How to Dethatch Bermuda Grass


Thatch is the dead grass that builds up on the soil's surface over time. A small amount of thatch is actually healthy for Bermuda grass. But if thatch buildup reaches more than ½ inch tall, it can cause significant problems. It interferes with the soil's ability to absorb air, water and fertilizer and restricts its root growth, making Bermuda grass more susceptible to drought and cold damage. The best time to dethatch Bermuda grass is in midsummer when the grass is growing most rapidly.

Step 1

Cut a wedge out of the soil and turf from several areas of the lawn. If the thatch in those wedges is thicker than 1/2 inch, it is time to dethatch.

Step 2

Water the lawn the night before you plan to dethatch it.

Step 3

Rake the lawn with your power rake. Use even, chipping strokes to bring the thatch to the surface. Go in one direction first, then go over the lawn again at a 90-degree angle to the first direction.

Step 4

Rake up the thatch immediately with a flexible tine rake. You may have to make a few passes or even pick some up by hand, but gather up and bag as much of the thatch as you can.

Step 5

Water the grass. Use a light spray so that you don't wash away any newly-exposed soil. Water the lawn more frequently than usual for the next few weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Power rake
  • Flexible tine rake


  • University of Arizona: Turfgrass Dethatching
  • Walter Reeves: Bermuda Grass Dethatching
Keywords: dethatch grass, dethatch bermuda, how to dethatch

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.