The Lawn Dethatcher Operation: How it Works

Simply put, the lawn dethatcher is a gardening tool used for removing thatch. Thatch if left unattended will choke out water, nutrients, and everything else that makes grass thrive. This will result in yellowing and eventual withering of grass. To get rid of thatch requires an effective lawn dethatcher or aerator. Any of the tools is essential for the attainment of a healthy and impressive lawn.

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Thatch Build-Up

Thatch refers to the unwanted debris, dead roots, leaves, or moss that accumulates within the grass overtime. The rate at which the material builds up is dependent on various factors – management practices, application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and too much watering. The accumulated thatch creates a dead yellow layer that appears on the surface of the grass. The final impact of the invasion is stunted grass that dies with time.

As soon as you feel a spongy layer below the grass surface while mowing, that tells you it is time to dethatch your lawn. The lawn dethatcher will help eliminate thatch. You may as well rent a power dethatcher if you do not own one. It will be wise to rent a dethatching machine if you need to dethatch an area of 1500 ft² or more. Even after renting a power dethatcher you will still need dethatching rake so as to work on those areas that are inaccessible to the power dethatcher. The rake should only be used after running the power dethatcher two times over the grass.

After dethatching, the most important activities to conduct are fertilizing and seeding the lawn. These are essential after lawn recovery which might take 4 to 6 months. Once the grass begins to grow after dethatching, it will look much better and healthier.

Alternatives for Thatch Removal

  • Biological or liquid dethatchers – this is basically a chemical composition that accelerates the decomposition of thatch. The chemical is usually applied on the lawn using a spray bottle and does not take a lot of effort to undertake. However, it gives inconsistent results.
  • Attachments to the lawn mower – there are various attachments that can be connected to the lawn mower for use in dethatching. This is quite an affordable option given the cost of a lawn dethatcher and aerator. Nonetheless, the mowers may wear and tear fast when connected to these attachments frequently. Do your homework before pursuing this option. One thing to note though is that the experts do not recommend this alternative.

The Lawn Dethatcher

When it comes to lawn care, you can never do without a lawn dethatcher. The design of a dethatcher is similar to that of a lawnmower. However, a lawnmower is built with blades that spin horizontally. The blades of the dethatcher spin vertically. It nurtures the grass by removing thatch instead of cutting them down. The lawnmower on the other hand cuts the grass so as to allow fresh growth to begin.

Operating the Lawn Dethatcher

The lawn dethatcher is not complicated to operate. Once you begin using it you realize how easy it is to operate the machine. Here is a simple way of using the lawn dethatcher:

  • Start the machine – this is your first step. The choke should be on before the machine is started.
  • Once the machine has started, you can put the choke lever to run.
  • When starting the engine ensure the lawn dethatcher is positioned at the corner of the yard.
  • Setup the dethatcher blades into the right height and width. The blades should be setup such that they barely scrape the surface of the soil. They should never plunge too deep into the soil. If you begin dethatching and notice it is ripping off the grass then you should adjust the depth upwards.
  • While going over the lawn, maintain a steady pace. Do not be too slow or too fast. Keep an easy pace and you will get excellent results. Any remaining thatch can be removed using a manual rake. With the thatch now removed all that needs to be done is to collect it in piles for disposal.

Lawn Dethatcher and Aerator – what is the Difference?

The lawn dethatcher is simply the tool that removes thatch but the lawn aerator creates holes in the ground. The duo when used hand in hand will deliver the best results. The main purpose of using the aerator after dethatching is to boost the infiltration of water, air, and essential nutrients within the soil.

  • Features of the Dethatcher

The lawn dethatcher is very effective when removing thatch. Its multiple set of blades cut through the thatch and the rake combs out the thatch. When compared to the aerator you find the dethatcher to be ideal if you desire to improve the appearance of the entire lawn. If dethatching precedes fertilizing then it guarantees maximum absorption of nutrients.

One of the major setbacks associated with the dethatcher is that it wears and tears fast when overloaded and overused. It also requires regular maintenance since it is made up of various moving parts.

  • The Aerator Features

The aerator unlike the dethatcher is lighter. It is pretty easy to use and does not take up lots of storage space. Its design is straight-forward and there are literally dozens of options to choose from on the market. Since it is light that means you will not strain your muscles when operating it. Furthermore, it is a low maintenance tool.

The aerator also has its share of drawbacks. It is not effective in removing thatch and can never dislodge stubborn debris.

A Final Word

Irrespective of the implement you choose for dethatching it is important to understand what you will be using prior to making a purchase. The lawn dethatcher is available in various brands and models and that is why it is important to carry out own research before you buy. Check out the product features, pros and cons, benefits in our dethatcher reviews. In this day and age you can never afford to buy anything blindly.