fbpx Skip to content
413-539-3101 491 West Rd Westfield, MA Now Hiring
this is a photo of a metal rake cleaning up dry grass with worker boots in the background

Topdressing and Dethatching


A lawn’s soil profile is the most important foundation for growing a lush, green turf stand. Normally done in the fall with seeding procedures but can provide beneficial 

  • Levels the soil surface to prevent holes that can cause turfgrass or personal injury
  • Incorporates organic matter into existing soil for plant health and microbial activity
  • Can help with recurring dry spots by adding water- retaining components to the soil 
  • Mix existing soil with topdressing to prevent hardpan subsurface soil- See Aeration section

If Springtime topdressing is needed for the special occasion of fixing plow damage, please contact your New England Lawn Care representative or our office.  We will devise a new plan and recipe for your lawn if needed.

Compost – natural fertilizer in the hand


Thatch is the buildup of dead grass tissue and organic matter from the plant. Shedding these layers over time is a natural process and at some levels can be beneficial to your lawn. However too much thatch can create problems by harboring insects or preventing water, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Thatch accumulation of more than an inch and a half may start to cause those problems as well as seasonal turf diseases.  

Here’s some Dethatching Guidelines as it is not always a recommended solution to mitigate the thatch levels and can possibly remove healthy grass tissue from the area.  

  • Only Dethatch in the Fall time or prior to any renovating
  • If the lawn has been seeded in the last 2 years, do not dethatch  
  • Cut the lawn to 3 inches.
  • Dethatch mechanically or with heavy raking
  • Remove grass tissue that comes up
  • Can be done every 4-7 years (Depending on the site)
  • Aerating is an alternative process to dethatching

Dethatching would be the first step in the fall lawn restoration process if the turf has more thatch than the level mentioned above.  Every property is different so consideration should be taken into account for mossy, shady areas in case the desirable turf is shallow rooting.