Dethatcher vs. Lawn Sweeper: What’s the Difference. Dethatcher for riding mower

Top 6 Best Pull behind Dethatches for a Luscious Lawn

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Most lawns need some dethatching from time to time, and a pull behind dethatcher can be the perfect tool for the job.

Dethatchers are designed to clear away dead grass and matted material that accumulates over time, allowing your lawn to breathe better and remain healthy with plenty of nutrients available.

With so many models on the market, it can be tough to choose which one is right for you.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 best pull behind dethatcher models that will help ensure your lawn looks its absolute best!

Read on to discover our picks capable of transforming lawns into lush oases!

  • Pull behind dethatchers are an essential tool for lawn maintenance and keeping the lawn healthy.
  • They help to reduce dense thatch which can improve air circulation, reduce erosion and root compaction, promote better nutrient absorption, and encourage healthier grass growth.
  • By using a pull-behind lawn dethatcher regularly, you can ensure your lawn looks its best all year long.
  • What is a pull behind dethatcher?
  • Benefits of using a pull behind dethatcher
  • How a pull behind dethatcher works?
  • The best pull behind dethatchers 2023 for your needs: Top 6 reviews
  • #1. Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher – Best lawn dethatcher
  • #2. Brinly DT-480BH-A 48″ Tow Behind Grass Dethatcher – Runner up
  • #3. Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Detatcher 40-Inch – Budget-friendly pick
  • #4. Brinly 42″ Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Dethatcher – Best sweeper dethatcher combo tool
  • #5. Brinly Front-Mount Dethatcher – Best for medium-sized yards
  • #6. HDURCIR 48″ Tow Behind Grass Dethatcher – Best for efficient results
  • Do tow behind dethatchers work well?
  • What time of year should you dethatch your lawn?
  • Are liquid dethatchers effective?
  • What is the difference between a scarifier and a dethatcher?
  • Is a power dethatcher better than a pull behind?
  • What is the difference between a lawn rake and a dethatcher?
  • How many times should I go over my lawn with a dethatcher?

What is a pull behind dethatcher?

A pull-behind lawn dethatcher is a type of lawn care equipment that is designed to remove thatch from a lawn.

Thatch is a layer of dead grass, leaves, and other organic matter that accumulates between the soil and the grass blades. While a small amount of all the thatch can be beneficial for a lawn, too much thick thatch buildup can prevent water, nutrients, and air from reaching the soil, which can lead to weak or unhealthy grass.

A pull behind lawn dethatcher uses metal tines to penetrate the thick thatch layers and pull it out, leaving the lawn healthier and more attractive. The equipment is designed to be towed behind a lawn tractor, ATV, or other type of tow-behind vehicle.

There are 2 two main types of lawn dethatchers available: manual and electric lawn dethatcher.

Manual dethatcher: manual dethatcher is simpler, cheaper tools that use either a series of sharp tines or a standard yard rake to loosen up and remove the thick thatch on a lawn.

Electric lawn dethatcher: electric dethatcher usually haas motorized tines or rakes, allowing you to quickly and easily move over the surface of your lawn in order to break up any compacted dirt and remove accumulated thatch.

Benefits of using a pull behind dethatcher

Using a pull behind lawn dethatcher offers several benefits for your lawn, including the following:

Improved lawn health: A pull behind lawn dethatcher can help to remove excess thatch from your lawn, allowing it to breathe more effectively. This can promote deeper root growth, better moisture retention, and healthier grass.

Enhanced appearance: Removing excessive thatch with a pull behind lawn dethatcher can improve the overall appearance of your lawn. By removing the dead, thin material on the top of the grass, the lawn can become thicker and more lush.

Improved nutrient absorption: When your lawn has too much thatch, water, oxygen, and nutrients cannot reach the soil beneath, hindering nutrient absorption by the grassroots. Removing thatch with a lawn dethatcher can enable water, air, and nutrients to reach the soil, where the roots can take it up to nourish the grass, resulting in greener, healthier grass.

Cost-effective: Hiring professional lawn care companies to dethatch your lawn can be costly. A pull-behind lawn dethatcher is a cost-effective tool for performing thatch removal independently, which can save you money over time.

Easy to use: Since a pull behind dethatcher is designed to be towed behind a lawn garden tractor or other ATV, it is easy to use and can quickly cover large yards.

How a pull behind dethatcher works?

A pull-behind lawn dethatcher works by using a series of metal tines or blades to penetrate the layer of thatch that has accumulated on top of the soil on your lawn.

dethatcher, lawn, sweeper, difference, riding, mower

When the lawn dethatcher is towed behind a lawn garden tractor or other ATV, these tines penetrate the thatch layer and bring up the dead grass, leaves, and other debris that is blocking the flow of air, moisture, and nutrients to the soil.

The dethatcher’s back basket or bag receives the thatch that the tines have pulled up as they travel across the lawn’s surface. This process is repeated until the entire lawn has been dethatched.

Once the work is complete, you can discard the thatch that the machine has removed. With the thatch removed, your lawn can breathe and absorb water and nutrients again, ensuring better lawn health and aesthetics.

