Experience With Dethatching Blades? - Landscaping & Lawn Care - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-24-2012, 12:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
It is really a case of not the right tool for the job. A detatcher or power rake should reach down to the soil and really tear up the tatch layer using a series of vertical cuts if need be. Something spinning around on the shaft of mower is not the same thing. Will one hurt? Maybe not? Will one help? Maybe so? Will one replace a detatching machine designed for the job!?
It's also good to remember that a certain amount of "thatch" in the lawn is good and necessary. We're not talking about vacuuming carpet.


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Old 09-07-2012, 06:41 PM   #17
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Well I got my dethatching blade. The local hardware and box stores only carry the Arnold blade with the cheap plastic tines, so I ordered one of the Ace 16" dethatching blades with the spring tines on it.

I mowed everything on the low setting with my Bolens, then put the dethatching blade on while still at the lowest blade level (set by the wheel heights). I gave this a test run on the dead part of my lawn (which I wanted brought down to bare soil anyway) and it did it handily. I tested a patch of my better grass and it did a nice job even there. Didn't tear out the grass, but it made the crabgrass disappear. Where the grass died it is bare soil (as hoped and expected), but where there was still good grass, it is still green with soil visible between the grass clumps. Looks like it got an extra-good raking.

Got about half of the clean-up done this afternoon, will probably finish tomorrow and overseed before the rain hits.

Some notes for folks who might be interested:

1. If you think that running a spiked motorized thing over your lawn is going to automatically make it green and beautiful instantly, as Jeff Foxworthy said, "Here's your sign". You will see and smell lots of dirt, especially if you are using this on a lawn that is in bad shape. This is a GOOD thing, as now you can get your amendments and seed to make good contact with the soil.

2. It did a nice job of sorting out the really dead grass from the looks-dead-but-is-really-dormant grass. It cleaned out a LOT of the shallow-rooted crabgrass .

3. Blade seemed well balanced and operation was pretty smooth. If you have a bumpy lawn this thing will definitely dig into the hills and help level things out. Didn't seem too much harder on the mower than the normal blade (I have a "rock" blade for when I mow low and a better blade for when I mow at the proper height).

4. Eye protection is a must. This thing will send gravel shooting everywhere. Wear long pants too (I did both , thank goodness)

5. Have a wheelbarrow and a rake ready. I have done a good job of deep raking the last few seasons, but this thing still brought up a LOT of thatch. I don't think a bagger would help - it would probably fill every 30 seconds. I already planned to use all this as mulch in the back of my lot so I am glad to have it.

5. Keep moving, unless you like crop circles in your lawn.

6. If you have a rocky and bumpy lawn, don't count on the spring tines to last more than one mowing. The tips wear down and they soon become ineffective. My small front lawn will probably need to be redone with new tines (I thought to buy a replacement spring set so I can do this tomorrow). You probably want to hit the parts of the lawn that need a deep dethatching first, then move to better sections of the lawn. This is probably a smart way to go anyway especially if you have never used these blades before.

Overall assessment: Awesome, so long as you have reasonable expectations and a small lawn (mine is about 4,000 sq. ft)

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 09-07-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:08 AM   #18
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I test ran a dethatching blade with the plastic spikes. I am sure it would do okay on a lawn that is 90% gone, but where there is still grass, it leaves the wide fescue blades very frayed and split-up.

For hand raking, I use a stiff metal leaf rake. The dethatching rakes are just too much work for a large area, especially hard on your back!

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Old 09-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #19
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I rented a power rake last weekend. 28+tax for two hours.

the amount of thatch i pulled out was amazing. i'll be doing the aerating and overseeding this coming weekend hopefully. hope we don't get any early frost. but not too worried in any case.


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