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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waking Up the Grass!!! Tootsie Tip #18

Since some of you are experiencing spring already (not me...sniff sniff) I am giving out a few of the lawn care tips that I have in my arsenal.
Many yard care companies will charge you big dollars to de-thatch your lawn. They will run over the grass with their fancy machine and leave behind huge piles of dead grass that has fallen into the depths of your lawn. This is a very beneficial process, as that dead grass is called thatch and too much thatch can cause nothing but trouble for your grass!
Too much thatch makes it next to impossible for the moisture to get into the soil that hold the precious roots. The rain or garden hose water will simply sit on top and evaporate or run off to who knows where and be wasted! Too much thatch can also give a great place for pests and bugs to hide and infest your lawn and gardens....it also keeps much needed air from circulating around the soil line and can cause mold to grow and can inhibit the flow of oxygen to the plants-which in fact are your lawn!
How do we rid ourselves of too much thatch without spending huge amounts of cash you ask? Well....here's what you'll need to have:
A working lawn mower ....and one of these babies:

This is a thatch blade kit. You get them at any garden center that sells lawn mowers (and possibly some that don't). You simply remove the existing cutting blade from your lawn mower and replace it with this one.
Now...when using a thatch blade on your lawn mower, you do not want to go too slow or stop moving without shutting the blade off. This will dig a deep crop circle into your grass...Those little wire-type things that you see are the tools that will stir up the dead grass and spit it out !
Just keep moving at a steady pace, and make your swaths overlap a little bit. You will not need to use your lawn mower bag for this...the thatch will clog the bag. What you can do..is either rake it up by hand and dispose of it according to your city ordinance, or take it to the compost pile...or what ever you do with your lawn clippings, OR you can do what I do.
I have two lawnmowers...and old one we use for thatching (because I blew it up once) and a newer one that we use to mow the grass. If you don't have two (because a crazy blonde wrecked one) simply finish thatching and replace the original cutting blade onto your mower. Then proceed to mow up and bag your cuttings! It is much easier than raking...and you don't have to worry about your kids jumping in the grass piles and tracking it in inside their pants!
Okay...you will still have to worry about that, but mowing them is faster and they have less time to make themselves into live scarecrows and fill their clothes up with it...lol yes...it has happened here.
Once you have thatch mowed your grass a simple run over with a fertilizer spreader will take care of the feeding and then water it in!
You will be surprised how clean it will make your garden look...and how quickly you will begin to see nice green grass sprouting up for you.
For more information on fertilizing and caring for your lawn please refer to my post "Tootsie tip #11: The Greener the Better"
Okay...what are you waiting for?...I told you what I know...now get out there and do some gardening!!!! (do a little for me too...we got more snow again-ugh)

20 comments:

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

This is a good one! I'll check with hubby to see if he has a thatch blade. He has the strange nail shoes to aerate the lawn. He's gotten stuck with them too! ☺

prof en retraite said...

Oh Tootsie...I need to ask my lawn service about this one! I have bermuda and it's still all brown. Thanks for the tip!...Debbie

Julie said...

I wonder if the de-thatcher will work on St. Augustine grass. I need to investigate. Thanks for the great tip, Tootsie!!!

Darla said...

Good info Tootsie. I don't know how you take so much cold weather. I too would have a greenhouse for sure. As a matter of fact I am already putting in for one for Christmas.

Cathy said...

Tootise,
This is a post I will be sharing with my husband. I live in zone 5 so we are still cold here. I am more then ready for green to start sprouting! Have a wonderful day...Cathy

artis1111 said...

I have to buy one of these. Oh my hubby will love another new toy!!! My tulips have their buds out. My Wysteria is putting its buds out. My Blooming Cherrie is pushing the blooms off with it's leaves. I am blooming!!! Kathy

Jessica said...

Morning Miss Tootsie~

I do not even OWN a lawnmower....I have a wonderful little company that mows for me....I do all my own flower beds, gardening, weeding and Mister fertilizes the yard.

Is that shameful?

Love~ me.

"Blossom" said...

I never "wake up my grass" over the week-end I rolled it with a roller and our field next door where hubby live (in the barn" just kidding. It took me 3 hours to roll both yards. Girl, give me something that I can plant and never touch again. LOL Im hopless.

Bo said...

Good morning Tootsie...this post comes at a good time for us...my DH was just wondering why our grass is slow to start greening... He mulched tons of leaves on our lawn this fall & I think he has smothered the grass...I will show him your tip. Thanks bunches!
;-) Bo

trash talk said...

I'll have to check and see if that works on st. augustine grass. I would be the lawn service guy around here. I don't think C.D. even knows where the lawnmower is. Debbie

"Blossom" said...

Ok, I'm glad you told me. If I don't hear from you in about 48 hours than I am calling out all the gardners in blogland to find you. LOL I do worry about you. You know what I mean too.

onlymehere said...

I'm watching it gently snow out my window and reading about dethatching my lawn!! Kind of funny to me but luckily this time will be here before I know it! I really hope we can bring the lawn back this year, time will tell. We definitely have to dethatch also. I'll be back to go over this post again when we do it!

Smilingsal said...

Living in South Florida means I don't have to do anything but wait for sun and rain, and then I always have a green lawn. It's a good thing, too, considering how inept I am at outdoor work.

Fieldstone said...

Although it's been very cold, it's time to mow our lawn already. The timing of today's topic is perfect. Pam

Helen said...

I hope the service that cares for our townhome lawn is using this technique ~ I plan to find out!

The Muse said...

OOOO alright! I hate lugging out the heavy duty de~thatcher if I don't have to!

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

My DH is shopping for a new lawn mower this weekend....we've had the old FOREVER!!! Little by little it has fallen apart...I'm gonna tell him about the thatch blade! I was out raking it up the other day! This sounds much better!! God Bless you today Tootsie! Lauralu :)

My Moon said...

You nailed it for me girl! Thank you so much! I will be purchasing a thatch blade kit this week-end. I just hope I am able to do the installation myself (removing the blade and installing the kit). I'm excited. Thanks Tootsie! I'm so glad I found your blog.

Ashley ~ said...

I don't know anything about landscaping, except that yours is BEAUTIFUL*! Just wanted to say hello as I was passing through*!
(((hugs))) _Ashley*

Fieldstone said...

Hi, Thanks for visiting my "blog." Yes, that was my first attempt....just wanted to have a way for people to know I'm still interested! Now to catch up on gardening tips! Pam