Raking thatch, or dethatching, is the process of removing dead organic matter from your lawn. If there's a build-up of dead surface roots and woody fibrous material, then you need to dethatch. Dethatching is critical if your lawn is made up of a sod-forming species of grass, such as Kentucky bluegrass, or if you've over-watered or over-fertilized in the past. Up to a half inch layer of grass clippings, however, can be beneficial for your lawn, because it retains water and protects root systems.
Wait for the ground to be somewhat dry before dethatching, since dethatching is an aggressive process that can pull grass out by the roots if the soil is wet. Tools for dethatching include a dethatching attachment for the front of your mower or a metal dethatching rake. Be sure to save any organic material for your compost pile.
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