Thatch consists of the accumulated stems, leaves, and roots that build up on top of the soil in your lawn. While some thatch is a natural feature of all lawns, too much thatch can constrict the root systems of grasses, causing them to thin and wither overtime. A lawn with excessive thatch will feel spongy and dense underfoot, and will eventually turn brown and patchy. Fortunately, dethatching is a straightforward process that can easily be accomplished in just a few easy steps. In this entry, we’ll walk you through the process.
Before you dethatch, you’ll want to mow your lawn to about half the height that you usually would. This will expose thatch and make it easier to free it from the grass in your lawn. At this point, you should also mark obstacles such as rocks and irrigation heads that you’ll want to avoid as you dethatch.
Rent a Dethatcher
Dethatchers typically use an array of vertical cutters to break and loosen the thatch in a lawn. Blade spacing and cutting depth can be adjusted depending on the type of grass and amount of thatch in your lawn. To dethatch, simply run the dethatcher in one direction across your lawn as you would with a push mower. Once you’re done, repeat the process in a direction perpendicular to your original path.
Once you’ve used the dethatcher, gently rake your lawn to remove the excess thatch. If necessary, reseed bare spots and use the rake to help the seeds penetrate the soil. Finally, apply fertilizer and water your lawn to help it recover more quickly.