In Traverse City and Leelanau County we tend to get excited when the snow melts. I usually dust off the flip flops and the sunglasses when the temperature hits 50 degrees. We feel active and productive and want to get the lawn looking great as soon as possible. Dethatching the lawn has become one of the first tasks we do each year on the lawn.
Dethatching Your Lawn is Unnecessary
The idea behind dethatching is that you remove all of the dead grass from the previous year. Then the new grass can poke through and grow better. This is not necessary. The brown grass will not impede the growth of new grass. In fact, that dead grass that you are removing from the lawn is perfectly good compost. It will eventually break down to provide additional nutrients for your lawn. Also, the ground can still be pretty wet in the early spring. Walking or driving on the wet lawn can cause compaction and make it more difficult to grow grass.
Do a Spring Cleanup
There are some beneficial things you can do to the lawn in the spring even though dethatching is probably not the best idea. Generally, it is a good idea to do a “spring cleanup” of the lawn to get it ready for summer.
- Pick up sticks and large objects. These items can potentially cause damage to lawn mowers. Or worse…they can become weapons for children.
- Clean up snow blower/snow plow debris. Sometimes excess snow removal efforts can create piles of dirt/stones that will blanket the grass. This can kill small areas in the lawn.
- Fertilize the lawn. Not any fertilizer will do. You want to make sure the fertilizer includes a product for crabgrass prevention. This will reduce the chances of the ugly summer grass taking over your lawn.
Dethatching is not necessary. Your lawn will be on the right path to a beautiful outdoor season if you do the 3 things listed above. Please let us know if you are interested in having your lawn fertilized by Green Team or would like recommendations for contractors to do a spring cleanup.