How to Properly De-Thatch Your Lawn and When to Do It

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Are you tired of paying "lawn care experts" to remove the dead grass from your lawn every year? Well with a little bit of initiative you can do this yourself to make your lawn more beautiful and help the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • A power de-thatcher or walk-behind lawn mower with de-thatching attachment.
  • Time and energy
  • The first thing you will need is the proper equipment. If your town has a rental store, most likely you can rent a power rake from them. These machines are as simple to run as an ordinary lawn mower and are cheaper to rent than paying someone else to do it. If you don't have access to a power rake, you can usually buy an attachment that mounts in place of your blade that will power rake your lawn.

  • With the equipment ready, you will want to set the height of the unit so the blades or tines of the rake just barely scrape the dirt of your lawn. Too deep and you will wear out the blades or tines, too shallow and you will not get a proper raking. Make sure the unit is not running when adjusting the height!

  • With the unit running begin moving slowly back and forth across your lawn ensuring you are covering the whole area. When done properly, the power rake or mower should be pulling up quite a bit of dead grass. It is normal that some live grass will be pulled up also.

  • The best times to power rake your lawn are in late fall or early spring. This ensures that you will not be pulling up as much live grass that has grown through the thatch, or dead grass.

  • Once you have fully raked your lawn, you can either dispose of the dead grass or use it for composting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your lawn may look destroyed initially after raking, don't despair, the new grass will now have room to grow in and create a more lush, verdant lawn.
  • Be aware to use gloves and proper eye protection with power equipment.
  • Be sure to follow all warning labels on the equipment.
  • If under 18, please consult an adult before beginning this project.

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