3. Power raking – Along with mechanical aeration, power raking the lawn is another spring clean up item on most folks to do list. The purpose of power raking is to remove dead grass from the last year, and to stimulate new growth. Think of it as giving your lawn a massage.
My dad would have us go out with a dethatcher and rake the lawn every spring. It was hard work, and I was the one who needed a massage after a couple of days of raking. Today most folks hire a contractor to mechanically power rake. The equipment will have metal or rubber tines. Observing many lawns after treatment, it appears the rubber tines are gentler on the grass. I don’t think it really matters what type of tine is used. However it is important power raking isn’t overdone. Whether you hand rake or power rake, be careful not to be too aggressive as rough treatment affects the lawn’s recovery time. I’ve seen properties after an aggressive treatment that left all the grass crowns exposed and roughed up, making it difficult for the grass to withstand spring temperature and moisture changes.
Newer lawns shouldn’t have thatch build up; so wait for three years for seeded lawns and at least two years for newly sodded lawns before power raking.
The core sample will also tell you about thatch conditions. Thatch is the spongy organic material. How much thatch is built up? Measure and record its thickness. (No thatch isn’t good either. So make a note). If the thatch is more than ¾” it needs to be addressed as it’s an indicator that the soil microorganisms need help to do their job. Once again, our SoilPerfect Rx Soil Care program can help you improve thatch conditions.
Next up… overseeding and top dressing. Watch for it early next week!