How to Dethatch a Lawn with a Mower Attachment

The process of maintaining a shipshape lawn involves meticulous tasks and unwavering efforts.  But our time and effort will not always give us the best outcomes for there will be times that we need to spruce up our lawns.    

What could possibly be the problem with your lawn if you think you are giving it enough attention?  Well, it’s gotta be thatch buildup! This is one of the main reasons why lawns become unsightly.  

Thatch can be found in between the soil and the grassroots.  They are usually composed of dead stems, roots, leaves, and grass.  A little amount of thatch is harmless, but thick thatch accumulation can affect the appearance and health of your lawn.

Fortunately, thatches can be removed.  If you just have to deal with a small area of lawn, a leaf rake is already sufficient to do the job.  But for larger lawns, you will need more superior tools, and one of which is a mower attachment.  

Steps in Dethatching a Lawn 

Dethatching basically has 2 methods.  One is the use of dethatching blades, and the other is to dethatch a lawn with a mower attachment.  This article will focus on the latter.  

Step 3 : Examine your lawn if it needs to be dethatched.  

A non-problematic and healthy lawn is normally firm, but a lawn full of thatch feels spongy.  If you feel that your lawn is already quite squishy, then it most likely needs lawn dethatching.  

Step 3 : Before you dethatch your lawn, it is vital to trim the grass first.  

The height of the grass has a great effect on the effectiveness of the dethatching process.   The lower the grass, the easier it is for you to dethatch the lawn thatch.  

Turf experts suggest that the lawn must be mowed to half its tallness.  Once you’re done trimming, you can start using a lawn dethatcher.  

Step 3: Replace those cutting blades that you’re currently using with dethatching blades.  

Make sure to get the right size of dethatching blades as they come in various sizes.  The sizes will depend on the deck size of your lawn mower.  

In removing the cutting blades, simply tilt or move the mower near the end of the handle while supporting it with a weighty object.  But if you are using a riding lawnmower, place the cutting deck at the topmost position.  Make use of a riding mower lift or a ramp to get into the blades.   

Before replacing the cutting blades with dethatching mower blade, always see to it that the spark plug or electric cables are unplugged.  But if you’re using batteries, remove them first.  

Also, take note of the original position of the cutting blades before removing them.  

Step 4: When you’re done removing the cutting blades, it’s time to attach the dethatching blades.  

The springs should be installed downwards.  Once in place, tighten up the bolts.  Then, you may now reconnect the spark plug or electric cables, and load the gas tank.  

In general, dethatching blades are quite similar to regular blades.  The only distinguishing feature is that dethatching blades have either plastic or metal overhangs.  

Step 5: After the dethatching blades have been installed, mow your lawn once again. 

Maintain a mowing height that is higher than the usual level when using a regular mower.  

Now, you may begin mowing your lawn.  When mowing, consider going back and forth.  This strategy allows the springs of the dethatching blades to efficiently take out the thatches.  

Step 6: When you’ve completed the dethatching process, detach the dethatching blades and get back to your cutting blades. 

Then, mow again your lawn for the third time, and once finished, do an out-and-out examination of your lawn for leftover thatches.  The leftover thatches can be removed by just using a thatching rake.  

When you’ve completed the mowing as well as the dethatching process, gather up the grass clippings and throw them into a compost pit.  

Step 7: Reseed your lawn and cover the bald spots after dethatching it.  

Planting some grass seeds in areas affected by thatches can bring back the vivacity of your lawn.  Giving it ample time and attention will surely restore your lawn in no time.   

Step 8: Water and fertilize your lawn

After reseeding, the next step is to adequately water and fertilize your lawn evenly. The grass seeds will take about 3 to 4 weeks to grow.  

Dethatch a Lawn Frequently Asked Questions

When is the perfect time to dethatch a lawn?

The dethatching period may vary from one lawn to another as there are numerous factors that have to be considered.  Some factors include your location, the quality of your soil, the type of grass, and, of course, the climate.  

The reason why turf experts say that spring season is the best time to dethatch is because the grasses are in an active state. Furthermore, the soil has more moisture in them, which allows the lawn to grow back much quicker.  

How frequently should I perform the dethatching process? 

Experts recommend that you detach your lawn once a year.  But if you feel that your lawn has already accumulated more than enough thatches, then don’t hold back and do some dethatching.  

Which is better: dethatching or aerating?

The processes of dethatching and aerating are totally different from each other, though they are both essential in maintaining a healthy lawn.  

Dethatching is the process of removing dead grass, stems, roots, and leaves from the thatch layer.  This allows nutrients to reach the deeper areas underneath the soil.  A dethatcher is used to dethatch lawns.  

On the other hand, the process of aeration loosens dense soils and allows nutrients, water, and oxygen to penetrate from the surface to the grassroots.  In the process, holes are created to give way to the supplies needed.  A small pick may be used in aerating the lawn.  
These 2 processes go hand in hand.  You first need to aerate your lawn before dethatching it.  

Is there a need to overseed or reseed after the dethatching process?

Yes, you really need to overseed if you see patches all over your lawn.  This is to ensure that you’ll have a lush, healthy, and attractive lawn.  You should also find it important to choose high quality seeds for your lawn.  But not just that, you also need to get hold of the right grass seeds while considering the different factors.

Can I mow and dethatch my lawn at the same time?

The recommended process is that you cut or trim your lawn first at a certain height.  Then, do the dethatching process using a dethatching blade attachment on your mower. After which, mow your lawn using cutting blades.  Lastly, remove stubborn thatches using a rake.  
So, the answer to the question is NO.  There is a process that needs to be followed, which should be taken one step at a time.  Its efficiency will greatly depend on the process that you’ll take.  

Summary

Thatches, when left to grow more than it should, can be unfavorable to your lawn.  This compact layer between the soil and the grass roots obstruct the flow of oxygen, water, and nutrients into the deeper areas of the soil, which makes lawns unhealthy.  

When you spot thatches, remove them immediately before they occupy different areas in your lawn.  You can call a professional anytime to do the job for you, but it can be a bit pricey.  The best thing you can do is to dethatch your lawn with a mower attachment.