De-Thatching Your Lawn

Psst…. come here…I have a FABULOUS New Workout Regime for you try out.  Guaranteed to melt away any and all fat left on your body ~ If you live through it….

It is called ‘De-Thatching Your Lawn’….

and it is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish in your lawn care maintenance program.  If you have one that is.  Maybe you are the type that just ignores the grass and lets Mother Nature take it wherever she wants…like dandelion puffs blowing in the wind.

Not us though, we have been known to be a tad overzealous in our lawn care here at our City Homestead…and speaking of dandelion puffs, soon, there will be front lawns everywhere sporting coats of bright, yellow petals, which will turn into aforementioned puffballs only to continue to menace the urban landscape.  Dandelions are certainly one of Nature’s amazingly hardy and persistent producers.

But back to de-thatching, which is the main topic here after all.  All summer, we mulch our grass clippings after mowing to keep the lawn from drying up too quickly in the heat, but come Spring, grass roots need a good aerating so that the weed n’ feed stuff can get down into the roots.  All those grass clippings from last year prevent that from happening, so…you need to de-thatch.

First, you need one of these funky looking rakes, kind of looks like it could have been used as a medieval torture device….

DSC09484You adjust the position of the rake to the handle so that one side is more vertical than the other, this allows you to really dig down deep to dislodge all the old grass clippings.  For areas that are newly sodded or seeded, turn it around so you have more of an angle for raking, thereby being careful not to dig up the newly laid sod.

Once you have set one of these things in motion, it won’t be long until your upper back, neck and your arms are screaming ‘UNCLE!!!’  Forget tricep extensions at the gym, give one of these babies a try instead.  Like horseback riding, you will discover muscles the next day you never knew you had.  Oh…and it will take you forever to get your lawn done as it is tediously (tortuously?) slow going.  We have been working on ours off and on for over a week, rain thankfully let us rest our weary muscles in between bouts.

Here is what a patch of UN-thatched grass looks like…full of flat, matted, yellowed grass…

DSC09474and here is the after shot…the grass is all fluffed up, like newly permed hair, and you can actually see the earth in and around the blades of grass.

DSC09476 copySee all that thatch in a pile? That is just pulled from about 1 square foot…times many, many, many more hundreds of square feet to go…it is back-breaking work, and thankfully only done once a year.  Then you can spread your weed n’ feed fertilizer and you are well on your way to having a nice, healthy, lush, green lawn…if you care too that is….

Now that I have finished my de-thatching, you can find me in the hot tub, soothing my aches and pains away…for like the next week straight…

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