A lawn is the crown jewel of a homeowner’s yard and often a source of pride and bragging rights. An accumulation of thatch dulls that jewel-like notion, and grime causes diamonds to lose their luster. That’s when it’s time to dethatch the lawn. But how much does it cost to dethatch a lawn?
The cost of dethatching a lawn can range from a $20 dethatching blade attachment for a lawnmower to $1800 to buy a commercial-grade machine. Most people spend about $215 to have a professional lawn company dethatch their lawn, or they buy a powered dethatcher for around $150.
You may think that dethatching a lawn is going to cost you an arm and a leg, but that’s not necessarily the case. You can handle this occasional maintenance for an affordable cost. Let us show you how.
What Are The Costs of Dethatching a Lawn?
Thatch is a build-up of organic material, such as mulched leaves or grass clippings, that accumulates where the grass blades contact the dirt. Usually, this matter decomposes quickly enough to not cause a problem. However, over time, the build-up of thatch may grow faster than it can decompose. The added layer prevents your grass from getting the nutrients it needs. That’s when your lawn starts to show signs of decline, and it’s dethatch.
The cost of dethatching your lawn depends on the tool or method you choose to use:
|Method or Tool||Estimated Cost|
|Dethatching Lawnmower Blade||$20-$45|
|Power Rake – Purchase||$1800|
|Power Rake – Rental||$55/4 hours$80/full day$320/week|
|Liquid Dethatcher||$28/32 oz.|
|Professional Lawn Dethatching Service||$215 (average)$100-$700 range|
As you can see, there are several affordable DIY options to get the job done. But for the non-DIYer, a local lawn service will probably make the most sense.
A dethatching rake is a specially designed rake with two sets of teeth: one set is straight and used for dethatching, and the other set curved for cultivating the soil. Using it requires serious manual effort, and that’s why many folks skip this inexpensive option for one of the powered choices.
Dethatching Blade for a Lawnmower
You can purchase a dethatching blade for your push mower that simply attaches to the mower like a regular blade. It’s equipped with metal springs that dig in and remove thatch and can be found in standard blade sizes.
Another option that uses equipment you already have is a tine tow. Attach this plow-like tool to a riding lawnmower and pull it around the yard to dislodge thatch and dead grass. Typical widths range from 36” to 48”.
Using a powered dethatcher is a less aggressive way to maintain a healthy lawn. An electric-powered dethatcher looks like a push mower but uses steel spring-loaded tines to loosen and remove the thatch. They work best on thatch build-up of less than a half-inch, making them a great choice for routine maintenance.
If your lawn has a serious thatch problem, a power rake is the answer. More aggressive than a dethatcher, it is designed to dig two to four times more thatch out of the grass. It’s the best choice for thatch thicknesses of more than a half-inch or when the lawn hasn’t been dethatched in years.
Power rakes are most commonly found in commercial and industrial settings. Because they are heavy-duty in nature and dethatching usually doesn’t need to be done, it is not a typical choice for residential plots, but every few years, most people prefer to rent one as needed rather than spend the money to buy one.
Note: If you choose to use a power rake, be prepared for it to physically wear you out. It’s an extremely strenuous and tiring activity, no matter how big or small the yard.
If your thatch build-up isn’t too much and you’d rather not deal with all the mechanical equipment, a liquid dethatcher may work. It’s a soil amendment that breaks down the collection of organic matter and lets necessary sun, water, and nutrients reach the grass.
Vertical Mower (Scarifier)
A scarifier is similar to a regular dethatcher, except it has rotating vertical steel blades that dig deep into the soil to cut and lift out the thatch. It also lifts out a lot of grass as it cuts. Most residential scarifiers come with both vertical blades and lighter tines.
Professional Lawn Dethatching Service
Dethatching is one of many services provided by most lawn care companies. The cost of the service varies depending on where you live and the size of the yard.
According to HomeAdvisor, a lawn dethatching service will cost about $215 for a medium-sized yard, but prices can range from $100 for smaller lawns to $700 for huge grass areas. Most people pay between $180 and $250.
Dethatching is necessary every few years to have a luxurious lawn, but getting it done doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you invest in your own dethatcher or simply call in a professional, spend the money and the time to keep your grass greener on all sides.