Dethatching your lawn is a great way to help it stay healthy and green for the upcoming summer months. Spring is the best time in The Woodlands and surrounding areas to do this care technique, so now is a great opportunity to take on some yardwork.

The definition of dethatching is removing the layer of decomposing material that sits between the stems of the grass blades and the root system in the soil. If your yard has a thick thatch layer, you can see the brown and dried parts between the healthy grass blades. A thick layer can contribute to problems like preventing nutrients, fertilizers, weed-preventers and even water from reaching the soil and nourishing the root system. Dethatching will make your lawn stronger and less susceptible to disease.

If you’re going to take on this labor-intensive project, be sure to give yourself ample time and/or recruit some help. A day or two before you start, water your lawn. The next step is to mow your grass to a shorter than usual level and bag the clippings (or you’ll just wind up raking them up later). If your lawn is relatively small, you can use a thatch rake or metal convex rake to manually comb through the grass and pull up the thatch. Be sure to rake in one direction to avoid damaging the roots. Larger lawns may require renting or buying a motorized dethatcher or an attachment for your tractor.

Some dethatchers also come with aerator attachments, so be sure to check for this feature if you’re interested in doing both. Investing in your own machine is much more cost effective in the long run, but if you don’t plan to dethatch annually, then renting is a smart option.

After you’ve dethatched, use a leaf rake to collect the debris and dispose of it in the way you typically do with other yard materials. If you notice large patches of dirt with no grass, this would be a good time to apply grass seed. However, with most types of grass in this area, they will fill in eventually on their own.

After dethatching is also a good time to spread fertilizer and weed control products. Water your lawn well over the next few weeks and watch it green up for summer!