How To Dethatch & Aerate A Lawn
Garden hose, wooden matchsticks, iron rake, thatch rake, dethatching machine, garden fork, hand or machine aerator and leaf rake.
The lawn must be dethatched if the thatch is more than 1/2″ thick and compacted. To assess the level of compaction of the soil, water the lawn and note how quickly the water is absorbed in various areas of the lawn. The soil is compacted if the water does not absorb quickly. If a wooden matchstick cannot be easily inserted into the soil, then it is compacted.
If the lawn needs to be dethatched, use an iron rake or thatch rake to cut through and rake off thatch. Rent a walk behind dethatching machine for larger lawns. Dethatching should only be done in the fall.
Use a garden fork to prick holes, 2-3″ apart and 1-2″ deep into a moderately compacted area. Use an aerator for larger areas to spike the lawn holes. Aerating is easier to do when the soil is wet. Rent aerating equipment at your local rental outlet.
In sandy soil and small areas, a garden fork will create holes in the lawn. However, for severely compacted soil, the fork must be inserted into the ground 3-4″ deep and moved back and forth to create larger holes. A hollow-tine fork will pop out multiple plugs of sod and soil at one time. Use a gas-powered plugging aerator to create larger holes in medium to large areas of severely compacted soil.
NOTE: Professional services will take care of all your lawn care needs. Look for a local contractor to hire if you didn’t want to do it yourself.
How To Re-turf A Bare Spot On A Lawn
Edger or spade, measuring tape, garden fork, cutting tool, tamper or garden roller, garden hose and nozzle, pointer masons trowel or kitchen knife.
Using an edger or spade, cut a 2 inch deep square around the damaged area. Remove the sod from the damaged area. Make the new cut-out of the sod equal to or a multiple number of the width of the damaged strip of sod.
Use a garden fork to loosen the soil under the removed strip of sod. Rake the area until it is level and then tamp it with the head of the rake to remove any air pockets.
Use a pointed mason’s trowel or kitchen knife to cut one or more lengths of sod. Lay the sod into the cut-out area. Fit the edge of the new sod against the existing sod around the cut-out. Fill the gaps with loose topsoil. Walk on the new sod or use a tamp or garden roller filled 1/3 with water to press the area into the ground.
Water the sod regularly for 2-3 weeks and limit the amount of walking on the new area.