider dethatching your lawn manually if you have a very small space to dethatch. Otherwise a power rake dethatcher will be a much better choice.
  • Tow-Behind Dethatcher – This is by far the easiest way to dethatch your lawn if you happen to own a tractor or riding lawn mower. For the best possible results you should drag your dethatcher in a criss-cross pattern across your lawn. Just be careful not to overdo it.
  • Power Rake Dethatcher – These dethatchers generally look similar to a push mower and are powered by gas or electric motors. Although they are powered by a motor you will still have to manually push them across your lawn. It may sound easy enough but it’s much more labor intensive than mowing your lawn.