Pros and cons of dethatching lawn spaces can be a little bit mind-boggling, especially if you never considered dethatching lawn areas at all. One pro includes freeing up and aerating the soil and a con includes cost. Pros and Cons of Dethatching Lawns

Lawn care should be one of the topmost priorities since outdoor spaces boost every home’s curb appeal. In this article, we will study the advantages and disadvantages of lawn dethatching so your house will look better than ever.

The Pros of Dethatching Your Lawn

The pros of dethatching your lawn are that it frees up and aerates the soil, lessens water bills, and reduces fertilizer expenses etc. Since dethatching refers to the removal of the upper thatch layer of your turf, you would find dethatching activities extremely beneficial to your lawn.

– Frees Up and Aerates the Soil

Turf grasses need access to sunlight, air, and water. Without these three elements, lawn grass will simply suffocate and eventually die. When homeowners remove thatch from their lawns, the roots underneath are given wider access to air, the grasses have a better space to grow.

– Provides Proper Nutrient Access for Your Turf

When excess thatch is removed, the turf underneath will have better access to nutrients from the water, air, sunlight, and fertilizers. By removing the covering that restricts these elements, homeowners get to give their grasses room to breathe, drink, and grow better.

– Lessens Water Bills

When the layer of thatch is too thick, it can take more water to fully hydrate the lawn. As a result, homeowners may end up spending more for their water to get the soil underneath wet.

Lessens Water Bills

However, when homeowners actively dethatch their lawns regularly, they tend to spend less on watering their lawns.

– Enhances Fertilizer Absorption

Once the thick thatch is removed from your lawn, the soil gets more access from any applied fertilizers. Whether synthetic or natural, the fertilizers will be better absorbed by the roots under the soil since the thatch no longer prevents nutrient penetration. As a result, grass turf ends up looking better and staying healthier from regular dethatching maintenance.

– Reduces Fertilizer Expenses

Lawn fertilizer applications can take a toll on homeowners’ budgets, especially when their lawns are overrun with thick layers of thatch.

It can take a lot of fertilizer applications to the roots since the thick layers will prevent nutrient penetration. With a well-maintained lawn that is regularly dethatched, expect to spend less on fertilizer purchases.

– Improves Soil Health

When your lawn has too much thatch going on, the soil underneath will have lesser access to oxygen and water.

Improves Soil Health

This can make the ground dry and low in nutrients, leading to lawn grasses with very poor health. Once you begin dethatching lawns regularly, you’ll find that your soil becomes healthier too.

– Supports Lawn Seed Development and New Growths

A thick layer of thatch prevents grass seeds from rooting and growing. Furthermore, the thick layer also discourages current grasses in the middle to produce new growths. A regularly dethatched lawn will give seeds and grasses the proper environment that encourages seed development and growth.

– Helps Prevent Diseases

When the layer of thatch is too thick, it can become a hotbed of disease-causing bacteria and fungus to thrive. The absence of water, air, and sunlight will encourage these elements to spread throughout the lawn and into surrounding plants and vegetables.

Properly dethatched lawns reduce the risks of diseases and their spread.

– Discourages Pests

There are some pests who live unnoticed underneath thick layers of thatch. Booklice and mites are just some of the most common pests that can easily spread into surrounding plants from thatches.

Discourages Pests

However, their presence is greatly lessened when regular dethatching activities are performed.

– Increases the Aesthetics of Your Lawn

There’s no doubt about it, regularly dethatched lawns look better compared to overgrown ones. Too much thatch on your lawn can make it look unkempt and uneven, which is quite visually unattractive.

Homeowners who have regular dethatching maintenance for their lawns usually end up with more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing lawns.

The Cons of Dethatching Your Lawn

The cons of dethatching your lawn includes possible damage and greater water needs initially. Therefore, dethatching your lawn can have downsides too. While these are mostly temporary, it is still important to learn about them if you are considering dethatching your lawn.

– Needs More Water Initially

When the grass layer is kept too thin, it allows moisture in the soil to evaporate faster. Newly dethatched lawns have this distinct characteristic, especially when the layer is down to an inch or two.

Needs More Water Initially

This is why it’s important to keep a layer that is neither too thin nor too thick. A medium layer will allow water penetration without quick moisture evaporation.

– Dethatching Instruments Might Result in Damage

Some tools might damage the grass in the lawn, especially when the dethatching tool is as aggressive as a power rake. When using power tools, machines, or instruments, always make sure that they are used properly to avoid causing damage to your lawn.

– Makes the Soil More Accessible to Weed Seeds

Since dethatching makes your grasses grow, it can also make weeds proliferate in your lawn. Dethatching makes your lawn more inviting to all kinds of plants, including weeds since the soil has better access to water, air, and sunlight.

