Today I am sharing my dad’s lawn dethatcher tips and tricks that won’t break the bank, which is part of our Best Lawn Series.
We started working in our yard last week and the first order of business was to address the lawn. Is your lawn soil really hard, full of weeds and just overall tired looking?
Our lawn was in desperate need of being dethatched. You can rent power dethatchers or hire a professional but the good old fashioned way as always worked for us. My dad’s lawn dethatcher that attaches to the back of our lawn mower and is older than dirt. It pulls behind the lawn mower and digs up all the dead grass. Call me crazy but I love watching all the dead grass get dug up.
My Dad’s Lawn Dethatcher Tips
The image above is from last year (check out this post where I talked about the yard project killing me and the budget). We removed all the dead trees and brush and you can see the dead lawn. It was thick yellow dead grass and weeds.
That is what our entire yard looked like last year. From far away it didn’t look that bad (like really far away) but up close, totally disgusting.
If you remember last year, we hired a company to remove the dead trees (see below) and overgrowth. The yard excavation was extensive and ate up all of our time and budget so the existing lawn took a backseat to being repaired.
Follow my dad’s lawn dethatcher tips and you will have a beautiful lawn in no time.
How to dethatch a lawn with a mower attachment
Once we picked up all the limbs and sticks from the lawn, my dad started to dethatch the lawn with the lawn mower. You will need to hand rake any areas where the dethatcher cannot physically fit. For example, near flower beds, walkways and along the driveway. The tines (the metal pointy things that dig into the ground) are very sharp and will scratch any hard surface and destroy your flower bed edge, so don’t get too close!
You simple attach the dethatcher to the mower (your mower should have a small hole for a hitch attachment on the back). Note the hitch pin above that attaches to the mower.
Everyday Person Thatched Lawn tips
The metal tines essentially dig up the dead grass. You could never hand rake a large yard and loosen the soil to the extent of a dethatcher.
I absolutely love this picture above. You can see the thatched lawn on the right (the part my dad already dug up) and the gross lawn that isn’t dethatched on the left.
You will need to weigh down the dethatcher with cement blocks.
Dad’s dethatcher Tips:
- We use a bungee cord to keep the blocks in place.
- You must raise the dethatcher using the adjustable bar before crossing a patio or driveway. The sharp tines will scratch your driveway!
- Early Spring or Fall is the perfect time to dethatch your lawn.
Where to buy a lawn dethatcher
You can see how the metal tines dig into the ground and loosen up the soil.
I found this affordable lawn mower dethatcher below on the Home Depot website and they offer free delivery to your local store. It’s very similar to the one we have. Most lawn and garden centers will carry this product.
Click here if you are interested in the Home Depot lawn mower dethatcher (affiliate link) attachment shown above, it is very similar to the one we have. I have also linked a couple others here. Just be sure you get the correct length based on the size you want. Here are 3 dethatchers below from Home Depot that have good ratings and reasonably priced.
Once my dad was done dethatching the lawn, we removed the dethatcher and attached the lawn mower bagger in order to pick up all the dead grass. Can you imagine hand raking all the dead grass? I’m thinking no way. My dad sucked up all the dead grass with the lawn mower and I removed and emptied the full bags.
New Lawn Care tips
There were many areas of the lawn my dad could not dethatch.
The newer lawn installed last year is still very thin in areas and you do not want to tear it up so we gently hand raked it in preparation for overseeding.
Now that the lawn is dethatched in the front yard (the backyard is happening this weekend) it is ready for grass seed in certain areas.
I snapped this picture right before we started working in the yard. I had just picked my parents up from their trip to St. Lucia. While many would get home from a vacation and “rest,” my dad was ready to get working in the yard.
Update: Fast forward to the end of the summer and check out how our yard is doing sporting lush green grass (click here). We recently installed driveway entrance columns and I am sharing how to plant planters on top of the driveway columns so come take a look.
I promise, the yard looks so much better than these lawn dethatching pictures!
Lawn Series Related: Cleaning up the pool flower beds
Getting your grass seed down in early Spring is best. This way the grass has time to grow before the hot dry weather arrives. My dad’s lawn dethatcher fixed our gross lawn in about 2 hours total. An hour to dethatch and an hour to suck up the dead grass with the bagger. The Best Lawn Series part 2 happens this weekend so stay tuned for more tips and tricks.