How To Use A Dethatcher Or Power Rake

Posted on 15th March 2012 in Dethatching Rake Articles

Power Lawn Dethatchers and Dethatching

A lawn dethatcher is one of the most important tools for lawn care. It works kind of the same as the lawnmower and it is the same size also, except that a lawnmower has blades that spin horizontally, and a dethatching machine has blades that spin vertically. A lawnmower cuts the grass as it grows but a thatching machine helps to prevent grass from getting lots of thatch built up in it.


What Is Thatch Exactly?

Thatch is generally composed of the grass stolons and rhizomes that interconnect in your lawn and can eventually compete with the grass for air and sunlight.  In addition, thatch can also be derived from moss and other types of weeds that grow in the grass like Clover. There are certain types of grass like creeping baskets, bank grass, and St. Augustine’s that tend to develop excessive amounts of thatch. If you have these in your lawn, you may need to use a lawn dethatcher on a yearly basis to help get rid of the thatch build up.

What Kind of  Dethatcher Should I Use?

There are basically three different types of dethatchers: manual, gas, and attachment. Manual or hand dethatching tool is great if you have a very small yard, or you only have thatch around the edges of your lawn.  Manual dethatchers look a lot like a rake and you use them similar to a rake as well. The end of the dethatcher has small blades.  These go down into the top inch of the dirt and bring up the thatch.  The downside to this type of rake is that it takes a very long time. My next-door neighbor has a very small yard of only about 700 sq ft.  Manual dethatchers are suitable for that kind of yard.


You can also use a dethatching liquid. It is important to note that liquids only work with thatch that has been dead for quite some time. Grass that has recently died, may not decompose when you use a liquid dethatcher.  In my opinion the best type of lawn dethatcher that you can use is a power rake.  These machines work great to dethatch a lawn because they have lots of blades that beat the surface of the soil and remove anything that is dead or doesn’t have roots. They do a great job at removing all of the rhizomes and stolons that are in your grass. In addition, they can also do a pretty good job at getting rid of moss and taking out the majority of your clover.

How to Use a Dethatcher or Power Rake

A lot of people feel like they know how to use a power rake after they have used it on their lawn.  The first thing you want to do is to start it. Make sure that your choke is on before you pull the start cable. After the engine starts, put the choke lever from choke to run. Then, make sure you have your lawn dethatcher in the corner of your lawn when you start. Make sure that you have the settings adjusted so that the blades just barely scrape the top of the soil.  Just make sure that you are not putting your settings too deep. If you start to tear out grass, then raise your settings up a little bit. If you feel like you are not getting the thatch out of your lawn, then lower the settings. Make sure to keep an easy pace when you’re going over your lawn, and don’t go too slow or too fast, or you won’t do a very good job with the power rake either. When you are done going over your lawn with a power rake, all you are going to have left to do is simply rake it into piles and then dispose of it.

How to Use a Dethatching Blade

A dethatching blade also works great for dethatching your lawn.    The trick to using a dethatching blade on your mower is to mow your lawn a little bit shorter before you replace the blade, and then make sure you have it set at the right setting as you are slowly going over your lawn. It is actually harder to do a good job and easier to mess up if you are using a lawnmower attachment, but it can be done. A mower will put additional stress on your grass because it actually cuts the ground rather than just beating the surface of it. In addition, usually you only have three or four blades that spin around rather than several blades, so it takes some time to do a good job when you are using a lawnmower dethatching blade. You have to be especially careful if the ground is uneven because you can scalp your lawn. Most of the time, all you need to do to get started is remove the existing blade on your mower and replace it with your lawnmower dethatching blade.