Before you head out to dethatch your lawn, whether you use a power rake or a dedicated dethatcher, you’ll want to remember that there is more to dethatching than just removing the thatch. Well, that’s if you want to get the most out of dethatching.
So, what else should you be doing, and what other processes are important? Let’s find out and look at what to do after dethatching a lawn.
What Should You Do After Dethatching Your Lawn? (The Short Answer)
Once you finish dethatching your lawn, you can take several extra steps to get the most out of dethatching. I always do these seven extra processes to get the most out of dethatching my lawn.
- Pick Up the Thatch
- Mow the Lawn
- Water the Grass
- Aerate the Lawn
- Fertilize the Lawn
- Plan the Next Time to Dethatch
Watch to Do After Dethatching (My Step-By-Step Guide)
As you can see, after removing the thatch from your lawn, you can take several additional steps to enhance the results of dethatching. Let’s take a look at each of the individual steps and see how your lawn will benefit.
Pick Up the Thatch
Once you have finished detaching, the first step is collecting all the waste material. That is unless you are using a dethatcher that has a collection system included. So, a good garden spring rake or even a leaf blower should work fine. You don’t want to leave the thatch just sitting on top of your lawn, as the thatch material will work its way back down to the soil and undo all your hard work.
Mow the Lawn
It isn’t necessary to actually mow the lawn. It’s really just a stage that helps to clean up your lawn. I find that dethatchers and spring rakes can make a lawn messy, so mowing cuts off any loose ends. Also, you’ll probably find that you’ll manage to collect most of the thatch during the first clean-up stage, but there will still be a small amount left on your lawn.
So, mowing serves as an extra clean-up step and makes your lawn look a lot neater once you have finished dethatching.
Water the Grass
The next step is to give your lawn a good watering. Typically, I’ll give my lawn an extra-long soak to help the grass recover from the stress of dethatching. Also, a thick layer of thatch can force grass roots to grow toward the surface, so by soaking your lawn, you’ll start to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.
Aerate the Lawn
Once your lawn has had some time to recover after a few days, it’s worth considering aerating your lawn. Aeration will help reduce soil compaction and improve air exchange, water absorption, and nutrient availability. Whether you decide to use a core aerator vs a spike aerator, lawn aeration is a step to include as part of what to do after dethatching your lawn.
Now that you have aerated your lawn, this would be the perfect time to overseed. Removing the thatch and loosening the soil creates ideal conditions for seeding. If you try to overseed with a thick layer of thatch, you’ll find that the seeds have a hard time germinating as their access to the soil is limited. You’ll probably find that the seeds will sprout, then start to die because the early roots can’t make their way down to the soil.
So, if you want better success with grass seed, try overseeding after dethatching.
Fertilize the Lawn
Should you fertilize after dethatching? Absolutely. You’ll want to dig out the fertilizer spreader and decide what type of fertilizer you need depending on whether or not you intend to overseed after dethatching.
For example, if you don’t overseed, you’ll want to use a product such as slow-release fertilizer that will provide a continuous source of nutrients. For fertilizing after seeding, I would use a liquid starter fertilizer and spray the newly seeded area. Then, once the new seeds start to take hold, switch to a slow-release product.
Plan the Next Time to Dethatch
Once you have completed all the stages of dethatching aftercare, it’s a good idea to start planning your next dethatching operation. How soon you’ll need to dethatch again will be determined by how quickly your thatch starts to build up to an unacceptable thickness.
As a general rule, I only allow the thatch on my lawn to reach a maximum thickness of ½ inch. I start to notice problems whenever the thatch builds up to more than ½ inch. So, I find that dethatching in early spring and late fall are the two best times to keep the thatch at an acceptable thickness.
Just remember that you’ll want to ensure that your lawn is fully growing, as detaching dormant grass will cause damage to your lawn.
My Dethatching Cheat Sheet
I have put together a quick cheat sheet to show you what to do after dethatching. I have used this method for several years, and it has worked well for me and has kept my lawn looking great. It’s important to remember that dethatching a lawn is more than just removing the thatch.
|Fertilizer - Quick-Release
|Fertilizer - Slow-Release
|Next Dethatching Process
|6 Months After First Dethatching