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How Often Should You Dethatch Your Lawn

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How Often To Aerate Your Lawn

How to DETHATCH your lawn. 4 reasons WHY you want to do it and WHEN you should.

There are some variables to consider when it comes to aeration. The time of year as well as the type of soil you have all play a part in scheduling core aeration.

Here are those variables:

  • Soil type: If you have clay soil, then youll need to aerate your lawn once a year or once every other year.
  • Sandy and loam soils dont need regular core aeration because the soils already have oxygen circulating through them. Plus, if you aerate your sandy or loamy soil too often, youll weaken the soil.

    Clay soils, for example, need aeration every year or every few years depending on how compacted the ground is. Clay soil holds in water, but cant easily circulate oxygen for plant health.

  • Soil compaction: If you tend to park cars on your yard or there is a lot of foot traffic, you probably have compacted soil. You can test the soil by walking on it. If its rock solid, theres a good chance that your soil needs aeration this fall or next spring.
  • Your turfgrasss health: If you have bare or thinning turf throughout your lawn, then you need to aerate your soil as well as reseed your yard. Aeration opens up the soil to release carbon dioxide as well as taking in oxygen, light, and moisture.
  • Core aeration also prepares your soil for receiving grass seed. If you use a slit seeder, the grass seed goes down deep into the ground. This deep planting helps the grass plants to develop deep root systems.

    Just How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn

    Experts recommend that you aerate your lawn at least once every three years. You dont need to do it every year.

    However, you should keep an eye on it and aerate when you think it requires it. This will depend on the type of soil your yard has.

    If its loose, then you shouldnt need to aerate that much at all. But firm, compact soil will need to be aerated regularly so if your yard is experiencing more traffic, bear this in mind.

    Still, whatever your soil type, you shouldnt need to do it more than once a year otherwise you risk damaging your lawn.

    What Is The Best Time To Dethatch Your Lawn

    Firstly, Keep it in your mind- the time period isnt the same for every lawn. It depends on your location, yard soil, season, grass type, and many more.

    However, you came here for a solid answer, what is the best time to dethatch lawn and how do you do it easily with mower attachments.

    Now come to the point, spring is an ideal season for all to doing dethatch and aerate the lawn. Basically, aerating and dethatching job isnt much time gap but almost the same.

    If youre planning to plant new yards or overseeding existing lawns, active grass growth time is the best time for dethatch the lawn because it helps the lawn to recover fast more than at other times of the year. In that case,Kentucky bluegrass grasses love to growing in Cool-season and for this, you should dethatch the lawn in spring, or late summer spring, and early fall.

    But when you have Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine type grass in your yard, you need to aerate or dethatch in the summer, because this is the best growing time for them. Never dethatching the lawn when your yard is torpid or focused it can be more harmful rather recover.

    Now question is, how and what attachments do I need to dethatch and make my yard more healthy!

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    Diy Or Call In A Lawn Care Pro

    If slicing up that turf youve worked so hard on makes you more than a little nervous, its best to leave it in the hands of a professional lawn care service.

    But if you can handle a walk-behind mower, you can handle a dethatching machine, Callahan said.

    And a dethatching machine is the way to go. A simple leaf rake wont do the trick. Dethatching an entire lawn by hand is a horrendous job and not effective, Callahan said. He recommends renting equipment to save yourself plenty of time and sore muscles. Its not a highly technical process either, he added.

    There is one valuable advantage of a professional lawn service, though. Thats the effectiveness of a practiced hand and expensive equipment afforded by an economy of scale.

    Dethatching Vs Core Aeration

    How Often Should You Dethatch Your Yard : Why When And How ...

    Of the two solutions, dethatching is certainly preferable to core aeration because core aeration requires a mechanical device. Unhappily, you may not have a choice. The severity of the situation determines which solution is implemented. Dethatching is for mild cases. You will know afterward that it worked if your grass starts looking better the following year.

    If grass health does not pick up, that could mean that you have a more severe case. Core aeration may be necessary for your lawn. It is best performed in fall. If you have badly compacted soil, that is another reason to aerate your lawn.

    You have three options when it comes to core aeration:

    • Hire a lawn service to do the job.
    • Rent a core aerator.
    • Buy an aerator.

    The average homeowner should be able to either hire a lawn service or to rent a core aerator. When it comes to buying, not only is cost an issue but so is storage. Dethatching a lawn by means of a core aerator is probably not going to be a yearly task. Whenever it is not in use, this large piece of equipment will be taking up space in your garage or storage shed. An exception might be made if you own a tractor or a riding lawn mower because you can buy an attachment for these machines that will allow you to aerate your lawn.

