Early fall is a common time for dethatching, but before jumping into the process, it is important to understand some basics about why and when this process is used.

What is Thatch and Dethatching?

Thatch is the layer of plant material (dead grass, roots and other organic matter) that lies between the soil and turf. Some thatch is healthy and can protect your lawn, but too much can be detrimental to growth and turfgrass health.

Dethatching is the process of removing some or all of this plant material, usually with a rake, or on larger areas, with a power rake or vertical mower. This is done to allow more sunlight, irrigation and nutrients to reach turf roots.

When Should I Dethatch?

In general, if you have a thatch layer of one inch or more, you should consider this process. The best time of year to dethatch is dependent upon your grass type, as the active growing season offers the best opportunity for your grass to recover from dethatching. For cool season grasses, late summer/early fall is best. For warm season grasses, dethatch after spring greenup.

Cultural practices can help your lawn look its best and be healthy and thriving, but it’s always important to ensure you’re approaching those treatments with understanding of how they will affect your lawn.