The best pull behind dethatchers 2023 for your needs: Top 6 reviews

Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher – The Agri-Fab is an exceptional machine that effectively lifts and loosens thatch for improved lawn health. It’s rust-proof and replaceable heat-treated tines; however, it’s not suitable for larger areas.

Brinly DT-480BH-A 48″ Tow Behind Grass Dethatcher – For large lawns, the Brinly DT-480BH-A 48″ Tow Behind Grass lawn Dethatcher is an excellent option with its wide 48″ working dethatcher width and durable stainless steel tines construction. However, it can be difficult to manouver.

Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Detatcher 40-Inch – The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Detatcher 40-Inch Tow Lawn Dethatcher is a cost-effective and easy-to-use machine that offers deep penetration into the thatch layer with its 70 lb. weight tray. But, it’s only suitable for large yards.

Brinly 42″ Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Dethatcher – The Brinly Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Dethatcher and Hamper Windscreen is a great option for lawn surface care, offering high-performance dethatching and sweeping in one machine. However, the performance depends on the lawn size.

Brinly Front-Mount Dethatcher – The Brinly Front-Mount Dethatcher is a powerful and effective tool for clearing away dead grass and thatch, offering great results in just a few passes. However, it’s too much work for large yards.

HDURCIR 48″ Tow Behind Grass Dethatcher – The HDURCIR Tow Behind Grass lawn dethatcher is an ideal choice for anyone looking to quickly and efficiently remove thatch buildup from their lawn. The heavy-duty dethatcher includes extra-durable, heat-treated tines and wide working tow behind width to provide great results with minimum effort.

#1. Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher – Best lawn dethatcher


The Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher is the best lawn dethatcher choice for a dependable and effective tow-behind dethatcher. Many customers have confirmed its efficiency in removing and loosening thatch, which is necessary for growing healthier and more beautiful grass.

One of this machine’s most notable qualities is its capacity to uproot dead, matted grass swaths up to 40 inches long. This allows you to cover a huge area of your grass in a short period of time, considerably speeding up the de-thatching process. With 20 rust-proof, interchangeable, heat-treated tines, you can rely on this tow-behind dethatcher to last and operate well over time.

The Agri Fab 40-inch groomer comes with two 7-inch flat-free wheels, making it simple to move the equipment over your lawn. The cantilever transport handle with padded grip is easy to use and enables for effortless tine lifting and lowering no matter how much thatch you have to remove.

Another beneficial element that improves the thatch removal operation is the Agri Fab 40-inch weight tray, which can carry up to 70 lbs. Adding weight to the machine allows the tines to penetrate deeper into the thatch layer, resulting in a more efficient and comprehensive de-thatching.

This Agri Fab dethatcher is definitely worth consideration, whether you’re a professional gardener or a homeowner wanting to maintain your grass.

  • Long, interchangeable, heat-treated tines for better thatch removal.
  • Flat-free wheels for easy maneuvering.
  • Suitable for mid-sized lawns
  • Weight tray to carry up to 70 lbs. for deeper tine penetration into

Dethatcher vs. Lawn Sweeper: What’s the Difference?

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Dethatcher vs lawn sweeper: Which one do you need to get your lawn in shape? The answer can save you time and money.

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Spring isn’t just a good time to get your house clean and ready for summer. After a tough winter, your yard could use some cleanup, too.

If you’ve got a well-established lawn that’s starting to get a little yellow or tired, the problem might be thatch—a heavy mat of organic material that develops between the grass and the soil underneath. Thatch isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It can hold in water and nutrients, keeping grass healthy and resilient. But when the thatch gets too thick, it can hold in insects and weeds as well, and it can keep your grass from reaching moisture and nutrients in the soil below.

To check, dig a small test patch or take a core sample. If the thatch—the brown area between the green grass and the dirt—is more than 1/2-inch thick, you’ve got too much thatch. Dethatching your lawn can refresh your grass and get it ready for the hot, dry days of summer.

If the issue isn’t thick thatch, it’s still a good idea to clean debris from your lawn to give it a fresh start before summer arrives. That’s where a lawn sweeper comes in handy. The last of the fall leaves, twigs and sticks that fell in winter storms—and that thick mat of grass clippings from your first big mow of the season—might be too much for a bagging lawn mower to handle. A lawn sweeper replaces a rake, making quick work of cleaning up the grass and getting rid of things that might hamper good growth. You can also use some lawn sweepers to clean paved areas, like driveways or sidewalks.

What’s the Difference Between a Dethatcher and a Lawn Sweeper?

Sometimes dethatchers are called power rakes, but they’re not the same thing. Power rakes are heavy machinery used by professional landscapers, and can damage the grass if they’re not used correctly. A lawn dethatcher is a light-duty tool that’s easier to use. It acts like a rake with tines (sometimes called scarifiers) that get under the grass to pull out excess thatch.

There are three styles of dethatchers. Manual dethatchers look like big rakes that you pull across the grass. Tow-behind dethatchers can be pulled behind a riding lawn mower or yard tractor to clean up as you go along. Power dethatchers use a motor to drive the tines through your grass.

