thatch

I live in NJ. Should I rake up all the thatch in early spring or leave it down on grass? My lawn is pretty healthy with very little weeds. When should I fertilize and aerate?
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Time to aerate is in the fall.
If you have over 1/2" thatch, I'd thatch during fall as well. Fall is best time.
Fertilize in early spring with pre-emergent and 6 to 8 weeks later. Then again late fall with just winterizer fertilizer. If you reseed, do that after aeration. Don't forget to lime if needed. Lime can be done anytime.
Thunder
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What's wrong with spring?
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Come summer all the effort done during spring dies from heat and water loss.
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Rolling Thunder wrote:

What dies? The holes you punch in the lawn, or the fertilizer? Or the person who did the work?
If you mean that dethatching, aerating and fertilizing in the spring will cause more of the lawn to die than if you hadn't done anything, I'd disagree. The lawn that survived the winter has a root system that will allow it to survive all but the most abnormal summer. Yes, it'll go dormant if you don't water it, but it will go dormant if you don't water it regardless of whether or not you dethatched, aerated and fertilized in the spring.
Now if he were also to re-seed, the new grass may not have enough of a root system to survive the summer without a lot of watering, but if the choices are to re-seed and have it not survive, or leave it bare, I'd still seed in the spring, though possibly with a mix that includes more annual grass, and plan on doing more serious re-seeding in fall.
For a cool season lawn, detatching, aerating and fertilizing in the fall is better than the spring. But spring is the second best time to do it. But if the lawn is in bad enough shape, doing nothing until fall may only allow things to get worse. Nothing is going to die because of dethatching, aerating and fertilizing in the spring.
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wrote:

Aerating in the spring just opens things up for summer weeds. Wait until fall to do aeration and reseeding.
Thunder
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Hrmmm...I thought you might say something about the plugs not being in your way during the growing season. Nice try anyway.. :)
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The normal small amount of material on a lawn is not thatch. Thatch is a dense thick layer that most lawns do not have, so it;s unlikely he needs to dethatch.
I agree that spring is fine to aerate. Not sure that fall vs spring is that big of an issue.
For spring fertilizer, I'd wait till about 3rd week in April, then apply a combo fertilizer/crab grass preventer. If you do it when the forsythias blown, that is about optimal. Then fertilize again in early sept, them mid-oct. Test/adjust PH as needed.
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