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Why Dethatch?

Thatch can keep water and air from reaching the soil and, if left untreated, can create an environment that harbors pests and diseases. Dethatching removes those layers of dead grass, roots and debris matted between the soil and the growing grass, keeping the grass greener and healthier while minimizing the chance of disease.


Ryan® dethatchers combine ultimate performance with optimal versatility. You can match the cutting blade, spacing and dethatcher reels with the job and desired results. All-welded structures and hardened steel shafts ensure long-lasting satisfaction. And each machine is driven by a powerful Honda® or Briggs & Stratton® engine.


Depending on where you live in the country, and if you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass, you should dethatch in early fall before you fertilize, or in the spring after the grass has begun to green.

If you are planning to overseed a lawn, you should plan to dethatch before seeding.


COMPACTION: A condition that occurs primarily in the upper 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil. Compacted soils have reduced air spaces and more resistance to root growth than noncompacted soils. Compacted soils are dense and cause water to puddle and run off.

CORE AERATION: The mechanical removal of small plugs of soil and thatch from the lawn.

DETHATCHING: The process of removing the thatch layer from turf, the layer of dead and decaying plant tissue located between the soil surface and the green vegetation. This process is usually done mechanically with a dethatching unit or power rake.

POWER RAKE: Turf equipment that mechanically removes thatch with rigid wire tines or steel blades, which slice through the turf and lift the thatch debris to the surface for removal.

THATCH: The layer of dead and decaying plant tissue located between the soil surface and the green vegetation. A thin layer of thatch is beneficial because it reduces soil compaction and it increases wear tolerance. However, a thatch layer of 1/2 inch or more prevents air, light and water from reaching the turf’s root zone. Thatch also makes an excellent breeding ground for harmful insects and disease organisms.

Learn more about Ryan® Power Rakes and Dethatchers or find your nearest Ryan® Dealer.