How to De-thatch


Backyard grass is soft, but should not be spongy. Spongy yards contain a high level of thatch or built-up pieces of dead grass and other garden debris. If thatch becomes too thick, it prevents the grass from obtaining soil nutrients. For proper lawn maintenance, de-thatch your yard every two years.

Step 1

Mow the lawn to half of its normal height. Remember to do this slowly, in 1/4-inch intervals to avoid shocking the yard. Wait two days in between the mowing rounds.

Step 2

Rake the yard thoroughly with a thatcher. A thatcher is a bladed rake with hooks on the ends to tear out the thatch. Rake up the thatch pieces from the yard and dispose of them.

Step 3

Sprinkle the entire yard with a seed blend designed for your type of yard.

Step 4

Fertilize the entire yard with a fertilizer/pre-emergent crab grass killer blend.

Step 5

Water the fertilizer in thoroughly. For best results, irrigate the yard with an inch of water and let it soak in completely. Repeat this process twice a week during the duration of the grass' growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Thatcher
  • Rake
  • Seed
  • Fertilizer
  • Water


  • This Old House: How to De-thatch a Lawn
  • All About Lawns: How Do I Dethatch?
Keywords: lawn dethatching, de-thatching a lawn, lawn care

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.