Does Raking the Grass Help it Grow?

Does Raking the Grass Help it Grow?
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So, your grass is starting to look dull and you’re trying to find ways of bringing it back to life but is that really possible? Some people believe that raking the grass will help it to grow but is this really necessary?

Raking the grass will not have much of an effect on the growth of your grass. While raking alone will not stimulate growth, it can remove debris that might be getting in the way of the conditions needed for optimum growth.

How Raking the Grass Can Help It Grow

It will remove dead grass so that it doesn’t clog up your soil and ruin the healthy soil and grass underneath it, making room for even more healthy grass to pop up whenever it’s ready.

Have you heard the term “scarifying” and you’re wondering what the means?

Dethatching Can Help With Growth

Scarifying a lawn is also called dethatching the lawn. It involves removing thatch from under the surface by using a handheld or powered machine that has vertical blades.

It works by grabbing thatches from just underneath the surface. A scarifying tool not only allows for a much firmer lawn surface but also lets air, water and certain nutrients penetrate into the soil a lot more efficiently. This means that your grass will be a lot healthier once it’s had the chance to recover.

Because of this vertical cutting action, the blades on a scarifying tool will prune both runners and shoots of the grass plants so that new growth is encouraged to produce a thicker and lusher lawn.

Controlling Weeds Reduces Competition for Grass Growth

It also helps control weed grasses that have either shallow rooting systems or creeping weeds. Better still, once the area is scarified, you can use the same tool to cut into the surface of the soil and create a beautiful bed that you can then use to sow new grass seed.

Raking vs Power Raking

When it comes to both the time of year and the problem you’re attempting to correct, using either a scarifying tool or a rake will produce completely different results. A rake, including a powered raking tool, is there mostly to demoss the lawn and remove clumps of dead grass and other debris you no longer want there. In essence, if you’re doing a complete lawn renovation, you’ll want to scarify the lawn first and then rake it to get the best results.

In addition, raking is much more gentle on your lawn and therefore, you can rake more often than you can scarify your lawn.

Indeed, while raking is usually done in both the spring and the fall to get rid of dead grass clumps and moss and to make sure your thatch doesn’t get out of control, this isn’t the case with scarifying. Scarification is a little “rougher” on the grass and therefore should only be done once a year – preferably in the fall.

Does Raking Dead Grass Make It Grow?

Unfortunately raking dead grass will not make it grow if it’s already dead all the way down to the roots. After all, you cannot bring the grass back to life but if you still have patches and areas of “live” grass, then raking it may do some good however clumps of dead grass can cause the healthy grass and soil underneath it to go bad which can prevent the grass from growing and thriving.

Of course, you can’t simply rake the dead clumps of grass – you have to remove them also. You never want to leave clumps of dead grass on top of a healthy lawn. Removing clumps so the they no longer sit on top of your soil can leave room for new growth to occur.

You’ll also need to check the grass to make sure it’s dead and there is an easy way to determine this.

If your grass has turned yellow or brown, there is a chance it’s still alive, even if it’s yellow or brown all the way down to the soil line. The way to be more confident is to pull a few blades of grass up out of the soil. If the grass pulls right out of the ground without much resistance and you find yourself with blades of grass in your hand with the roots there also, the grass is very likely dead.

Grass that is still alive will be somewhat of a challenge to pull out of the ground and will feel like it doesn’t want to be pulled out.

If the grass is definitely dead, you can go ahead and rake your grass to clear out the dead clumps that are there. At this point, you’ll likely need to either reseed or resod to get new grass planted so that area can grow and thrive once again. If the grass isn’t completely dead and you rake away everything that’s there anyway, new green growth should begin to appear if there are any live patches whatsoever. Once that happens, you can then decide how much new seeds or sod need to be planted to get your lush, thick lawn once again.