Lawn sweepers have rotating brushes with a catcher in the back for gathering debris. You push them across the lawn so the brushes can grab debris and toss it into the catcher. Like dethatchers, you can get lawn sweepers that are manual or motorized, or they can be pulled behind a riding mower or yard tractor. Lawn sweepers are similar to bagging lawn mowers, but some of them can handle heavier debris like small sticks, acorns, leaves and pine needles.

Pros and Cons of Dethatchers

Tow-behind or power dethatchers can be pricey, usually coming in around 130 to 150, and you need room to store them. If you’re willing to put in the work, a manual dethatcher like the True Temper dethatching rake is less than 100, and a fantastic investment for a healthier lawn. For more options, check out our picks for the best dethatching rakes.

  • Wallet-friendly
  • The 54-inch handle is made of sturdy hardwood with a cushioned end grip for comfort and control, and it’s long enough to be easy on your back
  • The 15-inch rake head with curved steel tines is double-sided and designed for dethatching on one side and tilling on the other
  • If you have a large yard and a lot of thatch, you may be better off renting a motorized dethatcher
  • Dethatching manually can take several days

Pros and Cons of Lawn Sweepers

Tow-behind sweepers are usually in the 200 to 300 range, but they can be worth it if you have a large yard with big trees that shed a lot of acorns. A top-rated option for this is the Agri-Fab Lawn Sweeper. An affordable option for smaller lawns is the Earthwise Push Lawn Sweeper.

  • Sturdy and lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver
  • The 21-inch brush, with two brushes per section, is wide enough to cut down on the number of passes you’ll need to make
  • Rake height is adjustable
  • Significantly more affordable than a motorized or tow-behind sweeper
  • Folds flat for easy storage

How Long Do Dethatchers Last?

You shouldn’t dethatch your lawn every year. A little buildup of tchatch is good for your lawn, holding in nutrients of water. Since you only use a dethatcher once every three years or so, a good dethatcher should last for decades.

How Long Do Lawn Sweepers Last?

As long as you use it when the grass is dry and keep your lawn cut short enough not to produce large amounts of grass clippings, a lawn sweeper should give you years of use. To prevent wear and tear, you can also mulch grass clippings by mowing over them, so there’s less bulk for the lawn sweeper to handle.

The Bottom Line

If you have a large yard and lots of trees that drop nuts and debris, a lawn sweeper towed behind your riding lawn mower can save a lot of work. A push lawn sweeper is more affordable, and will probably be fine for smaller yards, particularly in areas where you don’t have to fight the squirrels to gather up acorns.

Dethatching depends on how much muscle you’re willing to put into it. You only need to dethatch a lawn once every two or three years, so it depends on whether you have space to store a tow-behind or motorized dethatcher. Before you buy, you can rent a dethatcher from many garden centers and home improvement stores, giving you a chance to find out if it’s something you’ll use, or which style is right for you.

Where to Buy a Dethatcher


Dethatchers are available at home improvement stores such as Ace Hardware or on Amazon. If you have never dethatched your lawn, this is a good year to start. Once you’re done, you won’t have to do it again for a couple of years!

Where to Buy A Lawn Sweeper


Lawn sweepers are available at garden centers, at home improvement stores like Ace Hardware or on Walmart. If your garden shed is getting crowded, look for one that will fold flat easily.

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How to Properly Dethatch a Lawn With a Mower Attachment

A green, luscious lawn is the prize of any home or business. Every day, people spend time clipping their grass, setting a timer on the watering system, and spreading fertilizer. Lawns are the foundation for any beautiful landscape.

There is a little known fact about growing grass that involves something called thatch. Thatch is a hidden component that can create eye-catching green grass. But, too much of a good thing could cause problems.

In this article, we are discussing what thatch is and why it’s essential, the process of dethatching, and how to dethatch a lawn with a mower attachment.

What is Thatch?

Thatch is a layer of organic material found where grass stems meet the roots. It consists of crowns, roots, stem nodes, and vascular tissues. In the right amounts, it’s very beneficial to grass growth.

The breaking down of organic material creates an environment readily able to take in nutrients and water. When thatch is at the right levels, it is loose and provides protection and nutrients to the soil.

Thatch heats up and dries out quickly. It can also lead to mower scalping.

Grass clippings left on the lawn after mowing do not create thatch. It occurs naturally over time. All yards have a thatch layer, but certain grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass or Bermuda grass are more prone to thatch buildup.

What Does Thatch Look Like on a Lawn?

When you look at your lawn, you probably won’t see thatch. The best way to know how much thatch you have is by doing a little digging.

Choose an inconspicuous area to dig up a small portion of your lawn. You will be analyzing the spongy brown area just beneath the surface of the soil.

A healthy layer of thatch will be no more than half an inch thick. If your layer is one inch or more, your lawn will suffer.

Do You Really Need to Dethatch Your Lawn?

Dethatching your lawn is a personal choice. One that could give you the yard you’ve always wanted.

