When spring rolls around, there is a lot of misunderstanding about power raking a lawn. Most lawns will never need "power raking" unless there is a true buildup of old dead accumulated roots, years of dead grass blades and mulching debris. The misconception is that you need to remove the thatch layer of the lawn. In fact, some thatch layer in a lawn is beneficial.
Power raking is only necessary if there is an extreme thatch buildup in the lawn that the microbes in the soil are not capable of decaying. It's important that you understand that in the spring, the roots have to make a decision, repair damaged roots from winter damage, vole damage, power raking aka de-thatching or, if there is no damage to repair, they can then grow deeper roots that can pull water from up to 10" deep during the the heat of the summer.
Below is an example of 2 situations, the first picture on the left was power raked in the spring and during the root development stage only repaired its roots up to the point that leaf development starts. The right picture represents a lawn that was just mowed short and the roots were allowed to grow deep rather than spending its energy repairing damage.
Here's the truth about De-thatching, Power Raking or, if you power rake or De-thatch your lawn in the spring. These machines tug, tear and pull on the root system and create bare spots. In this case, the roots will not grow deep because they need to use all their energy repairing the damage from the De-thatching process. You will end up with roots only occupying the the first inch of soil regardless of how you water in the spring.
Here's what you do, Just mow the lawn super short on the very first mow of the season. You will kick of dirt and dull your mower blade but this is the healthiest ways to remove the same dead hay that a power rake pulls up. and aerate your lawn instead. In addition, lawns power raked or De-thatch in the spring results in lawns struggling with crabgrass, excessive broad leaf weeds because they compete well with turf grass when their are bare spots and higher incident of lawn diseases and grubs!
Until Next Time... Start Enjoying family activities in the Out of Doors on your GREEN TURF