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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That is the question :D

I only have lived in my current residence for 2 years, but the previous own for 12 and during that 12 years I know for a fact that he has never aerated or dethatched. So should I power rake once the weather warms up? I live in north Ga and some of my yard is clay and some is red dirt and some is dark dirt.

Thanks guys,

JB
 

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Jbrown,
YES, if you have the time and energy. You could probably get away with just scalping as low as you can, but "power raking" will give you a cleaner slate to start the season.
I would wait on aerating until the grass is growing aggressively but you can also do it right after you power rake. Hiw did your grass do last season?! Any Water penetration issues?
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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One of the primary reasons many of us verticut/dethatch bermuda is to break up the mats of stolons that tend to build up over time as a result of cutting with a reel mower. Thinning the canopy helps open up channels for water/nutrient/sunlight infiltration, and it makes room for new, healthy turf growth. The stolon build-up is less pronounced when cutting with a rotary mower due to the suction or "lift-and-cut" action of the blades, but there are definitely benefits to occasionally thinning the bermuda canopy. So is it required? No. Does it help? Yes. It really all comes down to what your expectations are and how much work/input you're willing invest.
 

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Ware said:
One of the primary reasons many of us verticut/dethatch bermuda is to break up the mats of stolons that tend to build up over time as a result of cutting with a reel mower. Thinning the canopy helps open up channels for water/nutrient/sunlight infiltration, and it makes room for new, healthy turf growth. The stolon build-up is less pronounced when cutting with a rotary mower due to the suction or "lift-and-cut" action of the blades, but there are definitely benefits to occasionally thinning the bermuda canopy. So is it required? No. Does it help? Yes. It really all comes down to what your expectations are and how much work/input you're willing invest.
+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for all the tips!

I am going to power rake soon, when weather is a little nicer. I cut my yard last season with a reel and can definitely tell there were some low water penetration. I will fill you guys in and post some pics of the process.

JB
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Speaking of verticutting and new growth, I snapped this picture this morning. You can really see the contrast in the grooves the verticutter blades left. This was verticut in two directions, so the growth pattern looks the same when I turn 90-degrees.

 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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I too am another proponent of verticutting as I think it does a lot for the lawn like Ware mentioned in a previous post. It is almost necessary if you plan to mow low as it gives you a good canvas to start the year with!!
 

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Mightyquinn said:
I too am another proponent of verticutting as I think it does a lot for the lawn like Ware mentioned in a previous post. It is almost necessary if you plan to mow low as it gives you a good canvas to start the year with!!
+1, I was only mowing at 3/4" last year. After scalping this year I took off all top growth but now it's all a big mat of stolons. I wish I had a verticutter to clean it up to start the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sweet! I'm going to rent one today after work and do some of the yard tonight and the other tomorrow.

Another question, Whats the difference in a power rake and verticutting? Sorry, the local HD only has a power rake. Will that work instead a verticutter?

JB
 

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jbrown said:
Sweet! I'm going to rent one today after work and do some of the yard tonight and the other tomorrow.

Another question, Whats the difference in a power rake and verticutting? Sorry, the local HD only has a power rake. Will that work instead a verticutter?

JB
Yes, it will work - the result just won't be as clean as what I would call "verticut". The rental "power rake" will likely have flail blades, but for preseason canopy thinning it should be fine.



I think the words dethatcher, power rake, and verticutter are often used interchangeably, but in my mind a verticutter has thinner/sharper blades designed for slicing stolons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ware said:
jbrown said:
Sweet! I'm going to rent one today after work and do some of the yard tonight and the other tomorrow.

Another question, Whats the difference in a power rake and verticutting? Sorry, the local HD only has a power rake. Will that work instead a verticutter?

JB
Yes, it will work - the result just won't be as clean as what I would call "verticut". The rental "power rake" will likely have flail blades, but for preseason canopy thinning it should be fine.



I think the words dethatcher, power rake, and verticutter are often used interchangeably, but in my mind a verticutter has thinner/sharper blades designed for slicing stolons.
Thanks Ware!
 

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Slightly off topic I know.

I'm cheap and don't want to rent a power rake. Does a dethatching rake do a much better job than a regular rake?

I've raked mine with a regular metal tined rake several time and as you can see I still have lots of dead material left over.

Or is a power rake really the only way to go?

 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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MarkV said:
Slightly off topic I know.

I'm cheap and don't want to rent a power rake. Does a dethatching rake do a much better job than a regular rake?

I've raked mine with a regular metal tined rake several time and as you can see I still have lots of dead material left over.

Or is a power rake really the only way to go?

A power rake will remove A LOT more material than hand raking. You could get a dethatching rake and it would do more than a regular rake but depending on how big of a lawn you have it is a lot more work. How much sq/ft are talking about here?
 

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I guess a more accurate question would be on a scale of 1-10, 10 being a power rake where would a regular and dethatching rake rank for effectivness?
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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A regular rake probably a 2-3

A dethatching rake probably 5-7

If you only have 3K of lawn it is doable with a dethatching rake but you will never get the results that a power rake or verticutter will produce, as it is able to get down DEEP into the lawn and remove rhizomes and thatch.
 

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MarkV said:
I have ~3K sq feet.
I've never used a manual dethatching rake, but I see what you're saying - 3k ft2 would probably be doable with a manual rake.

I bet it would take less than 30min to dethatch your lawn in two directions with a rental unit. Some rental places offer a half day or hourly rate. Have you checked into that? Another option would be getting together with some of your friends or neighbors to share the cost of the rental.
 

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Ware said:
jbrown said:
Sweet! I'm going to rent one today after work and do some of the yard tonight and the other tomorrow.

Another question, Whats the difference in a power rake and verticutting? Sorry, the local HD only has a power rake. Will that work instead a verticutter?

JB
Yes, it will work - the result just won't be as clean as what I would call "verticut". The rental "power rake" will likely have flail blades, but for preseason canopy thinning it should be fine.



I think the words dethatcher, power rake, and verticutter are often used interchangeably, but in my mind a verticutter has thinner/sharper blades designed for slicing stolons.
Questions. My yard is looking good, but I continually think I should be doing more... so I have thought about aerating and verticutting. I have kinda eliminated aerating because my lawn is not really compacted or hard. My yard is actually more springy and I "think" that is where verticutting would help. So, one question is there a negative of verticutting? Next, looking at renting one from Home Depot, the actual power rake (verticutter) has flail blades like shown above... I really don't want to tear up my turf and I am afraid of these. Home Depot also offers an Overseeder, with "26 heat-treated blades, spaced a narrow 1.5-inches apart," would this also do the job and be less likely to tear up my turf?

I have included a couple pictures below of my yard. Any recommendations or knowledge is welcome. Thanks.





 
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