Dethatching and Aerating Your Lawn at the Same Time
Managing and controlling thatch is a crucial part of lawn care that is often overlooked. After all, to the eyes of most lawn owners, thatch is nothing but dead grass, leaves, roots, and debris. But layers and layers of accumulated debris can form a thick mat that has terrible effects on the health of your turf.
The layers of thatch on your lawn can hinder the amount of air and water reaching the soil. Moreover, it can create an environment that easily encourages diseases and pests.
There are two ways you can prevent thatch from causing you problems. You can do that by performing aeration or dethatching, or both. Each are essential practices that can help preserve the health of your lawn.
If your lawn isn’t growing as it should, even though you feed it regularly, the culprit could be thatch, compacted soil, or both. In this case, you need to act fast and find a way to improve the health of your turf. If you think the problem is compacted soil or a thin layer of thatch, the solution is aeration. If the problem is a thick layer of thatch, you can resolve this by dethatching.
Aerating Your Lawn
Aerating your greens will loosen the soil, which will allow water, air, and nutrients to easily penetrate the grass’s root system. It can provide your lawn with many benefits, such as reduced soil compaction, improved water penetration, air exchange, fertilizer use, strong rooting, decreased water runoff, and enhanced thatch breakdown.
The best time to aerate for warm-season lawns is in the summer or spring, while cool-season grasses are best aerated in autumn. You can use a liquid aeration product to break down the thatch and reduce soil compaction. On the other hand, you may also choose to aerate mechanically. In that case, you need an aeration machine that can run over your turf and pull plugs of soil out of your yard.
Dethatching Your Lawn
Although this article mentions dethatching and aerating at the same time, this practice isn’t recommended unless the lawn truly needs it. Dethatching is an invasive project, and may do more harm than good to your lawn especially if it doesn’t need it. You shouldn’t need to dethatch if you’ve aerated and mowed your lawn sufficiently.
If your turf has too much thatch, it can hinder the growth of grass, causing other health problems. You should only dethatch if the thatch is too thick (more than ½” to ¾” in height). For the process of dethatching, you are going to need a verticutter or a dethatching machine to run over your lawn. The vertical blades cut through the soil, thereby pulling up the thatch by its roots.
This method can effectively remove the thick thatch, but will also cause a big mess. Expect that you will need to bag plenty of pulled up debris once the job is done. If you think your turf requires dethatching, it is best to make sure by talking with a lawn tech. You must first make sure the process is truly necessary, in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the adverse effects of dethatching.
Published on March 15th, 2019
Updated on March 14th, 2020