Dethatching a lawn is the process of thinning the thatch layer. It allows nutrients and water to reach the grass’s roots. Dethatching also helps keep those pesky weeds at bay by promoting more grass growth.

If you choose not to dethatch, your lawn can begin to turn brown. The grass will not get the nutrients it needs to grow because the layer of thatch will begin to act as a barrier.

This barrier will create an environment for fungus and mold to grow. It will also suffocate the roots because air is unable to enter and travel through the soil.

For more information about why you should consider dethatching your lawn, check out this article from the University of Washington.

Can Dethatching Hurt Your Lawn?

Dethatching can hurt your lawn if it is not done correctly or at the right time. The first thing is to determine if your lawn truly needs dethatching. Deciding this is done by either taking a lawn sample or consulting with a professional lawn care expert.

Dethatching your lawn in the spring is not recommended. Often, springtime is when people are anxious to get outside and begin preparations for a beautiful landscape. The problem is that there are parts of your lawn that may still be dormant from the winter.

If you dethatch in the spring, you can rip up dormant grass or hurt grass already beginning to wake from their winter nap. Grass could become injured and unable to recover from the process of dethatching. You could also awaken noxious weeds you were trying to avoid.

So when should you dethatch your lawn? To avoid hurting your lawn, dethatch in the fall and only if needed.

Is Dethatching the Same as Aerating?

Most people know about aerating. It is common to aerate your lawn each year after the threat of frost. Aerating your lawn is beneficial, but it is not the same as dethatching.

The process of aerating will leave small holes in your soil. Those holes allow for air, water, and essential nutrients to enter and flow through the soil. To aerate your lawn, you will use a special implement that is either pushed over your lawn or pulled behind your riding mower.

Dethatching your lawn is similar to aerating, but the difference lies in what dethatching removes from the soil. A thick layer of thatch can suffocate the grass’s roots, so the process of dethatching thins out the thatch layer.

You can water, fertilize, and seed your lawn after aerating and dethatching. Just remember that if you have a thatch problem, aerating will not fix it. You must dethatch.

How to Use Mower Blades to Dethatch Your Lawn

We have established what thatch is and how it affects lawns across the world. Now, let’s look at how to dethatch. Specifically, by using a mower blade.

Do Mower Dethatching Blades Really Work?

The simple answer is yes. Dethatching mower blades can be very efficient at getting the job done. Our advice is to choose wisely before making a purchase.

You can purchase blades that have nylon tines or metal ones. There are attachments for mowers, or you can purchase a machine designed just for dethatching lawns.

With the variety of dethatching blades on the market, you have many workable options to get your job completed efficiently.

How to Dethatch With a Push Mower

Dethatching your lawn with a push mower is pretty simple. There is some work involved by changing the blades, but the result can give you a lawn the entire neighborhood will want.

Follow these steps, and you will be dethatching like a pro.

  • You will need to purchase dethatching blades for a walk-behind mower. Be sure to purchase a blade that fits the deck width of your mower.
  • Remove the existing blade from your mower.
  • Install the dethatching blade onto your push mower.
  • Turn on the mower and begin making passes across your lawn.

When using a push mower, you have the option of using a bagger or not. If you do not have a bagger, you’ll need to rake up and discard the thatch from your lawn. Don’t leave this lying on top of your lawn because it will kill the grass, and it typically looks unsightly.

How to Dethatch Using a Riding Lawn Mower

Using a riding lawn mower can make dethatching a large yard much more comfortable and quicker. The process is similar to using a push mower, with the only difference being the blade attachment.

Riding mowers come with a hitch to attach various implements too. For dethatching, all you need is to secure a dethatching tool to the hitch and pull behind the mower.

Step-by-step instructions are as follows.

  • Mow your lawn to a maximum height of 3 inches. Dethatching is most beneficial when lawns are cut short.
  • Park your mower on a level spot and turn off the ignition. Using the hitch mount arms of the dethatcher, roll the implement toward the mower. While holding the bolt at the top of the hitch mount, turn the nut located underneath and pull the bolt out.
  • Place the hitch mount arms above the mower hitch. Insert the bolt and screw the nut back on.
  • Lower the dethatcher toward the mower by the lift handle on top of the dethatching implement. Check that the front and back tines are touching the ground. If not, make adjustments by loosening rear and forward hex nuts and carriage bolts.
  • Start your mower and begin dethatching. You may need to go over your yard a couple of times, catching the same spots more than once. The best way to accomplish this is to work in a cross-section pattern.

If you don’t want to pull your dethatching tool behind the mower, you have the option of purchasing a dethatching blade. In this situation, you will have to take the time to remove the mower blades and place the dethatching blades on your mower.

What Should You Do After Dethatching Your Lawn?

After you have spent the time to dethatch your yard, it is crucial to complete a few more steps.

The process of dethatching is hard on a lawn. You are basically tearing up parts of the soil. While it is a good thing, it can leave your yard vulnerable to the elements.

The first thing to do after dethatching is to rake and gather thatch on top of the ground. Never leave it lying on top of your grass. If you have not used chemical fertilizers too freely, you can use thatch as compost or mulch.

