Dethatching rakes are used to remove thatch from the lawn, making sure that it does not get so thick it adversely affects the growth and health of the grass plants. Though often overlooked by many homeowners, dethatching should be done regularly as part of routine lawn care to maintain a healthy, green and lush lawn.
There are three basic groups of dethatching rakes: power, tow-behind and manual. Sometimes it is better to use one rather than another, but they are all designed to remove excessive thatch from the lawn. They have sharp, two-sided blades that cut through the thatch layer and pull it out from the grass. Going over the lawn more than once in different directions will remove the most thatch and result in a more thorough job.
Power rakes. These are more similar to lawnmowers than rakes and are much faster to use than manual rakes. The blade height and width is adjustable so you can determine how deeply they go into the ground and make it less stressful on more delicate grasses. To do less damage to the grass, use spring tines instead of blades to remove thatch if it is not very thick. Because they are the most stressful to the lawn, power rakes should only be used when the grass has time to recover. Spring is usually ideal, though fall works in most areas too. Avoid power raking in the hot and dry summer months or just before them.
Tow behind rakes. This type of dethatching rake hitches to a riding lawnmower or tractor. Since it is wider than other ones, it covers ground more quickly and is nice for very larger areas of grass that would take much longer with another type of rake.
Manual rakes. These are the most like typical rakes and are used similarly. They are great for small areas and in between touch-ups. They can be used more frequently throughout the year and are inexpensive. They are a good addition to any shed.