– Makes Grasses More Vulnerable to Frost

Dethatching near the cold months of the year can make the soil more prone to low temperatures. The thick layers of thatch act as insulation against the bitter cold, protecting the soil and the root systems of the grass.

Makes Grasses More Vulnerable to Frost

When the layer of thatch is cut too thin, the lawn is more susceptible to frost damage in the winter season.

– Dethatching Can Eliminate Beneficial Bacteria

Dethatching will eliminate all kinds of bacteria, including the beneficial ones that help with the decomposition of organic matter. Usually, these bacteria are also found in compost piles and bins, where they break down the materials.

– Dethatching Can Be Expensive

The whole dethatching activity can cost a pretty penny, especially if you have a large lawn. This can include buying your own tools, machines, and equipment to hiring professionals to maintain your lawn.

– Dethatching Requires Time and Effort

Dethatching with hand tools can be a time-consuming activity that requires a lot of manual work.

Dethatching Requires Time and Effort

While power tools are available, they also need to be used properly to prevent damage. Plus, they still need at least some form of physical work to start and complete.

How To Successfully Dethatch Your Lawn: 4 Tips

To successfully dethatch your lawn, there are four tips you can follow: first off, conduct research on power tools, machines and equipment, prepare everything you need, test out a small area to see what happens and consider getting professionals in to help you.

1. Conduct Research on Power Tools, Machines, and Equipment First

It can be too easy to get swept into the excitement of dethatching your lawn, especially when it is overwhelmingly thick. But before you buy the first piece of machinery or tool, research them first.

2. Prepare Everything

Dethatching your lawn is not a simple task like trimming a plant to keep it looking nice. Your lawn can have lines running underneath for your electricity, water, and other utilities. To prevent damaging these underground lines, always make sure that you know where they are located.

3. Test Out a Small Area

When working with power tools for the first time, you may need to use a small area to test the tool. This will help you determine its performance and how you can handle it in larger areas. Look for a small patch of your lawn area that is not immediately visible to you or to anyone.

4. Consider Professionals

Doing it yourself might save you some money, but it may take up your time and effort. For homeowners who want to have beautiful lawns without the hassle, a professional might just be the answer. When looking for one, always consider their background, expertise, and reviews.

Tips to Reduce Excessive Thatch Buildup: 3 Pointers

Keeping a beautiful lawn requires some form of maintenance. However, it can also lead to thatch quickly building up over time.

1. Avoid Overwatering

Some grasses require less watering than others. However, when you water them too much and too often, it can lead the grass blades to grow quicker than normal.

Avoid Overwatering

The trick is to water your lawn deeply but not frequently. For example, you can water your lawn with an inch of water weekly.

2. Aerate Your Lawn Regularly

Turn over the soil in your lawn regularly to avoid compaction while increasing its microbial activity. When there is an increased presence of beneficial bacteria, the thatch decomposes more easily.

3. Manage Soil PH Levels Correctly

Soil pH can cause microbial activity levels to go down, which leads to an increased buildup of thatch layers.

Manage Soil PH Levels Correctly

Ideally, soil pH should be neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0 on the pH scale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Improper Dethatching Hurt Your Lawn?

Yes, improper dethatching can hurt your lawn – as mentioned it can cause harm in terms of damaging the grass. However, lawns that are properly dethatched end up healthier and more beautiful. Hence, it is important to learn how to dethatch your lawn correctly.

What Should You Do After Dethatching Your Lawn?

After dethatching your lawn, water it immediately to provide soil hydration. As an added option, you can fertilize your lawn as well to encourage new and healthier growth. Just remember that you’ll need less water and fertilizer than from before the lawn was dethatched. 

My Lawn Looks Bad After Dethatching, What’s Causing It?

There are several reasons why your lawn does not look its best after dethatching:

  • Dethatching too early in the season will interrupt growth
  • Excess fertilizer applications, which will burn the grass
  • Overseeding, which results in patchy growths and bald spots

How Much Will It Cost to Dethatch a Lawn?

Depending on your area and the size of your lawn, the professional cost to dethatch a lawn can be anywhere from $150 to $250. However, you should always factor in other elements such as expertise, amount of thatch, lawn topography, weather, and other considerations.


There are many pros and cons of dethatching lawn areas, and by this time you should be quite familiar with them. Let’s recap some of the important things we’ve learned:

  • Regular dethatching activities will help your lawn become more beautiful and healthy.
  • Dethatching can also incur costs that may affect how and how often you want to have it done.
  • You can consider our tips to lessen the growth of the thatch on your lawn.

Now that you learned all the advantages and disadvantages of dethatching lawns, you can start assessing your own!

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