Keep Your Lawn Soft: Don’t Forget to Dethatch!

Dethatching your lawn is one of the most overlooked spring cleaning items for your yard. Be sure not to overlook it if you want your lawn  barefoot-ready come July. I am surprised by how little people know about this very important step to lawn maintenance. We recently wrote, Oregon Lawn Fertilization, covering tips, how to, and ideas around fertilizing your lawn and feeding it the proper nutrients. If you skip the dethatching process, you could be negating all of your fertilization work. Grass lawns that are not properly dethatched regularly have trouble absorbing water and minerals.

What is Thatch?

All Oregon Landscpaing handle dethatching your lawn

 Thatch is a layer of living and dead grass stems and roots and is the natural consequence of a healthy lawn. A little thatch is good. That is what cushions bare feet on grass. Too much thatch (1/2″ to 3/4″), and needed water, air and nutrients will not readily penetrate into soil below the lawn. When thatch is too thick, the lawn becomes green on top and brown on the bottom. The bottom can sometimes appear dead. After mowing, lawns with too much thatch can appear to have been “scalped”, with only the brown, crusty looking layer of grass remaining at the surface.

How to Dethatch Your Lawn

The majority of lawns in Oregon are planted with Bentgrass which usually requires annual dethatching. This is best done in late March to early May, so anytime in April is perfect. Making sure to dethatch every year will make it easier. When it is neglected, the task of dethatching your lawn becomes arduous. The easiest method for homeowners to dethatch their yard themselves is to rent a dethatcher.  There are generally two types, the flail-type and the solid knife-type. The solid knife-type is better for Bentgrass lawns. If you are old fashioned, you can dethatch your lawn using a thatching rake. If you rent a dethatcher, be sure to set the blades high up off of the ground (about 1/4″). They should not touch the soil. Setting the blades too low will cause more damage to the lawn than if you hadn’t dethatched. When the dethatcher is ready, make between 1 and 5 passes across the lawn until most of the thatch is removed. Then dispose of thatch waste with compost or yard waste. Be sure not to add to compost if you have used chemical fertilizers to treat the grass!

Let All Oregon Landscaping Experts Handle Dethatching Your Lawn


Does this sound too complicated? Are you too busy? Don’t want to rent a dethatcher? Let All Oregon Landscaping handle the hassle of dethatching your lawn. We have trained professionals who know all the nuances of making sure your lawn is impeccable for those summer barbecues. You focus on the steaks, we’ll handle the grass! We work throughout Oregon in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Sherwood, Tigard, Gresham  Oregon City, West Linn, Tualatin, Hillsboro, and more. Whether your lawn is big or small, call us today for help with dethatching, fertilizing, mowing, or re-designing your outdoor space into the yard of your dreams.

Photo 1 courtesy of Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.


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