The Best Time to Power Rake Lawns

Overview

Too much accumulated dead material, thatch, that accumulates on your lawn can deprive the grass of air and make it susceptible to disease and insects. Power raking uses a special mower with vertical teeth set on a horizontal roller to remove debris. The best time to power rake depends on several factors, including the weather, the amount of accumulated thatch, and the type of grass in your lawn.

Spring

Power raking is done in the spring to remove the thatch that has built up over the winter. It should be done early in the spring before the lawn has started growing again. Power raking opens the surface of the turf, but it can also damage parts of the lawn. This makes it a good practice to combing power raking with overseeding, which can repair the damage. Early spring power raking gives the seeds time to get established and start growing before the hot, dry summer months. A light application of nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer and regular watering can help repair a lawn damaged by power raking.

Considerations

Weeds are vigorous and aggressive in the spring. By waiting until late summer or early fall, you avoid the possibility of weeds taking over areas that have been damaged by power raking. Power raking combined with overseeding while the grass is still growing gives your lawn time to recover before cold weather hits.

Fine Fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass

You should never power rake fine fescue or Kentucky bluegrass in the summer. April or September are good months.

Benefits in Bentgrass

Power raking in the spring slices the above-ground horizontal shoots of bentgrass, called stolons. The slicing of the stolons stimulates new growth of the bentgrass and helps thicken the lawn.

Time Frame

St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, Kentucky blue grass, and Bermuda grass create a lot of thatch. It is good to power rake your lawn every other year.

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About this Author

Richard Hoyt, an internationally published author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.