Should You Power Rake Your Lawn?

Should You Power Rake Your Lawn?

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Cooler weather means your lawn may be ready to be power raked.

As you finish raking your leaves this fall, you’ll be left with a lawn that will soon be dormant and ready to withstand the worst that winter has for it. Instead of using a garden rake or leaf blower for your final raking of the season, a power rake can remove dead grass while leaving the healthy grass alone.

Task Timing

A power rake is a machine that is similar to your lawn mower, but comes equipped with vertical fixed tines to cut the soil and prepare your lawn for reseeding. If you live in a more northernly section of the country, the time to tackle this project has already passed. However, if you live in the deep south, you can power rake your lawn now or wait until spring, before your lawn rebounds.

You can rent a power rake from a home gardening center, a device that is sometimes called a dethatcher. To power rake, you can set the settings on high; to dethatch, you put the settings on low. Dethatching is much more extensive and will remove good grass, turn the soil and requires that you fertilize, seed and water the lawn to get it to take hold.

Power Raking

Power raking enables you to aerate the lawn, getting rid of dead material without killing the healthy grass. Only the dead grass layer is targeted when power raking, a process that helps restore your lawn quickly and prepare it for winter.

Once you have completed power raking your lawn, you have the option to reseed it. This involves applying fertilizer too, therefore you’ll want to consult with your local garden center or state extension service to find out the best approach to this project.

Soil Analysis

You’ll want to choose a seed that is best for your lawn, considering your soil conditions and the amount of sunlight your lawn gets when the trees are in bloom. Your state extension service can analyze your soil and explain what other steps you may need to take to restore your lawn.

If you are pressed for time or your lawn is in very good condition, then power raking may not be necessary. However, as you finish removing leaves for the season, put away the leaf blower and bring out your lawn rake with steel metal tines. Work carefully over the surface of your lawn, removing fallen leaves and dead grass together. Follow that up with one last grass cutting and your lawn will be ready for the winter.

See AlsoWashington State University: Lawn Renovation


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Categories: Landscaping

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".