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Dethatching and Aerating

Posted on by Urban Eden

It’s that time of year again here in Washington State! Fall is the best time to aerate and dethatch your lawn in Washougal, Vancouver, and Camas, Washington. In this post, we’ll go over what exactly dethatching and aerating your lawn means and entails.


Most lawns in the Vancouver, Camas and Washougal, Washington areas should be dethatched yearly. Thatch is nothing more than built up, dead material that collects in and on your lawn; this includes dead grass, twigs, and other debris. Left unchecked, thatch forms a dense layer that greatly affects the health of your lawn. A thick layer of thatch will inhibit water and air from penetrating into the roots of your lawn; this not only hinders your grass from growing properly, but it is also a breeding ground for various pests that can damage your lawn.

Dethatching can be done manually, with a thatch rake, or with a device called a power rake (also known as a lawn scarifier or dethatcher) which resembles a lawnmower. A power rake is far more efficient than a manual thatch rake; with a small lawn, you can get by with a thatch rake, but you will want a power rake for anything else.

With a thatch rake, simply rake over your lawn to pull up thatch. Then, using a standard yard rake, rake up all of the thatch and remove it from your yard. Using a power rake is, obviously, slightly different. Move over the entire lawn (much like you would when mowing) to draw up the thatch. Once you have gone over your entire lawn, rake up all of the thatch and remove it from your yard.


Aerating is another task that should be performed yearly. Aeration simply punches holes throughout your entire lawn; this also helps to loosen thatch and break up compacted soil. Aerating allows much-needed air, moisture, and nutrients to penetrate deep into your soil, enabling your lawn to grow lusher and greener.

Similarly to dethatching, aerating can be done either manually, with a manual lawn aerator (there are several varieties), or with a powered aerator. Again, the power aerator is more efficient than a manual one, but with small yards, a manual aerator will do the trick.

The process of aerating will depend on if you are using a manual or power aerator. Since there a few kinds of manual aerators, we will just say that you will need to walk around punching holes throughout the entirety of your lawn. With a power aerator, simply “mow” over your lawn and let the machine punch holes into the ground. After either method, there will be “cores” strewn about the lawn; you can either rake these up and remove them or leave them in place to compost into the yard.

Dethatching and aerating your lawn can be a tiresome but rewarding endeavor. If doing these tasks yourself seems daunting, fear not! Urban Eden Landscaping would love to help you. If you would like our help with this or any other landscape maintenance project, contact us today or fill out our free estimate form!

Aerating Process



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