Very sad lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Aurora, Co
Question by btrflyangel1
April 20, 2010
My parents lawn needs some major TLC. I tried thatching it using a thatching rake last year but there are horrible bare spots and the grass is more prickly than thick. I am going to use a power rake this year, but what else can I do? Should I seed the lawn?

Answer from NGA
April 20, 2010


Excess thatch can keep water and fertilizer from reaching the roots of the lawn. Before renting a power thatcher, dig out a section of turf and check to see if there's excess thatch. If there's more than an inch, go ahead and dethatch the lawn. If there's less, skip the dethatching and concentrate on aerating, instead. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn which will relieve soil compaction. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs. You can then overseed your entire lawn. If you water, fertilize and mow regularly you can rehabilitate the lawn and end up with a thick healthy turf. Best wishes with your project!

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