To avoid other potential problems, make sure to place the sprinklers out once you have finished.

A thorough watering can help the soil and existing grass recover from the stress of dethatching. Watering will keep the soil temperature stable, and all the grass stems hydrated.

Another tip is to spread fertilizer across your lawn. Dethatching will leave the soil loose, making it much easier for nutrients from fertilizers to reach the roots. If you are using chemical fertilizer, be careful not to over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer is a primary reason for the overgrowth of thatch.

Look for any bare spots in your lawn. After you dethatch is the best time to seed your lawn. You can overseed the existing lawn while paying particular attention to those unsightly bare spots.

Don’t expect to see results immediately. It takes an average of three or four weeks to see the product of all your hard work.

DON’T DETHATCH Your LAWN Before Watching. Your Questions Answered

We have given you a lot of information, so let’s review for a moment. Dethatching is an integral part of lawn care. Don’t dethatch your lawn unless it truly needs it. Too much dethatching could damage your lawn.

When dethatching your lawn, be sure to mow the grass to a shorter than standard length. Most experts say to cut your grass to a height of three inches or less.

You can use a push or riding lawn mower to dethatch your lawn. Just follow the instructions listed above, and you will be on your way to a beautiful yard.

Put the final touches on your lawn by watering, seeding, and proper fertilization after dethatching is complete.

Dethatching is only one step to having the lawn you desire. It does require work but will extend the life of your yard. Along with preventative care, learning how to dethatch a lawn with a mower attachment will give you a beautiful foundation for a stunning landscape.

The 9 Best Lawn Dethatchers in 2023

A lawn dethatcher is a piece of outdoor equipment for removing thatch from your lawn. In its simplest form, it looks like a garden rake with springy blades called tines, that can be pulled through your lawn, combing through it to remove thatch embedded between the grass line and the soil.

Thatch is the light brown layer that builds up over time between your lawn grasses and the soil. It’s largely made up of decaying organic matter like dead and compressed grass, leaves, stem, runners and roots.

Moderate amounts of it is okay, but when it has built up over a few years without being checked it starts preventing air and vital nutrients needed for your turf to grow properly.

It even harbours insects and pests which further harms and inhibits the growth of your lawn. That’s why you should use a lawn dethatcher to get rid of it.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Signs Your Lawn Needs Dethatching

Lawn dethatching is not something that should be done regularly like mowing, but if your turf starts showing the following signs, then there’s likely too much thatch that needs to be removed.

dethatcher, lawn, sweeper, difference, riding, mower
  • If it stops growing and starts getting brown and patchy. Thatch build-up inhibits lawn growth because it prevents water and necessary nutrients from getting to the roots. This will in turn stop the grasses from growing and even cause them to die.
  • If it does not respond well to watering and fertilizer application. No matter what you do, a browning turf caused by thatch build-up will not respond well to watering, fertilizer application or even reseeding it, unless the thatch is removed.
  • If your turf is spongy. You can use a trowel to cut out a sample of the turf, making sure you cut deep enough to see the soil. Then you can measure the layer of thatch. If it’s over 3/4 inch thick, then you probably need to get the lawn dethatcher out.

If you notice the signs above, then it’s very likely that it’s too much thatch inhibiting the growth of your turf.

We’ve reviewed several lawn dethatchers and have listed 9 of the best here (both walk-behind and tow-behind models) so you can choose the right one for your project.

Brinly DT-402BH-A 40-Inch Tow Behind Lawn Dethatcher

If thatch has taken over your lawn, and you’re looking to get rid of it, then one of the best lawn dethatchers you can use for this is this highly effective one from the folks at Brinly.

It’s the Brinly DT-402BH-A. When you buy it, you get a 40-inch equipment with 2 rows laid with 10 spring steel tines (20 total) that flex independently as they’re dragged through your turf grass, combing through it and removing the unwanted thatch efficiently.

With the thatch exposed above the turf surface, you can go ahead to sweep them off using a lawn sweeper, or you can just mulch it down.

When using the Brinly DT-402BH-A, you can set it to work at 3 different modes depending on what you’re trying to do.

First of all, you can place it in transport mode when you’re crossing driveways or walkways by simply lowering the no-flat tires it has.

Then when you’re on the turf you can raise the wheels so that the tines penetrate the surface, and then you can simply pull it through the lawn to remove the thatch.

To make it work better, you can add weights on top of the dethatcher plate so that it penetrates more into the soil to remove the thatch thoroughly and even scarify the lawn. This should come in handy when you’re trying to seed your lawn.

The Brinly DT-402BH-A comes equipped with an engagement lever which makes it possible for you to raise and lower the transport wheels right from the driver’s seat.

As for the part that does the dirty work, the tines. They’re 3/16 inches in diameter, made of spring steel and stay flexible as long as long as you want.

The tines come pre-assembled to the dethatcher plate, so you don’t really have much assembling to do when you get the equipment.

The whole construction is made of quality heavy-duty steel, with the plate having the capacity to hold up to 70 lbs of additional weight for a more aggressive dethatching.

