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What is Power Raking and do you need it done?
What is a Power Rake and what does it do?
A power rake is the best piece of equipment for uplifting decomposed thatch from a lawn using spinning metal teeth.
What is thatch and why is it bad?
Thatch is a tight mat of dead rhizomes, stems and roots, which builds up under the surface of a lawn; essentially it’s dead grass that’s built up in the bottom of your lawn.
Thatch isn’t bad; in fact it supplies nutrients to the soil which is then provided to the grass roots growing beneath but the problem arises when the layer becomes too thick and starts to block water, air and those very nutrients from reaching the soil.
If thatch gets thicker than 1/2 inch deep, the roots grow in the thatch instead of the soil. Additionally, thick layers of thatch provide a home for insects and can result in an uneven, bumpy surface on a lawn, making it hard to mow. Thatch prolongs high humidity for the roots, promoting fungal and bacterial diseases.
Should you Power Rake?
The most precise way to know for sure is cut several plugs 2 to 3 inches deep and look for a spongy, reddish-brown mat between the green grass and the soil.
Another way if you feel you don’t want to cut holes in your lawn is to stick your hand to the bottom of the lawn and try to grab the dead grass; if you pull up a hearty handful you should probably get it raked out.
Keep in mind; power raking is hard on the lawn and a fair amount of thatch is still good for the lawn so it should only be done if required and not as a regular maintenance chore unlike aerating.