I just bought a new house with 2 and 1/2 acres of land and it needs a
serious detatching. If I powerrake the lot do I need to rake it up (seems
like a lot of work - unless I borrow a tractor with a bag attachment)? Or,
do I just leave the clippings on the lawn? This second option seems like it
would defeat the purpose of detatching in the first place.
Secondly, can I aerate right after I detatch? If so, do I need to flag all
67 heads of my sprinkler system heads so they don't get aereated?
Lastly, the entire lawn is Kentucky Blue Grass. Is it best to use a
different type of grass when I overseed?
Sorry to be the newb today. I am just getting going on how to take care of
my lawn. Thanks.
There are 10 types of people in this world.
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Leaving the thatch would defeat the purpose. Once it's raked out of the turf, it
should move around fairly easily. You can sort-of roll it up into balls like
tumbleweeds, and then collect the balls.
Yes, you can aerate after dethatching. You can even leave the plugs on the lawn.
Most grass seed comes in mixes. Generally a lawn isn't going to be a single
monoculture of grass, but a mix. What that mix is will be dependant on a number
of factors: Your climate, your soil type, the exposure to sunlight, and
irrigation plans are some of the big ones. Check with your county extension
office to see what mixes they recommend for your conditions. Then, if they don't
give you specific brand names, you can go to your local stores, and start
reading the labels to find a mix that matches or comes close to what you need.
The best time to renovate a lawn is after the heat of summer, just before the
rains of fall, with long enough time for new root development before any winter
frost. Spring is the second best time, but you may run into problems with wet
turf while you're dethatching and aerating, and then you may need to manually
water the lawn after seeding. You might want to consider whether your time would
be better spent on other new house issues, put up with a so-so lawn this summer,
and hit it full-on in the fall. The exact window of time is dependant upon the
climate where you are.
How do you know it has enough thatch to need to be dethatched? Have
you done a watering or core test?
Most likely you'll want to make sure they're not getting spiked. Why do you
think aeration is needed?
To what purpose? What do you want to do with your lawn? How much work
do you want to put into it? Where are you? What's your soil type? How much
My strong suggestion: pick up a copy of Rodale's Chemical Free Yard and Garden,
and read the beginning chapters on soil, water, climate, etc, as well as the
chapters on lawn. You should come away with a fairly sound understanding of
the factors influencing plant growth, and some of the ways to have a green
thumb without spending a fortune and hours and hours of time. From my
viewpointa s a botanist, the advice is correct, although I'm not an organic
gardener (I garden on the LISA model). Certainly, if you understand the
basis of plant growth, you'll have better results even if you do choose to
garden on a high-input model.
If your yard has significant thatch, it's fairly certain it's been over-
fertilized and/or watered too shallowly and/or improperly mown for a signficant
period of time. Correct those factors, and you'll have a nice lawn without
all that folderol.
Kay Lancaster firstname.lastname@example.org
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