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Contemplating renting a power rake for the lawn (1 Viewer)

Kevin_W

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 22, 2000
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261
Every year I pay my local lawn care company $50 to come out and aerate the lawn. While I'm sure it does a lawn good I can't get over the amount of dead grass I have embedded in the lawn and I even bag every mow. My local Home Depot rents power rakes and I was wondering what experiences others have had with this. Is it worth it over aerating or something I should do in addition to? Are they easy to operate? Are the sprinkler heads safe?

Thanks in advance for any tips you can give,

Kevin
 

Steve_Tk

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
2,833
Yes it's always worth it to get all that dead thatch out of the grass. I don't do it now because I don't live in a home.

But from years of working for my fathers lawn, we always got the thatch out every year. Just not with a "power rake". Just a regular steel rake. Wasn't a lot of fun.
 

LewB

Screenwriter
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Feb 11, 2002
Messages
1,282
I own one of the manual thatching rakes, very hard to use. Not to mention scary looking !
 

Troy Madlem

Agent
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Nov 30, 1999
Messages
30
In general they work fine for removing all the thatch from your yard. Be warned though, once you finish the job the appearance of your lawn isn't going to be pretty. In the long run I think you'll find your lawn better off from removing the thatch as the healthy grass should spread and fill in the areas previously taken up by thatch.

You'll have a thicker, more lush lawn in the long run, just make sure you prepare yourself (and spouse if applicable) for the grizzly reality of a freshly de-thatched lawn.
 

Kevin_W

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 22, 2000
Messages
261
Yea I have one of those thatch rakes. I used it over the weekend to de-thatch an area that was really bad due to some grubs and I got to thinking about if I should put the $50 towards the aeration or power rake rental.

do you have to worry about the sprinkler heads like you do with aeraters?
 

Jacinto

Second Unit
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Jul 8, 2002
Messages
448
Location
Littleton, Colorado
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Jacinto
My father-in-law rented a power rake last year, and he brought it over to our place and got rid of the thatch in a zip. I'm pretty sure you do have to watch out for the sprinkler heads, though. In our yard, they're all around the perimeter of the yard, so it wasn't a problem, and he doesn't have any sprinkler heads in his yard. Also, call around to other local equipment rental shops; I'm pretty sure my father-in-law rented the power rake for around $30.

If you're going to do it, talk to all of your neighbors first. There's a guy in our neighborhood who rented an aerator this spring, and he asked around first. He ended up doing about 12 lawns at twenty-five bucks a pop. Minus the $50 for the rental, it's still a pretty good net for an afternnon of hard work...
 

ChadM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
Messages
234
I would only do this in the fall right before you aerate your lawn. As someone said above you are going to thin out the lawn pretty badly and it will be ugly. Doing that this time of year could cause you more harm than good.

Can I ask why the dead grass is bothering you? Is it killing your grass and leaving dead spots? What kind of grass do you have? Do you have a mulching mower?

Also this site has very useful info scotts

I live by Scott's and will compare lawns with anyone.
 

Kevin_W

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 22, 2000
Messages
261
ChadM asked:
Can I ask why the dead grass is bothering you? Is it killing your grass and leaving dead spots? What kind of grass do you have? Do you have a mulching mower?
I suppose it isn't bothering me, I was just amazed how much dead grass was in there and how thin it looked after I was dethatching some spots this past weekend. Last two summers have been dreadful as there hasn't much rain and water restrictions left it suffering. And this spring isn't starting off any better. Others have suggested that power raking is an excellent idea because it lets your grass thicken out and allows for a more thorough watering.

I don't mulch when I mow, I always bag it. And as far as the type, I'm not sure other than it's sod. Something I found interesting is that you mention aerating the lawn in the fall. This is something that I've always had done in the spring (as do almost all my neighbors). You get better results with fall aeration?
 

ChadM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 5, 2000
Messages
234
Kevin,

First thing you need to do is figure out what kind of grass you have. That will key the answer to any lawn questions.

In NC (which may be a different region than you are in) the calendar is pretty much this (for a fescue lawn):

Fall - aerate and overseed (starter fertilizer)
Winter - winter fertilizer
Spring - preemergent weed w/ fertilizer
Summer - lime, fertilizer and spot weed kill

Spring aeration (at least in NC) does not give seed enough time to develop into mature grass. Young grass dies very quickly here in the summer. That being said where your from that may be different, fall may be the norm.

About mulching, I consider this to be essential. Natural fertilizer if you will. Unless I have weeds (you do not want those to spread) I mulch. Also cut at the proper height for your type grass. For my fescue lawn that is as high as the mower allows. You also have to be careful to cut at regular intervals. Cutting more than 1/4 height off your grass will cause browning.

Sorry for all the information, but I love taking care of my lawn.
Chad
 

Ron-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2000
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Ron
My neighbor mow's his lawn down to near dirt. Seems to keep his lawn looking beautiful w/o any added expense. Keeps the underlying dead grass controlled. He does it about once a year.


Peace Out~:D
 

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