Overall, the Brinly DT-402BH-A is one of the best tow-behind dethatcher you can get your hands on, to get rid of the thatch in your lawn.

  • Works with any lawn tractor or riding mower
  • Ideal for large acres of land
  • Very sturdy – high quality all still construction
  • Moves through the soil easily

Where it can be improved:

Greenworks 14 Inch Corded Electric Push Dethatcher

At first thought, looking at the size and the price, I thought the Greenworks 14 inch electric dethatcher wouldn’t really work properly or be effective due to the type of job in question i.e. pulling out thatch from lawns.

However, the incredible reviews it’s garnered made us check it out, and it turns out, it ain’t no joke to laugh about.

Turns out, it’s a top-notch electric tool you can rely on to get rid of the thatch in your lawn. It’s a corded electric dethatcher, so you don’t have to buy fuel to get it work. It’s efficient, and does the job of removing thatch from your lawn effectively.

All, you have to do is plug it in to an electric power outlet, push the start button, and push it around your lawn like you’re mowing the grass. It’s even self-propelling so you don’t have to exact too much force to get it going.

Even more surprising is the relatively low price it retails for. Just a little over the price for renting one at your local hardware store.

It comes equipped with a 10 amp motor which provides the mechanical power that drives 18 sharp tines spread over a 14 inch width as you push it through your lawn.

The tines can be moved or adjusted in 3 different position or depth depending on how much thatch you want to remove.

Also included when you purchase it is a full set of replacement tines for the 18 tines already installed in it.

Take care not to stay in one position when the machine is working as it can damage the grass when left running in the same position for long.

For optimum performance, try to make use of a heavy duty extension cord when connecting it to a power outlet.

To be specific, for an extension cord that is 50 feet or less in length, the wire gauge size (A.W.S) needs to be 14. Anything less than that can result in voltage drop and loss of power, which can cause the motor to overheat, and possibly breakdown.

Overall, the Greenworks 14 inch corded electric lawn dethatcher is definitely one of the best equipment you can get if you’re looking for something effective but inexpensive to get rid of the thatch inhibiting the growth of your lawn.

Of course everything is not rosy when it comes to using this equipment. You’re limited by the length of power cord you use for it, and the position of your power outlet.

You can only go as far as your extension cord will allow. Though this is one limitation that cannot be avoided when it comes to corded electric tools.

  • Easy assembly
  • Removes thatch efficiently
  • It’s not difficult to push – self propels
  • It’s easy to maintain – no engine parts to service

Where it can be improved:

What is Dethatching?

Dethatching may sound like a mind-control scheme straight out of a dystopian thriller, but it’s a little less exciting than that: It’s a process you perform on your lawn to help your grass grow green and healthy. If your lawn is starting to develop its own spongy, brown carpet, it may be time for a thorough dethatching.

Sure, dethatching may be less enthralling than Ray Bradbury or George Orwell, but it’ll prevent fungus and disease and keep your grass healthy. Even Big Brother would have to approve.

What is lawn dethatching?

Dethatching is an efficient method of removing excess thatch (the layer of debris, dead grass, and other organic matter that lies in between grass blades and the soil’s surface) from your lawn so that nutrients, air, and water can reach the soil. Basically, dethatching is a powerful, deep lawn raking.

If your grass isn’t looking as green and dense as it used to, or if it’s increasingly susceptible to dry spots and diseases, it may be crying out for a thorough dethatching.

Benefits of dethatching

Dethatching is an excellent solution for lawns with excessive thatch buildup. Choosing to dethatch your lawn will:

  • Give grass roots access to nutrients, water, and air
  • Improve soil health and nutrient density
  • Expose lower grass shoots to more sunlight
  • Improve grass health and curb appeal
  • Increase root strength and depth and encourage root growth
  • Reduce susceptibility to disease, fungus, and pests
  • Improve the effectiveness of fertilizer
  • Reduce the potential for mower scalping
  • Save water
  • Control weeds
  • Decrease stormwater runoff
  • Reduce puddling and standing water
  • Help winterize your lawn and prepare it for spring success

Does my lawn need dethatching?

You can determine if your lawn needs dethatching by digging out a small slice of turf and measuring the thatch layer. It’s like checking out the layers of a chocolate birthday cake (with green icing).

Test the thickness of your thatch

To determine the thickness of your thatch:

  • Use a shovel to remove a small, 3-inch-deep sample of your lawn.
  • Measure the brown, spongy layer between the grass blades and the soil surface.
  • If the brown, spongy layer is over half an inch thick, your lawn could use dethatching.

You also can use your finger, a stick, or a ruler to press into the thatch layer. If your finger can extend into the thatch layer by more than half an inch, it’s time to dethatch.

Signs your lawn needs dethatching

You don’t just have to rely on a dethatching test. Your lawn will let you know if it needs a strong dethatching to get back into shape. Your lawn may need to be dethatched if:

  • The ground is spongy and springy to the touch
  • Your grass blades are weak
  • Your grass is thinning and dry spots are appearing
  • Weeds are invading
  • Your grass is losing its healthy, green color
  • You’re developing an insect problem
  • Your lawn is more sensitive to temperature extremes
  • Fungal diseases are infecting your lawn

When to dethatch your lawn

What time of year should I dethatch?

