One way to maintain your lawn’s health is through aeration and dethatching. Dethatching is the process of removing the build-up of thatch just below the surface of the lawn.
Dethatching is harsh and causes damage to your lawn, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term downside. To mitigate damage, dethatching should be done when the grass is actively growing.
Typically, not all lawns will need dethatching. However, some types of grass may need dethatching every year to keep the lawn aerated and healthy.
When done properly, dethatching restores the health and beauty of your lawn. Since you will get rid of the thick underneath layer, the grass will get enough water and nutrients.
Therefore, it is good to dethatch your lawn if it needs it. When the thatch reaches a thickness of about ½ inches, you can dethatch your lawn to allow enough air to penetrate.
How often is too often for detaching?
Many different types of grass exist, which means thatch build-up may vary. However, most lawns require dethatching every year. Some lawns may last for up to five years before thatch builds up.
Therefore, dethatching will depend on how fast thatch builds up, usually one year for most lawns. Dethatching twice or thrice a year may end up damaging the grass. So it is best to determine whether your lawn needs dethatching by measuring the thatch thickness annually.
Is it better to dethatch or aerate?
Thatch build-up suffocates the roots, which may kill the grass. So, if the thatch is ½ inches thicker, it is best to dethatch to allow sunlight and air to penetrate the soil. Dethatching removes excess baggage from the soil and leaves the healthy layer on the surface.
Aeration is also good for your lawn as it releases the pressure and loosens the soil. This allows enough air and nutrients to penetrate the soil. With enough nutrients, moisture, and air, the grassroots will grow stronger and spread.
Both dethatching and aeration are good for your lawn as long as they are done correctly. Dethatching can, however, cause further damage to the grass if done the wrong way and time.
Can you over-thatch a lawn?
If you are not aware of the right dethatching practice, it is possible to over-thatch a lawn. For instance, if you do not regularly check your grass, thatch may become thick and become a challenge when dethatching. For this reason, it is essential to check the thickness of your thatch regularly to know when you need to dethatch your lawn.
What is the best dethatching tool for lawn health?
There are various dethatching tools in the market, but you need to be careful when selecting them. This is because the tool you choose will determine the health and quality of your grass. The following are a few best dethatching tools you can use for your lawn.
Can I get rid of thatch naturally?
If you prefer removing thatch naturally, worry not because it is possible. You can remove the thatch through decomposition in the following ways.
- The first and most important thing to do is ensure the soil underneath the thatch layer is moist. When the soil dries up, decomposition will not take place. You can do heavy watering from time to time to ensure the soil stays moist.
- Make sure you collect your clippings until the thatch decomposes completely.
- Test the soil’s pH frequently and add lime if need be. Acidic soil slows down decomposition, so try to keep it as alkaline as possible.
- Use a biological dethatcher to increase the degrading process. The biological dethatcher contains specific enzymes and microbes that accelerate decomposition.
- Fertilize your lawn regularly to ensure the soil’s microorganism gets enough nitrogen to accelerate thatch decomposition.
Should I mow before or after dethatching?
For best results, it is best to mow your lawn before dethatching. This will help you reach the thatch with ease, especially if you have a thick lawn. However, it is a bad practice to mow after you dethatch because you will damage the lawn.
Once you dethatch, you should let the grass heal for about a month before you can think about mowing it again. Early fall is the best time to dethatch cool-season grass, while warm-season grass should be dethatched during late spring. This is usually when the grass is actively growing, which means it can heal and grow faster.
How much does dethatching cost?
Typically, dethatching costs approximately $180 and $250. On the low end, you can pay approximately $100 while the high-end cost can go up to $700. If you need other lawn care services such as mowing or aerating, the overall price can go up. For instance, you can pay about $400 to $500 for hydroseeding.
The size of your yard and your region also affects the overall cost of dethatching. For instance, a large size yard will be costlier to dethatch than a smaller size. More so, price varies from region to region.
Before you hire a dethatching service, you should do some research to determine the average cost. Also, you will be able to find a dethatching service you can afford.
Grass clippings do not cause or add thatch to the lawn, contrary to the popular lawn myth. If anything, the clippings add nutrients and moisture to the soil, which accelerates the grass’s growth.
If you want to get rid of the grass clippings, you can either pick them up immediately or leave them to decompose. Since clippings are mostly water, they will gradually decompose as long as you mow the lawn regularly.
You will need to contact a lawn mowing service to have your lawn dethatched. Some landscaping services also have lawn equipment, but I would start with lawn services.
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If your lawn tends to build up thatch fast, you can prevent thatch build-up by using a high-quality nitrogen fertilizer. Select the slow release type, such as GreenView Fairway Formula Fertiliser, that ensures the grass gets a constant nitrogen supply. Nitrogen is essential for microorganisms that accelerate decomposition.
You should also mow the lawn often to keep the grass about three inches tall at all times. This way, you will effectively stop thatch build-up.