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Our Results, Before And After Power Raking Our Lawn

This past spring our lawn was looking like garbage! It had brown and yellow spots galore and no matter how much I watered it (I was being obsessive about it too), it still looked the same. The only difference was, of course, wasting so much time, water, and our water bill went up significantly… YIKES! I did some researching on what the problem might be and I decided that we had a thatch problem. If you have a build-up of thatch in your lawn it just means that there is lots and lots of dead grass matted at the base of the plant, under the blades that are sticking up. Thatch is bad because it starves your lawn of proper sunlight, watering, and hinders mineral absorption.  See this diagram if you’d like a visual of thatch and how de-thatching/power-raking helps your lawn flourish.
Now that we knew the solution to the problem, we had to decide if we were going to hire out, or if we had the option of doing it ourselves.  We chose to do it ourselves after the guy that was recommended to us flaked out to even give us a bid..that was super annoying and very unprofessional…but I may just be being prego-grouchy ;)! 
As far as I can tell, it’s pretty inexpensive (most likely between $50 & $100) to have someone come out and do it for you. So if you suck at DIY’ing, make sure to hire out. It’s much cheaper to hire out than it is to replace all your sprinkler heads because you demolished them all with the power-rake. 
Here are our results:

I made sure to do the exact same basic photo edits so that you can see just how awesome the results are. I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking. I think that the best part is that I’m watering it less than I was before and it’s looking way better. The power-rake rental has already paid for itself due to not needing to water a full hour every other day. It should also save us a ton of money, because if we hadn’t figured out the problem, it would have just continued to get worse and worse until we would have to replace the whole lawn…Oh boy would that be expensive!

*We’ve decided that instead of fertilizing our lawn every year (I’m a little leary of putting fertilizer on the lawn where our fruit tree’s roots would be absorbing it too), we are going to just power-rake it every spring and it should keep it lush and healthy.*
If you’d like to see our “during” photo’s and would like to know where you can rent a power-rake, keep reading:

Before we even went to the rental place (we went to Diamond Rental, but Lowe’s and Home Depot should have them too) to rent the power-rake, we read up a bit and watched some youtube video’s that explain how to do it. I’d say that the most important part, if you’re doing it yourself, is to make sure you understand the concept and to mark where your sprinklers are so you don’t break them.

This was after the first pass. You are supposed to rake it all up before you go over it again, but we didn’t know that ’til afterwards…I guess we know for next time and now you know too!
This was after the second pass…man do we have a TON of thatch. No wonder our lawn wasn’t thriving…it couldn’t breath!
I couldn’t get all the piles in the front yard in the same shot, but it ended up being like 4 or 5 of those large black trash bags full and that was just for the front  lawn!

Our rental was about $45 (for a two hour rental). Make sure to refuel or they will ding you for more money when you return it.

In case you forgot the before and after, I put it here again so that you can see it without having to scroll all the way to the top.

I hope this post can save some of you some moolah! Remember to be super careful if you do it yourself.  You don’t want to end up looking like hamburger…do you?

*In case you’re wondering, aerating has the same general principal…but it leaves those mud pellets that look like dog poop all over your entire lawn, which is something that I didn’t want to deal with.*

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