Dethatch during your grass’s growing season to keep lawn stress to a minimum.

  • For cool-season grasses (grown in the northern parts of the U.S.) like Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue, dethatch your lawn in early spring or late summer to early fall.
  • For warm-season grasses (grown in the southern parts of the U.S.) like Zoysia and bermudagrass, dethatch your lawn in late spring to early summer.

Always avoid dethatching when your lawn is dormant or stressed. Make sure you don’t dethatch in the peak of summer heat or during a drought, as this can severely damage your lawn.

How often should I dethatch?

When it comes to a lawn care schedule, dethatching isn’t like aeration (removing plugs of soil from your lawn to decrease compaction): Lawn aeration is proactive and preventative, so you’ll need to aerate annually as part of a healthy lawn routine, whereas dethatching is a solution to a problem, so you’ll only need to do it if thatch becomes an issue.

With proper lawn care maintenance and grass seed that isn’t prone to thatch, you may only need to dethatch your lawn every few years. As long as the thatch layer stays thin, nutrients can reach the soil and grass grows heartily. The problems begin when thatch grows to more than a half-inch thick.

How to dethatch your lawn

When choosing a dethatcher, you have four main options. Luckily, none of them have hypnotic voices or make you wear spiky metal headgear.

How you dethatch will depend on which device you choose. No matter the method, you’ll want to mow your grass a bit lower than normal (to about half its regular height) before you dethatch.

  • Manual dethatchers (also known as thatch rakes) are rakes with short, curved blades designed to slash into your thatch and pull it up. They’re the least expensive of the dethatching options but also the most labor-intensive.
  • Manual dethatchers have different blade angle settings, so you can choose how deeply the rake penetrates your lawn (depending on your thatch depth).
  • Use a manual dethatcher like you would a normal rake, but dig deep into the grass with the blades. Then, pull the rake upward to loosen and remove thatch.

Best for: Small lawns with a mild thatch problem (one half to an inch of thatch buildup).

  • Electric (corded) dethatchers look like miniature lawn mowers, with spiny rotating tines that can be set to different levels.
  • Use a corded dethatcher like a lawn mower, making two to three passes across your yard in different directions. Your lawn will look like a grassy checkerboard.

Best for: Medium lawns with a mild to medium thatch problem.

  • Power rakes are similar to lawn mowers, with steel, knife-like tines (flail blades) that rotate on the bottom of the machine, perpendicular to the ground.
  • Make two or three passes (perpendicular to each other) across your lawn to dethatch the area thoroughly.
  • Set the blades at the highest level first to ensure you don’t accidentally damage your lawn on your first pass.
  • It’s important not to scalp your grass. Check to make sure you’re not tearing out the roots as you go.

Best for: Larger areas with a serious thatch problem and dense grass that can withstand tougher treatment.

  • Vertical mowers (also known as verticutters) have flat, vertical discs that slice down through the thatch and into the soil, creating grooves. Vertical mowers dig deep, uprooting thatch to give roots an extra dose of nutrients from the soil surface.
  • Set the blades to the proper spacing (2 inches or more) and depth (based on your level of thatch). Then, use your verticutter like a lawn mower, making two or more passes across your lawn (perpendicular to each other).
  • It’s a great idea to overseed or topdress your lawn after verticutting.

Best for: Large lawns with a serious thatch problem that could benefit from overseeding.

Pro Tip: To prevent severe grass damage, only vertically mow centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass once, in one direction only.

Are Electric Dethatchers and Scarifiers The Same Thing

After you’re done dethatching, rake up the debris and compost it.

It’s normal for your lawn to look pretty shaggy after dethatching. This isn’t the gentlest process for your grass, so give it some well-deserved TLC: Fertilize and water your lawn after dethatching. It’s also a great idea to overseed, giving your lawn some new green growth.

Pro Tip: If you’re not overseeding, apply a pre-emergent herbicide after dethatching.

What causes excess thatch?

Thatch is made up of dead grass, lawn debris, and other organic matter. It’s natural for some thatch to accumulate, but in a healthy lawn, microbes decompose thatch at the same rate as grass shoots are produced, so thatch production and decomposition are balanced.

High levels of thatch accumulating over a short period of time is a sign you need to make some changes to your lawn-care regimen.

Your lawn may have excess thatch due to …

  • Overwatering and frequent watering
  • Too much nitrogen fertilizer
  • Poor subsoil quality beneath the sod
  • Absence of earthworms due to pesticide applications
  • Infrequent mowings of tall grass (cutting more than one-third of the grass height)
  • High levels of soil compaction from foot traffic or home construction
  • Nutrient-poor soil with a high clay or sand content
  • Acidic soil with a low level of beneficial microbes

A little thatch goes a long way

Thatch isn’t always a lawn menace: A thin layer of thatch (less than half an inch thick) is healthy for your lawn.

Benefits of thatch in moderation

Thatch acts as a natural mulch, keeping your soil moist and providing insulation during extreme temperature fluctuations.