Whether you have dead grass or not, raking it will get rid of anything that is below-standard when it comes to healthy grass. As you’re waiting to see if the new growth is going to turn up, go ahead and water your lawn regularly to a depth of four to six inches, and do this when the soil is completely dry. Afterward, you’ll want to start fertilizing regularly. Whether new growth appears or not, you’ll be able to decide whether you should reseed or resod the bald spots in your lawn or go ahead and start from scratch by seeding or sodding the entire lawn.

What Kind of Rake Should I Use on My Lawn?

As you can imagine, there are many different types of rakes on the market but getting one that can accommodate grass raking is pretty straightforward.

As a general rule, there are two types of rakes: plastic and metal. Both are good for raking your lawn, but they do differ in some ways.

Plastic rakes are lightweight and very easy to maneuver which might make it a good choice if you intend to spend many hours in your yard raking and performing other basic maintenance tasks.

On the other hand, a plastic rake may not be able to accommodate heavy raking duties or tough raking tasks. This includes raking to get rid of dead grass in your yard. Because of this, you might want to consider using a metal rake instead of a plastic one.

Metal rakes are certainly more accommodating when it comes to tough, challenging raking jobs, and they can certainly handle tasks associated with raking up dead grass and dried clumps of grass before you start to reseed or resod the area. That being said, metal rakes are usually pretty heavy and can sometimes even be cumbersome, so if you’re planning to spend the day raking in your yard, they may start to get heavy and uncomfortable after a while.

When all is said and done, most experts agree that a good sturdy metal rake is what you want for most raking tasks. While minor, simple and short-term raking tasks are easily accommodated with a plastic rake, a metal rake  is usually a better choice for the long term.

Metal rakes come in a variety of sizes and widths so you can easily find one that is just right for the task you’ve set out to do. 

Finally, you can easily find a metal rake that is within your price range, because most of them are very reasonably priced.

Indeed, both metal and plastic rakes come in a variety of price ranges, so you never have to worry about not being able to afford a good, quality rake for any of your yard work.

When Should I Rake My Lawn?

During the winter months, your grass is probably going to turn brown because it will be dormant and so there is simply no need to rake at that point. The best time to rake your lawn to determine if the grass is dead or alive is once the winter months are over and in fact, mid-April is a great time to do this. By mid-April, the grass is starting to turn green again and therefore you can target the areas of your lawn that are impacted and not worry about those that aren’t. 

Immediately after the winter, your grass is going to be brown whether it’s dead or healthy because it is dormant, so waiting until spring when new growth is more likely to appear will make it easier to tell which parts of the lawn are dead and which parts are still healthy. As far as the actual raking, there is a right way and a wrong way to rake the grass.

Grass Raking Tips

  • Rake the dead areas to loosen the brown grass. Remember not to remove all of the grass. Just break up the top layer of thatch and leave the rest alone.
  • When it’s raked, you’ll want to remove all of the dead thatch that was just raked. You can remove the dead areas with a lawn mower, an outdoor vacuum, or even by hand. Make sure that when you’re done, no clumps are left on your lawn.
  • If there is a barren section of your lawn, go ahead and reseed or resod it, then water it if that’s what the seed or sod manufacturer recommends.

If you like, you can also apply a fertilizer – preferably one that is rich in iron or nitrogen – so that it can grow better before the warmer summer temperatures hit.

One word of caution, however, be careful when you’re raking and removing the dead grass because you don’t want to get rid of the healthy grass in the meantime. Dead grass comes out of the ground easily, so raking should not remove any healthy grass; however, you’ll still want to be careful not to rake too aggressively to avoid accidentally removing healthy grass along with the dead grass.

In Summary

The answer to the question, does raking the grass help it grow, is “no,” Having a lush green lawn no longer has to be a difficult task because raking your lawn at the appropriate time and using the right tools make the task a lot easier and less time-consuming. Just remember to do your due diligence before you get started and you’ll have that nice lawn in no time.

A lot depends on the condition of the grass when it’s being raked. If it is truly dead, it’s important to note that raking it will not bring it back to life. That being said, there are reasons for raking your grass that can influence the way your lawn looks.

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