I apologize if anyone has a problem with me posting this question here,
but this group is so knowledgeable, in everything it seems, that I
wanted to try to get some help.
The man who thatches our yard is no longer available. I have heard that
you can buy a 21" thatching blade and attach it to your lawnmower.
Has anyone tried this, and is it hard work? I was going to use my
lawnmower to pick up the dead grass, after thatching, and avoid the
hard job of raking.
Properly done, with a dethatching machine, de-thatching is like combing
your hair to get the loose hairs out. Visualize a comb whose teeth can
swing up and down, and you'll get an idea of how a dethatching machine
operates. The swinging flails on a dethatching machine comb over the
lawn and - this protects your lawn from damage and you from flying
objects - bounce back when they hit an obstruction.
In other words, the dethatcher's action is a down-and-up motion to 'comb
out' some of the excess thatch and crud from your grass.
Lawnmower blades rotate over the top layer of the lawn. They are not
design to move downward into the thatch layer. So-called dethatching
blades are usually lawnmower blades with a couple of finger-shaped metal
springs attached to the ends. As the blade rotates, the stubby ends of
the springs dig into the lawn and rip out some of the crud.
But, being they are attached to a blade which is set at a fixed distance
from the ground, they cannot 'comb through' the grass to dislodge most
of the thatch.
Lawn tractors and riding mowers sometimes have dethatching rake
attachments available, which do 'comb through' the grass to remove some
of the thatch. However, because the individual blades do not have the
swinging flail action of a dethatching machine, they will not remove as
much thatch as would a dethatching maching. Still, they work better than
the cheapo lawnmower thatching blades.
If you want the job done right, you will probably want to call around to
some local garden centers, nurseries, or independent hardware stores,
and see if they offer this service or can refer you to someone who does.
Remember not to do this job(if you're doing this in the spring) until
the lawn is fully dried, so the healthy grass plants won't be torn out
of the soft ground. Dethatching increases the likelihood of annual weed
seeds, like crabgrass, sprouting in your lawn, so after dethatching, at
the right date for your area (call your county extension office), you
may want to apply a preemergent crabgrass preventer.
Find someone else to do the job or rent a dethatcher to do the job. you
lawnmower is made to cut grass, by changeing the blade to do other jobs you
are trying to make it do a job it is not designed for and can result in
damage to the lawnmower.
The thatching blades will work to a point. If you have a heavy lawn you will
be surprised at the amount of stuff you will get off the lawn when you use
the thatch blade. When your done you will need to mow the lawn with the
regular blade to remove the rest of the thatch. I used to get 30 bags when I
If you really want to do it right after you thatch then you need to get a
pro machine that pokes holes called coring. The area of grass that grows and
makes it lush is called the RYE zone. Coring holes in the ground creates
drainage and removes some of the root system. Causing the grass to grow at a
fanatic rate. Fertilizer after this is excellent.
Thatch removal, which scratches the surface is good every year. Coring ever
other year. IMO
The lawnmower blade thatchers will do the job - sort of. My
experience is that they beat what remains of the grass to a pulp.
Any footsteps or other compression of the treated surface
compresses the "pulp" into an organic mat which the grass will
have a hard time growing through. Frequent raking can alleviate
the problem. It is probably better to rent a real thatcher.
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