It’s great for play: A little thatch gives you traction when you’re walking or running and softens the impact of your feet on the soil. Lawns with a bit of thatch won’t get compacted as easily as thatch-free lawns.

Thatch improves soil quality by acting as a food source for beneficial bacteria.

It gives soil a nutrient boost: Earthworms incorporate organic matter from thatch into the soil, increasing soil’s nutrient density.

Thatch naturally filters rainwater, straining out contaminants for cleaner groundwater and aquifers.

The problem with thatch

When more than half an inch of thatch accumulates on your lawn, thatch whirls into its villain cloak and begins plotting lawn domination. Thick thatch can be a serious lawn health problem.

Thatch thickness

When thatch is over half an inch thick:

  • Soil and grass roots can’t access the nutrients they need. Excess thatch acts as a barrier to water, oxygen, and nutrients.
  • Grass is more susceptible to fungal diseases.Leaf spot melting-out, stripe smut, and summer patch are especially common in lawns with excessive thatch accumulation.
  • Grass is more vulnerable to pest problems. Thick thatch is a breeding ground for harmful insects and disease-causing organisms. Plus, thatch binds up pesticides so they are less effective at reaching their intended targets.
  • Mower scalping is more likely to occur. Lawn mower wheels sink into the thatch, giving your grass a much shorter cut than planned. The scalping weakens grass, causing lawn thinning and weed invasions.
  • Roots grow shallowly, and many roots grow into the thatch. When thatch dries out or heats up, roots in the thatch wither, desiccate, and die.
  • Wet thatch acts like a wall, preventing oxygen from reaching roots. Heavy moisture also increases the risk of lawn disease and fungus.

Grass types and thatch

Your lawn’s susceptibility to thatch also depends on your grass species.

  • For cool-season grasses, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue are much less likely to develop thatch than Kentucky bluegrass, creeping red fescue, and creeping bentgrass.
  • For warm-season grasses, Zoysia and bermudagrass are especially prone to developing thatch.

Tips to prevent dethatching in the future

We’ll say it: Dethatching is a pain. It’s a sweaty, muscle-heavy chore that eats into the time you could be spending with friends and family. Fortunately, with the right lawn care practices, you may hardly ever need to dethatch again.

  • Avoid frequent, shallow waterings. Instead, water your lawn deeply (1 to 1.5 inches) once a week or divide it into two waterings per week.
  • Avoid overfertilizing, especially with fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. One or two fertilizations per year should be enough to keep your lawn green.
  • Stay away from chemicals that harm earthworms: Some pesticides and fungicides can severely damage the earthworm population.
  • Mow regularly, following the one-third rule: Don’t cut your grass shorter than one-third of its height at each mow.
  • Test your soil every three to five years. Check with your cooperative extension service about local labs that will analyze your soil.


What chemicals should I avoid to protect my earthworm population?

Avoid insecticides with carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, fenvalerate, guthion, methomyl, nicotine, and propoxur. You’ll also want to avoid fungicides with benomyl and captan. These chemicals are highly toxic to earthworms.

Can I both dethatch and core aerate my lawn?

Absolutely. Dethatching and aerating help your lawn in similar ways, but they provide different benefits. Dethatching rakes up the mat of organic matter that impedes the flow of nutrients, whereas aeration removes cores of soil to relieve soil compaction and gives roots space to grow.

If your soil is not compacted but has a thick layer of thatch, you may only need to dethatch and not aerate. Likewise, if your soil is compacted but you don’t have a thick layer of thatch, you may only need to aerate and not dethatch.

If your lawn has both compacted soil and a thick layer of thatch, you’ll want to aerate and dethatch.

If I am both dethatching and aerating my lawn, which should I do first?

Dethatch before you aerate to remove surface debris. Dethatching will open up the soil, making aeration more effective for your lawn and less strenuous for you.

dethatcher, lawn, sweeper, difference, riding, mower

Are grass clippings hurting my lawn and adding to my thatch layer?

No, the idea that grass clippings cause thatch all by themselves is a myth. Homeowners shouldn’t worry about removing grass clippings on healthy lawns. Grass clippings do wonders for your lawn’s nutrient levels, quickly decomposing for the benefit of earthworms and microorganisms that maintain soil health.

The one exception? Grass clippings that are over an inch long can shade or smother the grass underneath it. In this case, you should go ahead and bag the clippings. Don’t toss them in the garbage, though. Take the eco-friendly route and use them as garden mulch or compost.

Rather than avoiding grass clippings, you’ll want to change your lawn care practices as we discuss in the “Tips to prevent dethatching in the future” section.

Attacking thatch, by yourself or with backup

As any sci-fi novel will tell you, standing up to a power-hungry villain is not for the faint of heart, and thatch sure is hungry for lawn control. If you’re ready to save your yard, dethatching is a worthy DIY project and combined with healthy lawn practices, you won’t have to do it often.

If you’d rather let an expert mount the resistance while you spend time reading something a bit lighter, you can call a local lawn care pro to dethatch your lawn for you. It’ll soon look like a real utopia.