A healthy lawn requires adequate water, an exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and a level of microbial activity in its soil.
A thatch layer (an accumulation of roots, crowns and grass clippings that creates a dense mat of vegetation at the soil level) acts as an insulator, keeping soil temperatures low and helping to retain moisture.
However, when thatch build-up exceeds 1/2″, it can prevent the exchange of water and vital nutrients from the atmosphere to the soil, decreasing the turf’s ability to thrive and fight disease and dehydration.
Dethatching, also known as Power Raking, is a process that removes unwanted thatch. It’s recommended to dethatch in early spring to allow the lawn a better chance of recovery after the winter. It is also important to ensure that the blades of the Power Raker are not set too deep.
Other reason is pure cosmetic …
In fact, the power raking expression is not supposed to be the same as dethatching. The Lawn at the beginning of the spring and at the end of the fall has plenty of brown …, that is is dead grass or just dried grass.
Power Raking is the action to take this “old hair” of the lawn so the whole turf has a vigorous and strong green colour.
For this purpose the power raking machine should be set less deep than when it is used for dethatching.
When should I Power Rake?
The beginning of the spring is the best time for Power Raking.
In the winter, in particular very cold winters like in Calgary, the lawn stays in a kind of sleeping stage until the weather changes. That change happens in the spring, when the lawn starts “waking-up”. At this time, the lawn is thirsty for nutrients and the thatch layer is what we need to eliminate so the lawn can have a good start to a healthy growing season.
How to achieve best results from Power Raking
- If your lawn is too long and/or very dense, cut lawn shorter before power raking
- Do not Power Rake when the lawn is too wet. The grass may be ripped out.