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Common Questions About Dethatching Your Lawn

Common Questions About Dethatching Your Lawn

DethatchingRecently we have been receiving a lot of inquiries about dethatching  Dethatching is an important aspect to maintaining a healthy lawn so below we are going to answer the most popular questions consumers have about it.

What Is Dethatching?

Dethatching, also know as power raking, is the process of removing dead grass (aka thatch) from your lawn.  This process can be completed using a handheld rake or a special tool that is attached to a lawn mower that works the same way a handheld rake does.

What Does Dethatching Do For Your Lawn?

Dethatching removes the dead blades of grass from your lawn allowing the healthy blades of grass to store nutrients and grow healthy and strong.  Dethatching also loosens up the top layer of soil allowing air and moisture to penetrate deeper into the roots of your lawn.

What Is The Difference Between Dethatching and Aeration?

Dethatching removes a dead layer of grass roots that is found between the grass and the top layer of soil.  Aerating is the process of punching holes in your lawn to giving water and other nutrients the ability to soak deep down into the roots of your lawn.

Can You Dethatch Your Lawn When It Is Wet?

Dethatching your lawn when it is wet is not recommended because it can cause damage to healthy blades of grass by pulling out their roots.  This will ultimately lead to a thinning lawn.

When Is The Best Time To Dethatch Your Lawn?

With most lawns in Minnesota being a cool season turf, it is recommended to dethatch your lawn in the early spring or early fall.  Timing is everything, especially in the fall because you need to give your lawn ample amount of time to grow and re-establish its roots before frost begins to form on your lawn.


Dethatching your lawn is an important process to grow a healthy lawn and there is a small window of time when dethatching is in season.  At Peter Doran Lawn, our dethatching schedule does fill up fast making it essential to get on our schedule no later than early-October.

If you found this article informational or have any questions about dethatching, please leave a comment below.


Spring Is In The Air & Our Crews Are Hard At Work

Spring Is In The Air & Our Crews Are Hard At Work

Spring has finally arrived just like we told you it would.  Now that all the snow has melted it’s time to prepare your lawn for the upcoming season.

With a couple of weeks already in the books this spring, we would like to share a couple of photos with you from some of the lawns that have received our dethatching services.









Besides the nice visual patterns in your lawn, dethatching plays an important role to the longevity and health of your lawn.

Dethatching essentially removes the dead blades of grass from your lawn to keep them from stealing nutrients from the healthy blades of grass.  We bag the dead blades of grass and haul them away for you so you have nothing to worry about.

Once dethatching is done, you may want to consider over seeding your lawn.  The removal of dead blades of grass from your lawn may leave your lawn not looking as full as it once used to.  By applying an application of over seed early in the spring, you give your lawn a chance to grow new blades of grass and return to its fullness as the year wears on.

At Peter Doran Lawn and Landscaping, we provide a wide range of lawn care services throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Some of our services, besides the ones mentioned above, include spring clean up, lawn mowing services, fertilizing services, weed control and fall clean up services.

Whether you need professional lawn care service  or just don’t have the time to take care of your lawn yourself, request a free estimate or give us a call today and let us tell how our services can make your neighbors envy your lawn.

Checklist for Spring Lawn Care

Checklist for Spring Lawn Care

It’s early spring in Minneapolis and your lawn is just waking up. That yellowish, brownish tinge is starting to turn a fresh, wonderful, and hopeful shade of green. What are the next steps? And what can you do to give your lawn a head-start this spring? Aside from getting back into your mowing routine, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as a spring lawn care checklist.

1. Rake and Remove all leaves, sticks, and debris.  Also, lightly “dethatch” your lawn with a lawn rake; this will help to remove some of the thatch and allow the grass to “breathe” more.

2. Aerate. Aerating a lawn reduces compaction and allows the free movement of air, water, roots, and living organisms–all key components of a healthy soil ecosystem. We tend to think of soil as a solid substance, dirt, but it is more than just that. A good loam soil is comprised of 40 to 60 percent pore space–air and water.

3. Repair any bare spots by spreading compost or topsoil, and over-seeding with a high-quality grass seed. Making these repairs sooner rather than later will allow you to take advantage of the favorable spring weather. Keep in mind that come summer, it will be nearly impossible to get grass seed to germinate.

4. Repair automatic sprinkler systems. Spring is an ideal time to carefully check all of your irrigation zones, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Change the battery on your irrigation clocks–this should be done once per year–and replace any broken lines or broken sprinkler heads. Set your clock, but don’t “set it and forget it.” Your irrigation system will likely need to be adjusted once the summer weather hits.

5. Begin your fertilization program. In Minneapolis, April is a good month to begin fertilizing your lawn. I like to use a slow-release, organic fertilizer so that my lawn is fed over time, and throughout the course of the season, rather than all at once. Look for a fertilizer with a high percentage of “water-insoluble” nitrogen. This will also reduce pollution from runoff, and is better for the environment.

