Detatch large plot

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David wrote:

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.
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How do you know it has enough thatch to need to be dethatched? Have you done a watering or core test? http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/TURF/MAINTAIN/thatch.html http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr54/agr54.pdf http://cahe.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/tv_2002/tv031602.html

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 shade?

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 snipped-for-privacy@fern.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.