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Dethatching lawn

Last fall, I did not get around to mowing my yard, after it was pretty tall. It was a pretty good looking, lush lawn. Now, in places, the lawn grows great, in others it does not. I can see obvious thatch beneath the grass. Everything I have read, says dethatch in late spring or fall. It is a little too much to do by hand, and alot of material is coming up. Should I NOT dethatch now, and wait until fall??? Also, I have heard after you dethatch to fertilize with a Nitrogen based fertilized (like 10-10-10). Any other suggestions??

Re: Dethatching lawn

You can de-thatch anytime. You can fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer like Ammonium Nitrate of Urea Nitrate, the urea will last about 3 years where the ammonia will last only about 3 months.

Or you try one of the formulas that Jerry Baker suggests on his PBS specials. Take a can of beer, 2 liters of soda, not diet, a cup of household ammonia and a cup of dishwashing liquid, not the anti-bacterial type.

Mix this together and pour it into a 20 gallon hose end sprayer and water the lawn. Now for a little variation, you can use a 1/4 cup of sugar in two quarts of water instead of a 2 liter soda. You can also use a 6 gallon hose end sprayer to put it on a little quicker and then turn on a sprinkler to finish getting it into the lawn. Lemon scented ammonia or detergent will help drive away bugs.

The mixture will cause the thatch to break down into organic compost that will feed your lawn, requiring more frequent mowing. The sugar and the enzymes in the beer help support the microorganisms needed to breakdown the thatch. The ammonia provides nitrogen that helps also and the detergent helps the formula penetrate the thatch.

Dave R
Re: Dethatching lawn

Baker has some great advise, if you need a more tradition plan for total year round lawn care you can go to www.scotts.com and they have a feature on thier web site that will help you know exaclty how to treat your lawn and when to do it. Even has email reminders.

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