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99.99%+ of lawns do not need a lawn dethatching service. In fact a power rake can cause a lot of harm to a lawn if not done properly by a lawn care professional. If you think you need a power rake or dethatching of your lawn please read this before ordering this service.
Power Raking is the act of physically removing the thatch from a lawn. Thatch is composed of a tightly intermingled layer of stems, leaves and grass roots, which accumulates between the vegetation and the soil. Too much thatch increases the turf’s susceptibility to diseases, reduces its tolerance to drought, cold, and heat; and hinders the movement of air, water, fertilizers, and nutrients into the soil. In severe cases roots of the grass will only take root in the thatch layer making the turf extremely susceptible to drought and heat stress. A power rake seldom needs to be performed in a lawn, this spring lawn care service in Boulder and Fort Collins can become very necessary in rare cases.
Thatch accumulation is a symptom of a problem and that problem is the absence of microbial activity or a dead soil. Thatch will accumulate if the production of dead material exceeds the ability of the beneficial microorganisms to break down the organic matter into elemental components. Thatch build-up increases when there is an absence of beneficial microbial activity.
Dead soils lack microbial activity and these microbes eat and decompose thatch. Dead soils can occur if there is poor soil aeration and drainage, improper watering practices, cold temperatures, the use of some pesticides, and the use of fast release chemical fertilizers. We most often see an excessive thatch layer accumulate in a lawn when the sprinkler system is set to water on a daily basis. After corrections are made to the lawn watering and organic fertilization applications are performed the lawn will often look worse before it looks better. This is because the grass roots are very shallow and are often only growing in the thatch layer instead of the soil. When the watering is corrected the grass may look dry until the roots begin growing into the soil instead of the thatch layer.
Other professional lawn care services that will help increase microbial activity and reduce thatch problems include: Double Aeration, sprinkler audit, adjustment in lawn care cultural practices (mowing tall), and a Humate application.
A lawn dethatching service is rarely necessary and only recommended in severe cases. Unfortunately power raking can only be performed during a very small window in March. To prevent damage caused by improper power raking this professional lawn care service must be performed before the lawn greens up.
A power rake is only a tool that professional lawn care companies use to reduce the symptoms of a bad thatch problem and is not a long term fix for eliminating thatch buildup. When a severe thatch layer is discovered, the first step to fixing the problem is to increase the beneficial microbial activity in the soil. The best methods of increasing microbial activity in the soil is by using plant based organic fertilizers, core aeration, having Organo-Lawn perform a professional sprinkler audit, and by adding a microorganism stimulant like Humate and MDS Super Tea to the lawn. It is important to remember that it may take months to rebuild the microbial activity in the soil and it typically takes one year to fully rebuild a soil's microbial population.
Always contact your local lawn care service, Organo-Lawn, prior to power raking or dethatching your lawn. More than 99% of lawns do not to be power raked and therefore it is important to properly assess your lawn's thatch layer prior to ordering this lawn care service. Improper power raking or dethatching can severely damage a lawn.
This Organo-Lawn technician power rakes this lawn removing the thatch from the lawn. Power raking must be performed before a lawn turns green in the spring.
This lawn in Boulder Colorado was power raked after it was too late in the season. The damage to this lawn could have been avoided if the homeowner had contacted Organo-Lawn prior to this service being performed.
Please note that dethatching a lawn can be damaging if performed incorrectly or at the wrong time of year. In Colorado a power rake needs to be done prior to the lawn greening-up. In the Boulder and Fort Collins area lawns tend to begin to turn green during the months of March and early April.
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The best time to power rake a lawn in Colorado is between March 1st –March 31st (The lawn has to be dry, mowed very short, and mostly still dormant)
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