Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dethach in Early Spring or Fall

Most lawn care companies do not offer dethatching. Dethatching is time consuming and can produce as much as two pick-up truck loads of thatch. The method of collecting the thatch involves hand held rakes and tarps a labor intensive exercise.

Thatch as defined by Dr. James B. Beard is “a tightly intermingled layer of dead and living stems and roots that develops between the zone of green vegetation and the soil surface.”

To remove thatch from a lawn requires a dethatcher or power rake, depending on the thickness of the thatch, between 2 - 5 passes with the machine and raking up the removed thatch between passes.

The cost of having dethatching done by a company can run between $65- $145 per 1000 sq ft. depending on the thickness of the thatch.
So if you had a moderate amount of thatch in a 5000 sq ft lawn your cost would be around $500.

If that seems like a lot, well it is. One thing you can do to help is to Aerate every fall which will help air and water to penetrate the thatch making things easier for microbes to decompose the thatch.  Another tip water heavily and deeply once a week - Watering frequently promotes surface root growth building up your thatch layer.

A normal amount of thatch  between 1/8" - 1/4" is preferred - Anything more should be removed as it is not letting water air and nutrients penetrate into the soil.

If you feel your lawn needs dethatching you can rent a dethatcher and do the work yourself or call on the professionals.  In Montgomery County MD Seneca Gardens can help.

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