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Top 7 Benefits of Dethatching Your Yard

Posted by Nate Bahler on Oct 20, 2020 12:49:09 PM
Nate Bahler

For starters - what is thatch?

Thatch is the layer of organic material between grass and soil that consists of the build up of living and dead grass and leaves. 

A thatch layer of about a 1/4 inch can be beneficial to your lawn and can help soil retain moisture and maintain a steady soil temperature. 

More than a 1/4 inch of thatch can be harmful to your lawn. When the thatch layer becomes TOO thick it actually prohibits moisture from getting to your soil. 

A thatch layer that is too thick will hold moisture above the root system, not allowing any moisture to penetrate your soil.

Lawn Thatch

This discourages your grass from searching for moisture down below it and building a deep root system. Instead, you will see tangled, shallow roots growing in every direction but downwards. 

A build up of thatch can kill grass, threaten soil health, and be a breeding ground for pests and lawn diseases. 

Top 7 benefits of dethatching:

  • Improves drainage.

  • Allows nutrients, water, and air to penetrate soil.

  • Improves root growth.

  • Allows fertilizer to more easily reach soil

  • Stimulates existing grass roots and encourages new root growth.

  • Help prepare a lawn for reseeding or overseeding by allowing more room for new seed to have soil contact and gives it a better chance of germinating. 

  • Promotes healthy grass which in turn helps fight weeds. 

What is the difference between Core Aeration and Dethatching?

A dethatcher is a device that's mounted on a mower and covered in metal tines that cut through a lawn's thatch layer. 


The main difference between dethatching and Core Aeration is that a dethatcher's purpose is to remove debris and decayed matter from a lawn. Core Aeration pulls 2 inch plugs of soil from a lawn that will include both soil and thatch. Microbes in the soil will help decompose thatch as they are released and work there way down through thatch.

How often should I dethatch my lawn?

We recommend thatching your lawn once each year.  The best time of year for this is Spring after debris builds up over winter.

Pro tip: Try to avoid dethatching in the summer - this can destroy the root zone. 

How do I dethatch my lawn?

  1. Manually: A short-tined rake with curved blades made to pull up thatch as you rake. 
  2. Power Rake: A walk behind "mower-like" machine that will pull up thatch as you walk behind it. 
  3. Hire a Professional.

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