Our Guide to Lawn Dethatching

If you are in the process of preparing your garden for the spring, you will likely come across the term ‘lawn dethatching’. Spring is the perfect time to help generate some more growth and ensure your lawn is ready for the hotter months. But what exactly is lawn dethatching? Is it the same as lawn aeration, and why is it worthwhile for your lawn?

As mowing and lawn care experts, we at Jim’s Mowing have put together this easy and concise guide to answering all your questions! We explain why lawn dethatching is important and how you can achieve stellar results on your own lawn.

What is lawn dethatching?

Lawn Dethatching guide- jim's mowing

Lawn dethatching involves the removal of the thatch layer on your lawn. This thatch layer is dead plant material which has accumulated on the lawn due to overwatering, excess fertiliser, and/or compacted soil. While this layer can be highly beneficial to your lawn in the winter, protecting from harsh frosts and helping to retain moisture, it can also prevent air, nutrients and water from reaching the roots of your lawn.

Why is lawn dethatching important?

There are numerous benefits for dethatching your lawn! Some of the main benefits for dethatching include boosting air circulation which helps promote drainage and avoid compaction. This is important as it helps prevent your lawn from becoming waterlogged and fungal diseases from emerging.

As mentioned above, the thatched layer can prevent your lawn from accessing the nutrients it needs which can prevent growth. By dethatching your lawn, the roots will be able to produce new growth and absorb the nutrients completely.

Aside from the health benefits, lawn dethatching is also beneficial aesthetically. The thatch layer can make your grass appear thin, uneven and even brown and yellow. Dethatching is an easy way to ensure your lawn is looking great again!

How to prevent thatch from occurring

While some thatching is considered normal, excessive thatch is caused by frequent and shallow watering, compacted soil, and the overuse of fungicides and fertilisers. You can help prevent thatching from occurring in your lawn by watering deeply (water the roots, not just the grass surface) and using your fertilisers in moderation. Performing regular lawn aeration is recommended to prevent the soil from becoming compact.

Lawn dethatching by the experts

How to dethatch your lawn

Follow our simple steps below to dethatch your lawn.

1) Choose the right time

Although it does depend on the variety of grass you have, usually the best time to dethatch your lawn is the early spring. If you are experiencing minimal thatch then it’s best to only detach your lawn once a year. However, if your lawn is often affected by thatch (which is thicker than half of an inch) then it’s best to detach a couple times a year.

2) Hand vs machine

There are a few types of methods that you can use to dethatch your lawn. If you are using a dethatcher, please read the operating instructions carefully and dethatch your lawn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, you can dethatch your lawn by hand with the use of a garden rake.

3) Mow your grass

Before you start using your rake, first mow your lawn with your lawn mower. Ensure that you mow the grass to a short level as this will prevent damage to your grass and enable you to see the thatched layer easily.

4) Loosen the soil

Using your garden rake, loosen the soil slightly. This will help remove the thatch layer more easily.

5) Detach with rake

If you are using a specialised dethatching rake, simply rake along the grass and the sharp teeth will loosen and remove the thatch. In the case of using an ordinary rake, you may need to apply more pressure to the grass and soil to bring up the thatch material. Pull the thatch off the lawn and dispose of it in a green waste bin.

6) Mow your grass again

To ensure all thatch is removed from the lawn, simply mow your lawn again.

7) Top dress your lawn

Following the dethatching of your lawn, apply top soil to your lawn and spread it evenly across the grass.

Dethatching by the experts

Not confident in dethatching your lawn yourself? You can get the trusted professionals at Jim’s Mowing to detach your lawn instead! They will be able to ensure your lawn is dethatched at the right time and remove the layer of dead material without damaging your precious grass.

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