Find Local Contractor Call: 844-251-6308
No Obligation, Free Quotes
Home > Yard & Garden > Don't Forget to Dethatch Your Lawn Before Overseeding

Don't Forget to Dethatch Your Lawn Before Overseeding

By Brett Freeman
Don't Forget to Dethatch Your Lawn Before Overseeding

For many, overseeding is an annual rite in the lawn care ritual. It is true that periodic overseeding can help keep your lawn lush and full, but it's also true that much of the grass seed that you spread is wasted. Much of the seed never comes into contact with the topsoil, so when it germinates, the newly sprouted root has nowhere to go. Dethatching removes the layer of dead grass, leaves, and other waste that could be choking back your existing lawn, and makes it easier for new grass seed to sprout and grow. If your lawn contains creeping grasses such as Bermuda or zoysia, dethatching also promotes new growth and leads to a thicker, fuller lawn.

Dethatching Options
There are two different types of dethatchers. A dethatching rake (which is also called a thatching rake--go figure) resembles a bow rake, but instead of tines it has pointed blades. The heads of these rakes are also adjustable, so you can determine the best angle of attack on your yard through trial and error. There are also dethatchers that attach to tractors or riding mowers. These dethatchers have spring-loaded metal tines that drag through your lawn. If you have a good-sized lawn and don't have a riding mower, you might want to consider hiring a landscape contractor to do the dethatching. Dethatching rakes are effective, but using them is a much more vigorous activity than using leaf rakes. You can't believe how tiring it is.

Dethatching Tips
As you begin dethatching, your initial reaction may be one of concern (or even outright horror if you are particularly fanatical about your lawn). It almost certainly appears that what you are doing is causing irrevocable harm to your grass. Fear not, that's how it's supposed to look. Over time, the thatch becomes matted down, and as you pull it up, small clumps of living grass come with it. Think of it as thinning the herd. The live grass that gets pulled out during dethatching, in most cases, has inadequate roots and is poorly established. You won't miss it and your lawn is better off without it.

Hey Lawn, Are You Gonna Eat Thatch?
Having spent both time and effort removing all of that thatch from your lawn, it might seem ludicrous to, in effect, put it back, but it's not a bad option, and it's much easier than raking and bagging it. If your lawn mower has mulching blades, you can simply mow the thatch back into the grass. The mulching blades chop it up into tiny pieces that quickly decompose, feeding your lawn as they do so. You can also recycle thatch by putting it under mulch in planting beds or by adding it to a compost heap.

Find a Local Landscaper
Enter Your Zip Code:


THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.