    If you are not physically up to the job, do not live near a rental center, or just plain do not like gadgets very much, it might make sense for you to choose to hire a lawn service to do this work. Otherwise, renting is a great option.

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    When Can You Dethatch Your Lawn

    Yes, its spring, and its also time to dethatch your lawn. Think of it as a gentle facial, if youve ever had one, that is. Think how much your yard will appreciate the cleaning and massaging of your rakes. All these actions help the grass to grow healthy and active.

    Removing the thatch from winter improves the growth and overall health of your lovely yard. Depending on where you live, you may have voles that wreak havoc through the winter months. The little devils using the snow depth as insulation and terrorizing your lawn underneath the protection of pristine white snow all winter long.

    How Often Should I Dethatch My Lawn

    The decision to dethatch your lawn should be grounded in the quality of the grass and the long-term health prospects. As mentioned earlier, any lawn with a ½ inch of thatch or less should not be bothered, as the thin layer can be quite helpful to grass development. If you have 1 inch or more of thatch, its best to conduct a formal review and determine whether or not the layer is beginning to impede grass health. If you arent comfortable conducting this assessment, you should call for the support of a lawn care expert in your area.

    Once your lawn has been successfully dethatched and re-seeded, you shouldnt need to take on a dethatching project for several years into the future. Yearly maintenance and quality checks will help ensure long term grass sustainability.

    Sodding Canada is a leading lawn care provider in the GTA. With years of experience, we have the toolkit and industry knowledge required to ensure that your lawn is restored to a beautiful, green, lush state, regardless of its current condition. To learn more about our services, or to get a project quote, contact our team today.

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    Top Reasons For Not Dethatching In The Spring

  • The biggest reason to not dethatch in the spring is that it tears up the turf when the grass is still dormant or just coming out of dormancy. This is why its not advised to dethatch every year unless your lawn actually has too much of it.
  • It is very disruptive to the top layer of soil and can encourage the growth of weeds when weed seeds are sometimes brought to the surface making it easier for them to germinate. If you have crabgrass issues the last thing you want to do is disturb the soil prior to its germination.
  • Some cool season grasses can be slow to grow in disturbed areas that were dethatched too early leaving you with bare spots in your yard.
  • Thatch build-up varies with turf type, but even still, dethatching shouldnt be a regular lawn care exercise. Unless it is absolutely necessary to, dont physically dethatch often, instead mange what you have with liquids.

    Thatch takes time to build up, and so dethatching every spring might be unnecessary and, worse still, harmful to your lawn. Because it is unlikely that if you do everything right, youll have excessive build-up in a period of one year.

    Consider dethatching every couple years if youre growing warm-season turfs and every few years if youre growing cold season turfs but always look at your conditions first, you may not ever have to dethatch if the layer doesnt ever get too thick.

    For more tips on thatch make sure to see the follow resources here on the site:

    Why Does Thatch Develop

    When should you aerate, dethatch, or level a bermudagrass lawn? // Basic Bermuda DIY Lawn Care Tips

    A thin layer of thatch is healthy for your lawn. But a thick layer can cause significant damage. Normally, organic matter should decompose at about the same rate that it builds up. This leaves your lawn in balance and prevents a thick layer of thatch. But some conditions may throw off that balance.

    One factor in thatch growth is the health and condition of your soil. In a healthy lawn, microbes in the soil help break down organic matter before it can pile up into a thick thatch layer. But when the soil is dead or sterile, there arent enough microbes to break down the growing layer of organic matter, and the thatch layer thickens. Poor pH balance can contribute to poor soil health that leads to thatch buildup. If soil pH is too low, it may be necessary to add lime. Soil that is too acidic is a poor environment for microbes. Soil can also be too alkaline, with a high pH. The ideal pH for turf growth is about 6.8, or slightly acidic. Anything higher or lower than that will lead to a less healthy lawn.

    Cultural practices can also contribute to thatch growth. Over-fertilizing with a high-nitrogen fertilizer and overwatering can cause the grass to grow too quickly. As the grass grows faster than the microbes can break down the thatch layer, it thickens.

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    Thatch: A Barrier To Healthy Lawns

    Thatch is a layer between the grass and the soil made up of interwoven accumulated dead and living grass shoots, stems, crowns, and roots. It creates a barrier between the soil and the green grass you so adore. A thin layer of thatch is goodabout a half-inch. It helps maintain steady soil moisture and temperature. It becomes problematic when its thicker.

    Thatch can harm lawns. Its difficult for water to penetrate a thick thatch layer, causing water to run off instead of soaking in. It can harbor insects and lawn diseases, and grass may begin growing in the thatch layer instead of the soil, producing shallow root systems and exposing it to greater temperature extremes. It can block air, nutrients, and pesticides from reaching the roots.

