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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 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?'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 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! 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 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 get out there and do some gardening!!!! (do a little for me too...we got more snow again-ugh)