Using a Power Rake or lawn dethatcher your lawn is actually quite easy.
1. Plan to rent or borrow a power rake. Ask a friend to help you get the machine back to your lawn since they are heavy and usually cannot be transported easily by one person.
2. Make sure your lawn is ready before you head to the rental center. You do not want to waste the hours you are paying for the machine doing things you could have done early. Make sure the lawn is free of anything that will get in the way. The grass should be mowed shorter than normal, about half what you typically do, to improve thatch removal. If the ground is a bit dry, water well, but do not over-water. Dirt that is too wet and soft can also be a problem.
3. When you go to pick up the lawn power rake, look the machine over to make sure that everything looks like it is in good condition. Ask any questions you have about how to operate it safely and correcting. Have them show you how to position the blades at the right height and spacing. For cool weather grasses, ½” is usually a good height with 1-2” between tines. Warm weather grasses may need less depth with the blades around 3” apart.
4. Once you have transported the power rake dethatcher to the work site, check the oil and fuel levels and fill if needed. Make sure you have the machine at the first area to dethatch, then set the choke on the engine, pull the starter and let the engine warm up a few minutes.
5. Start raking over the lawn, checking that the height and spacing seem correct. Make any adjustments needed. You may need to change the settings for different areas of the lawn as height and conditions are variable.
6. Rake the entire lawn first, going in one direction such as long rows or diagonals. Then do the lawn again perpendicular to the first rows, making short rows or along the other diagonal. Using the different directions gives better coverage and better results.
7. Next rake up the thatch left on the lawn. You can compost it or just get rid of it.
8. Since the roots are exposed, this is a good time to overseed and/or fertilize. Be sure to water well and do not mow for 2-3 weeks. The lawn may look bad right after because power lawn rakes create a lot of stress to the grass, but should look better than before in a month or so.
When you are done, pull out a folding lawn chairs and enjoy. After all we’ve work hard and you deserve it.