Lawn Dethatchers
If your grass is starting to appear slightly off color or if it's beginning to thin it's time to rent a dethatcher.  These machines are also known as "thatchers" or "power rakes."  Dethatching is typically best done once the ground has thawed and firmed up.   If the turf is still soft or squishy it's probably too early. Toomey's recommends waiting until you've mowed at least once or twice before you rent a thatcher.

For best results customers will want to rent a thatcher between early and mid-spring.

What is Thatch?

Thatch Diagram

Over the course of the year dead grass and roots can accumulate along the surface of your soil. This buildup, which commonly looks and feels like a spongy mat, prevents air, water and fertilizer from reaching the soil and ultimately your grass. When you look down at the surface of your lawn, if you don't see bare ground below the grass it's probably time to dethatch.

Thatching before and after

Once you've thatched (or de-thachted) the soil is better exposed for receiving sunlight and nutrients which help it grow fuller. If you're planning to overseed this also makes it easier for seed to find it's way to the soil. When the thatch is still in place seed is less likely to take root and more likely to be eaten or washed away.

Dethatching vs. Aerating

Dethatching and Aerating are two different jobs which are commonly mixed up. Aerating is needed when the ground has become packed together preventing the soil from distributing nutrients to plant life. Thatching (or dethatching) is needed when a thick mat of dead plant material has accumulated on the surface of the soil preventing fertilizer, air and water from reaching the soil.

You may need to dethatch, aerate or both.

To figure out if you need to dethatch just grab a rake and drag it across your lawn.  The more dead grass you pull up, the more your lawn needs to be dethatched.

For aerating you'll want a screwdriver.  Push the screwdriver into one of those dry, dead spots in your lawn.  If it's hard to get the screwdriver through the soil, it's time to rent an aerator.

If you need to do both, Toomey's recommends thatching and then aerating and finally fertilizing.

Styles of Dethatcher

Toomey's Rent-All carries two style of dethatchers. Our bagless thatchers have a folding handlebar and can fit into most "utility" vehicles. We also rent a dethatcher with a bag that requires a pickup truck or cargo van to transport.

Thatchers are among our most popular items so we recommend calling to check availability. You can also place a reservation by visiting our showroom.