6. Get a soil test. Check with your local cooperative extension service for soil testing. It’s easy and relatively cheap to get a good sense of what your soil needs. A soil test is a great basis for understanding how much, and what type of fertilizer will benefit your lawn most.

7. Sharpen your mower. Keeping a sharp mower blade is essential to creating a clean cut, and sharpening should be done at least once a year.

8. Bag your clippings after your first mowing, and mow it slightly lower than you normally would. Even if you usually mulch your lawn clippings and leave them on your lawn, you should bag them the first time that you mow after winter. This gets rid of any fungi or diseases that may have overwintered on your grass. After this, you can go back to your normal mowing program.

Spring Is Coming… We Promise

Spring Is Coming… We Promise

It’s the middle of April and winter continues to drag on with another blast of snow in the forecast for this weekend.  If you are like us, you are hoping this weekend’s cold, wintry weather is the last of the season because enough is enough already!

Once this winter officially comes to an end, you will finally be able to get out on your lawn and in your gardens to get them ready for the upcoming season.  Just imagine, the smell of spring right around the corner with flower blooming and kids finally being able to get outside and play in the yard.

However, if you really want your yard to be safe to play in throughout the year, you should consider completing a few early spring maintenance choirs.


Dethatching will rid your lawn of dead blades of grass which will reduce the chance of disease in your lawn.  Dethatching also keeps dead blades of grass from soaking up nutrients that the rest of your lawn needs to grow.


Spring is the perfect time to spread new seed throughout your lawn.  As your lawn ages and blades of grass die off, new seed will replace the dead seeds and help your lawn keep its thickness and health throughout the year.

By completing the two simple tasks above, your lawn will be off to the healthiest start it has been for many years.

April Lawn Cares Tips For A Beautiful Lawn This Spring

April Lawn Cares Tips For A Beautiful Lawn This Spring

For the most part, the snow is gone and problem spots in your lawn are starting to surface.  Right now is the time to start preparing your lawn for the upcoming spring and summer season.

Here are 5 tips that will help you get ahead of lawn care issues that could possibly ruin your lawn.


Dethatching is by far one of the most important tasks you can complete this spring to give your lawn a head start.  Thatch is basically grass that has died off during the winter season and anything more than ½ inch of thatch in your lawn will suffocate your grass.

Dethatching is recommended early in the spring because it can be harsh on your lawn and dethatching later in the season can actually have negative effects on your lawn.  Therefore, dethatching early in the season gives your lawn ample time to recover properly.

Weed & Feed

Weeding and feeding your lawn in mid to late spring gives way for your lawn to flourish.  Weeding can be done by hand pulling the weeds to get the roots or you can spot spray weeds with chemicals.  But be careful, over-spraying your lawn with chemicals can cause stress to your lawn during the heat of summer.

Feeding your lawn in spring is done best with a slow-release fertilizer.  A slow-release fertilizer will seep deep into your soil as the ground thaws out, providing your lawn with nutrients from top to bottom.

Deal With Bare Spots

As your lawn starts to green, you may notice some bare or dead spots throughout your lawn.  If this happens, flush the spot with water, rake out the dead grass, level it out with sand and soil, plant some seed and water it vigorously.


Just like everything else, individual blades of grass die out and can leave your lawn looking thin.  Seeding your lawn early in the spring allows new blades of lawn to replace the dead ones and gives your lawn a thick, lush look and feel.


Water, water, water, but don’t overdo it!  Water is essential to any lawn and the best time to water your lawn is early in the morning.

What To Look For In Your Lawn As The Snow Melts

What To Look For In Your Lawn As The Snow Melts

Finally we have had some warm temperature here throughout the Twin Cities and you can literally hear all of that snow melting.

As winter begins to fade and spring arrives, here are some signs you should look for in your lawn to prevent disease from spreading and ruining your lawn this year.

Damage From Ice Melt Products

If you used ice melt products around your walkways this winter, you will want to look for strip of brown grass along the edges. 

In some cases, these brown strips will recover on their own.  However, if they recover within about 6 to 8 weeks after the snow is gone, you will want to take extra measures.

Extra measures include planting new seed where the lawn doesn’t recover.  First, use a heavy rake to remove all the dead grass from the damaged area.  Next, use the rake or a shovel to loosen the top ¼ to ½ inch of soil to create a good seed bed.  Lastly, spread your lawn seed and make sure to give it plenty of water.

Look For Snow Mold

Snow mold is a fungal disease that appears in early spring as the snow melts.  There are two types of snow mold, gray and pink.

Symptoms first appear in the lawn as circular, straw colored patches when the snow melts.  The patches often continue to grow as long as the grass remains cold and wet.

With regular fertilizing and proper mowing, snow mold should go away on its own in a few weeks.  However, if you have an extreme case of snow mold, an application of fungicide might be necessary.

Early Spring Lawn Care

If you really want your lawn to get off to a healthy start this year, we recommend dethatching.  Dethatching is the process of removing all of the dead blades of grass from your lawn.

