How To Dethatch A Lawn

-[Curtis Smith] Welcome to Southwest Yard and Garden. I’m Curtis Smith. It’s March in New Mexico, the time when a.

-[Curtis Smith] Welcome to Southwest Yard and Garden. I’m Curtis Smith. It’s March in New Mexico, the time when a
lot of people are beginning to think about their gardens and their lawns. The
wind’s blowing, but it’s time to be out in the yard preparing some things. But
you know dethatching a lawn like this is kind of a hard way to do it. Today we’re
at Four Hills mobile home park, in Albuquerque, with Chris Reno. And Chris
Reno, you worked for a landscape company that gets to do a lot of these kind of
things. -[Chris Reno] That’s true Curtis. -[Curtis] This isn’t the way you do it, is it? -[Chris] It’s not the way I do it. This is kind of a back-breaking way to
do it. If you have small pieces of lawn it can be good, but for the most part I’d
kind of like to use the bigger equipment. -[Curtis] What kind of equipment? -[Chris] Basically, I use a motorized dethatcher. It does a real great job, and if you’d like to go over
and take a look at one, we could look at one right now. -[Curtis] Let’s go take a look at it. -[Chris] Sounds great. [dethatcher] -[Curtis] Well Chris, this looks like it does a lot
better job than muscle power. -[Chris] I got to say, this will save you back on a windy
day like this. As you can see, Jason has the power
thatcher here. Power thatcher does a lot better job, and like you said it’ll save
your back by the end of the day. Jason if you’d lean it back for me. As
you can see, this has basically a lot of different teeth that all go in the same
direction. You’re basically giving it a good comb out. Taking out both the dead
stuff, and the thatch which is down below. -[Curtis] We ought to show people what thatch is, so they know what they are working on. -[Chris] That’s really true you know–when you get into your lawn, basically you’ve got several different layers. Let
me take a small sample here. Basically on most lawns. -[Curtis] You’ve got your good soil down deep. -[Chris] You’ve got your nice soil, and then you’ve got your root level. Root level depth will change
obviously with the grass type. But all of them put on the thatch level up on top
in between, you know, and what it does basically is it it just stifles the
ground. It stops the oxygen and sunlight from being able to do what it’s supposed
to do. -[Curtis] Defined as the dead stems and roots that are here. It’s not the leaves.
-[Chris] Exactly. -[Curtis] It’s this which becomes a sponge so when you irrigate, it holds the water so the water doesn’t get down into the soil, so you
wind up with a shallow root system which dries very quickly. -[Chris] Exactly. -[Curtis] Half an inch
of thatch is a cushion so it protects the crown of the grass when you walk on it,
and play on it, and things like that. But when it’s over half an inch it becomes a
problem, and that’s when you need to use a dethatcher and remove the thatch. -[Chris] Exactly. And the thing you want to remember with a dethatcher, you’re not trying to till the ground. You’re basically just trying to take the top layer off, give it a nice comb. -[Curtis] It kinda looks like combing, just brushing it out. -[Chris] Basically that’s exactly what it’s
doing. And we’re lucky enough to have a nice machine here that self bags itself.
So that, on a windy day like this you’re not chasing your thatch all over the
yard. yeah yeah you would have to rake it -[Curtis] Yeah, you would have to rake it otherwise, but today it’s gone. -[Chris] Well on days like today, you can’t really count on days like today. But yeah the rake, we kinda left it behind this afternoon. -[Curtis] And what do you recommend to do with the thatch after it’s been removed from the ground? -[Chris] Basically, the best thing to do with the thatch is put it into your compost pile, and make sure that you
add water, you add other things on top of it. Because this stuff is a little drier,
and it does take a little bit longer for it to break down. But certainly, the
nitrogen that you know that this represents, this is the good stuff. We got
to remember to use it and not throw it in our landfills. -[Curtis] Or if you’ve got a grass, like
Bermuda grass or something, you need to be careful so that you’re not putting
something it’s gonna spread. -[Chris] That’s very true. And on Bermuda grass, you’re not really wanting to thatcher Bermuda grass very often anyway. It being a vine
type grass, it really has a tendency to get torn up during the process. -[Curtis] Okay, but in some areas the thatch will get very deep on Bermuda. -[Chris] No doubt about it. I’m not saying
that you never dethatch it, but you got to be real careful when you do because it’s pretty tender. -[Curtis] How often do you recommend dethatching cool season grass? -[Chris] Quite
frankly I dethatch maybe every three-four years. But like you said you always go
off of what your grass tells you. If it has a deep thatch level, then you want to
go ahead and thatch it. And if it doesn’t need it, by all means there’s other things you could do for your lawn that would be much better. -[Curtis] I think Chris, we ought to look at what it looks like after you finished dethatching here. -[Chris] That would be great. As you can see here Curtis we’ve got the–stuff that we have
not thatched yet, and then you’ve got the dethatched area. The dethatched area you’ve got a lot more of the green sprigs showing, and we can actually get some sunlight, moisture, and oxygen down into this root system. -[Curtis] This has already pulled some
of–you know combed out some of thatched material. -[Chris] Exactly. And you don’t really want to go
too deep because if you start getting into root damage, of course, then we have
to do other things to try and fix those problems. The main thrust of what
you want to do this time of the year is just make sure that you’re getting some
of the stuff off there. It can take a couple more cold spells. Basically it’s
the warm days when the soil is warming up that you really want to try and, you
know, give to the to the grass. -[Curtis] An important factor if we did this in the
spring before the growth began, so now we’ve done some damage to it, it can
recover in that time. -[Chris] Exactly. -[Curtis] Chris, thank you very much. This is
something people really ought to know. -[Chris] It was a pleasure having you out. You can come out anytime. -[Curtis] Thank you. [upbeat music]