    You can tell if your lawn has a thatch problem when water runs off the lawn instead of soaking and youll begin to notice grayish-brown matts. To determine how much thatch has accumulated, cut out a wedge of lawn about two-inch deep. It should be fairly easy to identify the thatch layer between the soil and grass.

    Contributing to thatch build-up are the three things you already do to maintain your lawn: mow, water, and fertilize. Compacted soil can also contribute to thatch build-up.

    Can Aerating Hurt Your Lawn

    As long as you stick to aerating your yard just once a year and follow the steps that we suggest above then you will not be doing any damage. Aerating does put your grass under a bit of stress, but that process helps the grass to grow strongerjust like working out. It will take about 4 weeks for a lawn to fully recover from aerating so you want to make sure that you take good care of it during that time.

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    Signs Your Lawn Needs Dethatching

    So how to break up that dense layer of thatch without ripping your lawn to shreds? And how do you know when you need to?

    You must dig down in your lawn and see what you have. With a trowel or other tool, dig out several patches. If you see a half-inch or more, consider dethatching.

    Your lawn will likely exhibit other symptoms if it needs dethatching.

    Signs of excess thatch include:

    • Dry spots.
    • Increased insect problems.

    Dont remove thatch when the turf is weak or under stress, warns the Penn State Extension. That increases the chance youll injure the turf and decreases chances for its healthy recovery.

    When To Dethatch A Lawn And How Often

    When to Dethatch and Aerate Your Lawn

    It’s important to choose the right time of year to dethatch, depending upon the type of grass you have and your climate.

    Dethatching is tough on a lawn, so do it when the lawn will have the best chance to recover. Don’t dethatch if you’re in a drought or a heat wave. Ideally, there should be about 45 days of good growing conditions after you dethatch so the grass will recover without weeds taking over. Generally, late spring and early fall are the best times, but a lot depends upon your grass and whether it grows during warm or cool weather.

    Warm season grasses such as zoysia, Bermuda and buffalo shouldn’t be dethatched in March or April, when a late frost will hurt new growth. Dethatching in fall will make them weak in winter. The best time in most areas is late spring or early summer, when these grasses are growing and producing new runners. Cool season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass are less likely to need dethatching, but if they do, the best time tends to be early fall. Reseeding may be necessary after dethatching. Bluegrass also can be dethatched in early spring after it has begun to turn green.

    Read on for more good lawn care information.

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    How To Use A Dethatcher To Get Rid Of Thatch

    A lawn dethatcher is a small machine thats fitted with spring tines, which rotate and dislodge the thatch layer. Dethatchers are a great choice for less than half an inch thick thatch, and are easy to use. You just start up the machine, set the blade height and then simply pass it over the areas of grass that need dethatching.

    When To Vertical Mow

    The best time for vertical mowing is usually between late August and early October, depending on your location, because grass is growing vigorously then and should recover quickly from any damage. In addition, few weed seeds germinate at that time. A light application of fertilizer and regular watering will speed the lawns recovery after vertical mowing.

    Sam Bauer, Extension educator, Deborah Brown and Don Taylor

    Reviewed in 2018

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    When And How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn

    Aeration of lawn doesnt have a specific number of times it can be done in a year. Neither does it have a specific date.

    There are only two factors that determine when and how often you can aerate your lawns:

    • The nature of the soil
    • The period.

    You can aerate lawns once in a year if the nature of the soil is sandy soil. The aeration will only take place during the springtime.

    For clay soil, you can aerate your lawn 2 4 times in a year. This number of times will enable the lawns to receive proper water, air, and nutrients to aid their growth.

    You can also aerate your lawns during rainfall if there is no tender grass. Because aerating during spring might damage the tender grass roots.

    Aerating during the spring will create enough time for the thatch to decompose overtime.

    Especially when the spring is almost coming to an end. This process is mainly done to give the lawns more nutrients.

    Another method of aeration is before the temperature reaches 55 degree celsius during the spring period. During this period you will be able to pull enough weed in your lawns.

    If youre in the north, you can aerate your lawns during the early fall, while in the south you can aerate during the mid-spring to the early summer.

    Why Is Dethatching Important


    When thatch forms, it should act as a permeable barrier between the outside elements and the grassroots. When it becomes too thick, you end up with a whole list of problems, including dead patches throughout your lawn.

    For one, overgrown thatch throws off your balance of moisture in your lawn. Too much water can attract pests, encourage mold growth, and lead to erosion.

    Dethatching is also critical for annual maintenance steps for your lawn, such as fertilization and overseeding. By opening up the earth to the nutrients it needs, it is easier to get ahead of larger issues by accessing and remedying the soil.

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