What is Dethatching

It’s sunny, the birds are singing and your neighbor is out on his lawn in spiked shoes. He’s now raking his lawn, but there are no leaves. 

Not to worry, he’s just doing normal lawn care.


While it is essential to provide nutrients for a healthy lawn, too much thatch can cause a barrier, preventing water, oxygen, or nutrients from reaching the soil. This can ultimately harm new grass growth.

Is your lawn springy or bouncy? Is your lawn covered in water after rain? Is it possible to see soil between grass segments? A thick layer of thatch could be formed if you answer yes to any of these questions.

If you are still unsure, cut a 3 inch section of grass. You should look for the thatch under the grass blade. You should dethatch your lawn if the thatch is thicker than 1/2 inch.

Thatch Removal

Grass becoming filled with too much thatch.

There are several ways to get rid of thatch in your yard. There are two types of dethatchers: manual and automated. You should consider the following factors when choosing the right dethatcher: the height of the tatch, the size of the lawn, and how often you plan to dethatch it.

A dethatching rake is recommended for smaller lawns that have less than 1 inch of thatch. This rake causes lawn to be less stressed and works the same as a traditional one. The tines of the dethatching rake dig into the thatch and pull it forward, lifting it from your lawn.

A gas-powered dethatcher uses vertical blades to remove the thatch from the ground. If you have a thicker lawn or plan to dethatch your lawn at least once a year, these should be used.

What’s next?

Your lawn might look a bit messed up after you have finished dethatching it but don’t let that scare you!

If your lawn is damaged by dethatching, you can reseed the soil and fertilize it to increase its growth. The fertilizer should be absorbed quickly by the newly dethatched lawn. At most, dethatching should be done once a year. The majority of people can dethatch every two years.

What else can I do?

Aerate your lawn to increase air flow and nutrient absorption. See our article: How To Aerate Your Lawn

Also See: How to give your lawn a boost