How to Dethatch a Lawn

How to Dethatch a Lawn

While thatch is a necessary, natural and beneficial part of all lawns, it becomes a real problem when it increases to excessive amounts. This then has many detrimental effects on the lawn and must be dealt with effectively to remove the problem.

What is Thatch and why is it important to remove it?

There are several methods used to dethatch lawns and with a little understanding of each process – you should be able to choose the method best suited to your own lawn.

Methods of Removing Thatch

Low cut lawn mowing

This method of detaching is best suited only for warm-season grasses which have runners and is most suitable for the grasses which have underground runners called rhizomes. This includes lawns such as Couch which can easily repair from the low cutting process.

Low cutting involves mowing at a very low height to remove the entire thatch layer. This can be done with one single mowing, or may more easily be done with several passes being used – each time lowering the mowing height until all the thatch is removed.

This method can be very slow and dirty and will produce an enormous amount of waste matter which must be considered and planned for before work begins. Overall, it has no benefits over Vertimowing, is not suitable for cool-season grasses. For lawns mowed with a Cylinder Lawn Mower, a far greater result will be gained from Vertimowing.

Lawn Coring Machine in Action

Lawn coring

Lawn coring is done with a lawn coring machine which is taken over a lawn’s surface and punches out plugs of soil, thatch and grass, leaving hundreds or thousands of holes in the surface.

Lawn coring is primarily done for the purpose of increasing drainage and aeration of the lawn soil. However, it also has the added benefit of removing some of the thatch layers of the lawn. Lawn coring should only be used as a supplemental method of dethatching, as it is not overly effective, and will have little effect on heavily thatched turfs.

The best use for lawn coring, as a method of dethatching, is for cool-season grasses which have no runners to regenerate from and which make them unsuitable for other dethatching methods.

Cool-season grasses will benefit greatly from lawn coring on a yearly basis, which will routinely aerate the soil as well as regularly remove and control thatch.

Vertimowing

Vertimowing really is the best method of dethatching.

Special machines are taken over the lawns surface to remove the entire thatch layer, including most of the lawn. The lawn is then left to regenerate from its above ground and below ground runners.

Apart from being the overall best method of dethatching, Vertimowing is really the only method which should be considered when our lawns are mowed with Cylinder Lawn Mowers. This is because it removes the most amount of thatch, and slightly levels the soil surface – both factors which will benefit the process of Cylinder Lawn Mowing.

The process of Vertimowing is a very dirty job which is highly laborious and produces a lot of waste material. For these reasons, it really is best to hire a professional contractor to do the work and to be assured the work is done properly and at a single session.

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