What is a dethatcher?
A dethatcher is a mechanical gardening device, used mainly to remove thatch from lawns. Often dead grass in the lawn leaves behind a layer of overgrown roots, tuber, bulb and crown. This layer is known as thatch and is very harmful to the growth of grass.
- Makes grass healthier: Dethatching the lawn helps the grass become stronger and disease-resistant. Removal of thatch also keeps away pests.
- Let in air/water: The dethatching process also allows more air, water and nutrients to reach the grass roots.
How does a dethatcher function?
- Uses rotary blades: The dethatcher makes use of rotary blades/knives to remove the existing thatch from the grass or turf. Certain dethatchers also use tines and prongs.
- Roll the dethatcher over the lawn: One may need to move the dethatcher twice or thrice over the lawn to cut out all the thatch in the area.
Certain points must be kept in mind before beginning the dethatching process:
- Know your dethatcher: Depending on their size, different lawns require different dethatchers. Certain lawns will require a power rake while others use a vertical mower or vertical slicer. It will always do the person good to have full knowledge about the type of dethatcher needed for the job.
- Understand types of blades used: It always helps to know which type of blade is required to cut which type of grass. The person can choose from different blade types like flat steel, rotating or fixed knife-life.
- Get advice on blade settings: It is very important to get advice on blade settings before using the dethatcher. One must have accurate knowledge about how far apart and deep the blades must be set. Tough grass and delicate grass both require different blade settings.
How dethatching works:
The dethatching mechanism is explained in the following steps:
- Adjust the blades: Before getting started, one must adjust the blade settings of the dethatcher. The blades must be set up in such a manner that the thatch is removed without disturbing the soil beneath. The usual height of quarter-inch above the ground may vary for different grasses.
- Highlight objects: Highlight objects in the lawn like irrigation heads so that they are visible and do not get damaged while using the dethatcher.
- Mow the grass: The first step is to mow the grass at about half the usual height.
- Run the dethatcher: Next, move the dethatcher over the lawn in such a way that the entire area is covered and all the thatch removed.
- Rake up the thatch: After dethatching, use a powerful rake to remove all the thatch that has been loosened. While mostly the thatch is thrown away, in certain cases it is used as manure.
- Water the lawn/add fertilizers: After cleaning up the lawn, one must water the area. Once dethatching is done, experts say this is the correct time to add fertilizers to the soil.
When is the correct time to dethatch?
The best time for carrying out the dethatching process is in late spring and early autumn as the grass recovers best from dethatching during these seasons. After dethatching, the grass usually needs 45 days to grow back properly.
About the Author
Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.