When and How to Dethatch Your Lawn?

Dethatching your lawn can help improve the overall health of your grass and keep it looking great all year long. But just any other thing, lawn dethatching also has a perfect time and a specific way to be done. It is important to know how and when you should dethatch and what are the best tools? You will get answers to these questions and more below!

When Should You Dethatch Your Lawn?

Dethatching your lawn depends on two things: the condition of your lawn thatch level and what types of grasses are in your lawn. If you have a thatch level greater than one inch and the grass quality is dropping, then you should start thatching. And the best time for thatching, for the cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, is from late summer to early fall. The end of August to the beginning of September is a perfect time. And the best time for thatching, for the warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass, is from late spring to early summer. The ending of May to the beginning of June is the perfect time for warm grass thatching.

Tools/Machinery Needed to Dethatch a Lawn

Many tools and machinery are available in the market for dethatching your lawn.

Hand Rakes

If you have a small lawn and want to dethatch the ground at minimum cost, then you can buy a dethatching hand rake. This is a short-tined rake with sharp blades. You have to hold it by its handle and put the blades in the ground, and pull the thatches up using your hand strength. Dethatching rake is suitable for a small lawn.

Power Rakes

A good dethatching machine will be power rakes if you have a big lawn. Power rakes are machines that have lots of vertical blades attached to a spinning horizontal shaft. Power rakes are effective for big lawns and where the thatch level is not too deep. Besides, you should be using power rakes at specific times when the ground is appropriate for growing grasses.

Dethatching Tow

If you have a tractor, rider, or ATV and possess a large area, it is ideal for you to use tow behind the dethatcher. A tow behind dethatcher is fitted with sturdy tines which are capable of combing through your lawn. Tow behind dethatcher is towed by any machine that can drag the dethatcher. Many tows behind dethatchers are capable of height adjustment and come with a weight tray for more or less thatch combing at different thatch levels. To remove a thin level of thatch, you can use lightweight on the tow behind thatchers. To remove the dense thatch layer, you need to put heavyweight on the thatcher and turn it into a scarifier. 

How to Dethatch Your Lawn? The Dethatching Process

The dethatching process varies based on the type of dethatcher you are using. The most commonly used tools and machines for dethatching are hand and power rake.  

Hand Rakes Manual Dethatching

Hand rakes are like leaf rakes with lots of tines, and it is used as leaf rake. Hand rakes are suitable for lawns and gardens. The process of dethatching with a hand rake includes the following steps.

Pulling the Thatch

If you have a dethatching rake, first, you have to put the rake tines in the thatch and pull it from the soil. Pulling the thatch with a hand rake will loosen the thatch from the ground and will make it removable with a leaf rake

Collect the Pulled up Thatch with a Leaf Rake

After pulling up thatches from the ground next task is to remove those thatches using a leaf rake. Use a leaf rake to remove all the pulled-up thatch using your hand. All you have to do is drag the pulled-up rake in a specific corner of the lawn for dumping.


You can collect thatches in a bag for dumping in the dustbin, or you can dig a hole in the lawn and dump in there and bury those thatches. 

Power Rakes Detaching

Power rakes are machined powered dethatchers that use vertical tines attached to a horizontal spinning shaft. Power rakes are easily usable and appropriate for people who do not want any hardship in dethatching. Now let’s see the process of dethatching with a power rake.

Adjusting the Power Rake Height

Adjusting the height is the first thing you have to do for a power rake. The height adjustment is important because the depth of dethatching depends on the power rake height adjustment. How the healthy grass growth of your lawn, it is important to maintain a decent level of thatch in the ground and not clear the ground totally. And to dethatch the ground to your required level, it is important to adjust the height of the power rake using the adjustable knobs. Height adjustment knobs are usually located in the tires of the power rake in most cases. Make sure the height of the power rakes is enough to maintain at least half an inch to one-inch layer of thatch in the ground.

Connecting to Electricity.

The power rake dethatcher runs using a normal household electricity supply. And connecting the power rake to the nearest power cord to the lawn can help you to cover the entire lawn. Sometimes big lawns are a problem for power connection. It is possible that the power rake cable is not enough to cover the entire ground. It is recommended to use a heavy-duty power extension cord in cases like that. It will make sure that the power rake covers the entire field.

Press the Safety Button and Hold the Handlebar

At this point, press the safety button located at the side of the handle of the power rake. After that, hold the handlebar and start the machine.

Walk Across the Lawn

While dethatching starts, don’t hurry to complete the dethatching swiftly. Power rake rotates clockwise and grabs the thatch for itself. You may feel that the machine is tending to move forward, but you have to walk slowly. A slow walk will make sure that the power rake is dethatching properly.

Clean with a Mower

After thatching up the thatches from the lawn, the next task is to collect all the thatches using power. Different types of mowers are available in the market. Among them, use a dethatching mower on the lawn and collect all the puled-up thatches. It may require multiple rounds of the collection with a mower to completely clear the lawn from the thatch and debris.

Dethatching vs. Aerating

Dethatching and Aeration are methods of helping your lawn ground get enough sunlight and water for healthy grass growth. While the aeration method is used to prepare the soil for the healthy growth of grass, dethatching method is used to pull up thatches from the ground to make the soil visible and beneath the grass. 


Having a healthy lawn is essential for both the beauty of the surroundings and the mental satisfaction of the lawn owner. But without proper knowledge of dethatching, it may seem hard to take good care of your lawn. With these details, now you know how to dethatch and when to dethatch your lawn for having a healthy lawn.