Dethatching and lawn aeration are two essential processes that you need to do for your lawn. However, sometimes these two are confusing, especially to new home gardeners. One needs to know that they address two different issues in your lawn, but both are vital for lawn care. The success of a lawn depends on the owner’s hand and how much time they can invest in taking good care of their lawn.
When doing lawn aeration, you need to create small holes into the soil to give way for oxygen, fertilizers, and water to get into the ground and reach the root system. The best time to do this process is during spring or fall to aerate compact soil. Aeration has two types, which are the spike aeration and the core aeration. The spike requires you to dig small holes in the ground, while the core involves pulling turf and dirt on top of the soil. These are garden dirt that decomposes above the soil.
Dethatching is another name for it that involves removing dead garden leaves, stems, and roots that you can see just above the soil and the grass base. Once this layer becomes half an inch thick, then it will block the soil’s ability to get enough oxygen, water, and other vital nutrients for the root system.
Unlike lawn aeration, dethatching is done using equipment during the spring or fall season. However, the process of dethatching is very stressful to the lawn, so it is only advisable if there is a thickening of the thatch. Before overseeding, aeration and thatching is necessary because the seeds require healthy soil and proper watering. These two processes are vital before overseeding to ensure that new seed will get enough air, water, and nutrients.
Benefits of Aeration
Lawn aeration is beneficial for the soil, especially for compact soil due to heavy foot traffic. However, keep in mind not to dig large holes as the requirement is just ½” across, so holes will not exceed 2 percent of the entire lawn. One you use an aerator, especially for the large lawn area. You can consider buying or rent one to save money, but this equipment is heavy and hard to operate for those without firsthand knowledge. It is advisable to get a lawn care provider’s service if you are unsure of how to use it properly. For a small lawn, manual aeration is enough, as it will not take much of your time.
Benefits of Dethatching
The dethatching process can leave the soil to expose as you remove the layer of the thatch. Using dethatcher tines can help cultivate the soil and aid the seeds to embed deep in the soil rather than just lying on top of it. This tool is for grooming roots that are close to the soil surface. It will allow the growth of new roots, which is crucial for healthier grasses. Also, thatch rakes can help lawn owners to spot weeds and crabgrass.
It is the right time to thatch once the thickness is about ¼ to ½ inch. Thicker than that will already put havoc to your lawn garden because it will hamper the air passage to the soil, and water and nutrients will not reach the roots system. Also, thicker thatch is a suitable environment for diseases and other pests to thrive. You can hire someone who is knowledgeable like lawn care professional for first-time lawn owners to do lawn aeration and dethatching for first-time lawn owners. Observing how they do it can make you knowledgeable and do it on your own the next time.
For a small lawn, a rake is a useful tool for dethatching, but it is advisable to use a machine with a large lawn. For homeowners with a large lawn area, it is good to get a lawn care company’s service as they have the right tools and equipment. It is best done during late spring to allow your lawn to recover from stress because of moderate weather conditions.
As you do lawn aeration, it does not mean that you also need to thatch. A professional lawn care provider knows when your lawn needs to undergo thatching and how many times. Take note that the type of grass is a factor for the build-up of thatch in your lawn, so you need to do some research. You may need to do thatching more often for those with warm-season grasses like Buffalo and Bermuda.