A lawn rake also know as a dethatching rake is used anytime in the growing season to remove thatch, moss and other unwanted materials from the grass. The most common time is in the spring…, followed by the fall. More intensive raking is best done in the spring or fall when temperatures are milder.
2. Treat moss
If you have a large amount of moss that you are trying to remove, consider applying a moss killer beforehand. Dead moss is easier to rake out, so you will get more of it out of the lawn.
3. Mow Lawn Beforehand
Mow your lawn shorter than normal. A lawn rake is easier to use and will do a better job if the grass is short. Aim for grass about 1” high for the best results.
4. Check soil moisture
You do not want the ground to be overly saturated and soggy, but too dry is not good either. Water the night before you plan on raking to improve the soil conditions.
5. Dress For It
Since the tines on a lawn rake are very sharp, enclosed shoes are a must. Wear gloves to make it easier on your hands. Also plan on getting a little dirty. Thatching is a hard job.
6. Rake small sections at a time
Hold the rake so that the sharp, double-sided blades just dig into the soil, and then pull it back toward you as you would with a leaf rake. Gently push it back to remove the thatch. Be careful that you do not have the rake too deep into the dirt – you do not want to damage the grass-roots. Go over each section in several different directions until you have removed the thatch. Then you can begin on another area.
7. Remove and dispose of all thatch and moss
Be sure to collect all the materials raked up. Leaving thatch and moss on the lawn for an extended period time will allow it to revert back to thatch. Since lawn rakes are extra sharp and designed for removing thatch, use a leaf rake or other type of rake to collect the unwanted materials.
8. Treat your lawn
Since raking up thatch and moss exposes the roots, this is a great time to fertilize or apply other treatments to your lawn. The grass will benefit more from them than when a thick layer of thatch gets in the way.
While manual raking does not pull up the grass the way power dethatching can, you may still notice sparse areas or patchy spots. Re-seed these areas or apply a thin layer of seeds to the lawn. Be sure to water often until the grass sprouts are well established. Do not let the soil completely dry out.
*To learn more about thatching or lawn aeration, please visit out home page.