37 thoughts on “How To Dethatch A Lawn”

  1. You guys don't need to dethatch your grass, all you gotta do is set a match to it and burn it off. Jezus try giving your lawn some water once in a while. It's suppose to be green for gods sake. Better not come to Canada, we get moss and thatch that will make you run away screaming like little girls. I have a 1/2 acre and removed 47 yard bags stuffed with thatch and moss. I do that every year.

  2. Actually, it should be green all year round, dethatching a bit of grass in that state is very damaging and defiantly not something i would do.

  3. Haha gloves prevent arthritis and pre aging of hands. When you guys are 60 years old you will understand why gloves were created.

  4. Great job in explaining why it's important to dethatch a lawn. It can improve the water flow around the roots quite a bit.

  5. My dad had about a half acre of lawn that he seeded 40 years ago. The lawn has never been thatched once and it looks like a golf course, green and perfect.

  6. these hicks sound stupid and the old man is extremely grabby and rude, like shut up old man let someone else talk

  7. Unlike many of you….I wanted to learn something when I saw this. And some of you must not have any upbringing…..rude little turd birds.

  8. Chris has "Basically" disease. I did too, but basically I think I am cured of it now. Exactly why it happened I do not know. When I looked at letters I wrote to customers, I was shocked there were too many basics in them. At least I have not caught "Like" disease as yet. It could likely happen though.

  9. Ì live in the Florida and have all St Augustin grass though out my yard.
    I have only a 33 inch mulching blade, the lawn line is about 4in high after the grass is cut
    It is so dense, it's like walking in heavy sand, all the thatch is staying òn top of the lawn and I can see the previous cut thatch laying dead at the hight cut before.
    Also it's pulling up runners, what must I do to save my lawn
    Thank you, I need help
    John Gourvellec

  10. Explained Perfectly !!!!!!

    Most people think "Thick Grass" is healthy grass (Wrong)….

    Like you mentioned….the "Thatch" becomes so thick and tight (like a sponge)…that water, fertilizer, seed etc can not get to the root system.

    As we all should know….the roots of ANY Plant, Grass or Tree needs water, to grow properly !!!!!

    So rent that "De-Thatcher" at least once every 2 or 3 years and "Thin Your Thatch"….lol. Or hire a professional Gardner who provides that service ☆

    Your lawn and root system, will be able to breath, attain oxygen and receive a nice drink of water.

    Why water….if your THATCH is to thick ?
    The water will 1. Run off and 2. Never reach the roots : /

  11. my plan this spring is to dethatch the piss out of my lawn,mabye 2-4 times if need be,,then aerate it,then over seed and fertilize it

  12. I thought stolon based grass lawns (i.e. burmuda, St Augustine, seashore paspalum, kikuyu etc.) were the only type of grasses you would want to dethatch. What grass type is being dethatched in this video?

  13. Did a very good job mowing our small grass.>>>    Easy to assemble & a good value. I would highly recommend this lightweight, easy to use mower.

  14. I cut my tall fescue so often, what little thatch I have , is fine with me. It can’t even be seen unless you pull the thick carpet back and look.

    The key at least fescue is to mow high and mow often. I water and introduce a lot of nitrogen in the spring and early summer so it has adequate protection in the hottest part of the summer.

    Last time I dethatched was in 2012, and my lawn front and back have never been more healthier, thicker, or weed free.

  15. So how do you k ow if you need to dethatch? For example, when I mow my front yard, I have to put the mower to the highest level and the 'deck' still drags the ground and makes it EXTREMELY hard to push the mower. Would that be a candidate for dethatching?

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