De-thatching, when and how

Dethatching a lawn

De-thatching a lawn helps it grow more resilient and thick. The goal of dethatching is to remove moss and matted grass clippings that tend to accumulate over the years, suffocating and replacing the lawn itself.

This also reduces the spread of diseases, and ensures that the lawn remains green and thriving all year round.

Follow our tips and you will have a lawn that looks and feels brand new, guaranteed to boost your self-esteem!

How to choose your de-thatcher

This depends on the surface area that must be de-thatched:

  • Manual: for surface areas not exceeding 120 sq yd (100 m²)
  • Electrical: for surface areas up to 600 sq yd (500 m²)
  • Gas-powered: for surface areas exceeding 600 sq yd (500 m²)

Some product models are fitted with a collection system which makes the work much easier.

Best season to de-thatch

  • Twice a year: in the spring after having mowed a couple times and in the fall to remove matted grasses (dried cuttings) and strengthen the lawn before winter.
  • Before renovating your lawn in any substantial manner.

The right technique for a well de-thatched lawn

  • De-thatching a lawn must be performed on slightly damp ground, neither drenched nor too dry.
    If necessary, water the lawn beforehand.
  • De-thatching requires following a cross-hatch pattern to avoid leaving any particular area out.
  • De-thatching depth must be kept shallow at between 1/16th and 1/8th in (2 to 4 mm), since going too deep would tear roots apart.
  • Any waste produced must be completely and carefully picked up, either with the de-thatcher’s collection hamper or by running the lawn mower across the lawn.

Video: The right way to renovate your lawn

Read also on lawn care:

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Moss and a blade of grass by Bernd Wälz under Pixabay license