Dethatching Your Lawn Using a Power Rake

Using A Power Rake On Your Lawn

When you have a lot of dead plant material piling up on your lawn, a power rake is an excellent way to remove that excess debris. A power rake can be used to remove dead leaf pile up in the fall or grass trimmings after you have cut the grass and trimmed the weeds. That type of heavy thatch is not good for the lawn because it can actually choke the grass by cutting it off from nutrients and water. If you use a weed killer or insect killer on your lawn, then it might not be reaching the insects or weeds because the build up creates a barrier between the chemicals and the weeds and insects.

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With the build up, it is also common to notice an increase in runoff from watering as well. Using a power rake, which is also sometimes referred to as a lawn dethatcher, is beneficial for your lawn because it helps to improve the nutrient flow and the water flow to grass and plants in the lawn. Dethatching your lawn also helps to promote the growth of new grass since it offers better access to water and nutrients.


When To Dethatch Your Lawn

When you start to notice a thatch layer, you might be ready to pull out the lawn thatcher from the shed to get busy thatching the lawn. Not all layers of thatch are a bad thing. In fact, a healthy layer should not be removed by a power dethatcher because it actually offers some benefits. As long as the thatch is under three-quarters of an inch in height, it is reducing heat stress on the lawn and protecting the soil from erosion. But when it gets higher than that, you should get your power rake dethatcher ready to remove some thatch.


It is best to use power rakes when the soil in dry instead of wet. With wet soil, the lawn tool runs the risk of pulling up live plants that you want to actually keep in the ground. Since there is generally more moisture present in the spring, it is usually better to use your lawn dethatcher in the fall. However, spring ranks second for the best time of year for thatching a lawn. You should also avoid dethatching your lawn in the summer because of the heat stress on the grass. Since the power rake can bruise the live plants, the heat stress can make it harder for the live plants to recover from those bruises. The end result is that you can actually end up killing the plants without meaning to do so.


Other instances when you might be ready to bring out the power rakes are when you are preparing for seeding or aeration. Dethatching before you aerate the lawn makes the process more effective. The same is true when preparing for the growing season. It can be difficult for seeds to sprout and grow strong when there is a layer of dead plant debris on the ground.

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