Dethatching keeps dead blades of grass from exasperating all the nutrients your lawn has to provide and ensure the healthy blades of grass a great start to the year.

Why Dethatch Your Lawn?

Why Dethatch Your Lawn?

Dethatching is important to the overall health of your lawn and should be done every spring.  In this article, we are going to look at what dethatching is and what it does to give your lawn a great start to the upcoming season.

Dethatching is the process of removing grass that has dies over the winter season from the lawn.  Do it yourselfers usually use a hand rake to comb through their lawn and remove the dead grass.  This process can take hours, even days, and is physically demanding. 

At Peter Doran Lawn, we use commercial equipment attached to your commercial lawn mowers to speed up the process.  Our rakes combined with our lawn mowers allows us to remove more dead blades of grass in a shorter period of time than hand raking.  Just take a look at what your lawn could look like using our equipment.

Dethatching is important because dead and damaged blades of grass in your lawn will continue to pull nutrients from the ground to try and survive.  These dead blades of grass are stealing the important nutrients that your healthy blades of grass need to grow strong and healthy.  Over the year, a yard that is not dethatched can become spotty and ugly.  However, a lawn that is property dethatched tends to grow evenly and remains healthy throughout the year.

Dethatching is a great start to a healthy lawn, but you should also consider applying a round of pre-emergent fertilizer to your lawn.  Pre-emergent fertilizer will help the healthy blades of grass collect and store nutrients as well as defend against unwanted weeds from growing in your lawn.

At Peter Doran Lawn and Landscaping, we offer year round services to help your lawn grow and stay healthy.  Contact us today to get a free estimate before the year gets into full swing and we are at full capacity.

Spring Lawn Care Is In The Air!

Spring Lawn Care Is In The Air!

I know we are still in March and I know we live in Minnesota but, spring is in the air and it looks like it is here to stay… for at least a week anyways.  With the snow completely gone and the ground thawing out, now is the time to start thinking about spring lawn care for a healthy lawn in 2017.


Dethatching is by far one of the most important services to do in the early spring.  Dethatching essentially removes the dead blades of grass in your lawn.  This service allows the healthy blades of grass to absorb more water and nutrients to help it grow healthy and strong.

Combine dethatching with a spring clean-up service to remove fallen branches and other debris and garbage from your lawn.  We us Stihl backpack blowers with our spring services to get behind those pesky bushes and other hard to reach places.  When we are done with your lawn, you will be able to rest assure that your kids and pets can go outside to play in the yard without having to worry about trash and potentially harmful items that have compiled in the yard over the winter months.


We also offer a fertilizer services in the early spring knows as pre-emergent fertilizer.  Pre-emergent fertilizer is designed to help your lawn absorb more water and nutrients while discouraging weeds and other unwanted plants in your lawn from growing.

We recommend applying a pre-emergent fertilizer on your lawn in early April for best results.  However, applying a round of pre-emergent fertilizer as late as June can still do some good for your lawn.

Gutter Cleaning

Gutter cleaning in the spring is another service we provide and can help you save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs if your gutter back up.  Spring is the best time to clean your gutters because leaves and branches that fell over the fall and winter can easy create a clog in your gutters and down spouts.  With rainy weather due in the spring, why not get this out of the way early and avoid any potential disasters?

Is It Spring or Winter in Minneapolis?

Is It Spring or Winter in Minneapolis?

This week in Minneapolis has to be one of the most confusing weeks’ weather-wise.  The first couple days of the week provided us with spring like temperatures and a record for the earliest tornadoes in the state ever!  These last couple of days, and the forecast looking forward, we are back to winter like conditions and temperatures.

With crazy weather like this, your lawn and yard is going through some tough times as well.  With the warmer temperatures earlier this week, lawns throughout Minneapolis were experience thawing conditions which led to wet and sloppy yards.  Now, with temperatures dropping, the top of the ground is beginning to freeze again.


As temperatures fluctuate from hot to freezing, this spring is going to be a spring where you need to pay special attention to your lawn.  If you want your lawn to have a healthy start to the year, you will want to dethatch your lawn thoroughly.  Dethatching is the process of removing the brown damaged and dead blades of grass from your lawn.  This process will ensure the healthy blades of grass in your lawn will be able to collect all of the nutrients they need to be healthy and green throughout the year.

Dethatching your lawn will also help remove any snow mold that may have damaged your lawn throughout the winter.  Snow mold, left unattended, can spread throughout your lawn and cause damage that may require drastic repair to save your lawn.

Pre-Emergent Fertilizer

Once your lawn has been dethatched, you will want to apply an application of pre-emergent fertilization to encourage a healthy start to your lawn.  Pre-emergent fertilization will also discourage weeds from growing in your lawn which allows your lawn to absorb the nutrients they need to remain healthy during the hot summer months.

Peter Doran Lawn has served the local Minneapolis community for over 25 years and serves over 1,500 customers.  We use start of the art equipment and technology to provide the best lawn care services when it comes to maintaining a healthy lawn.

Lawn Care Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer

Lawn Care Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer

Summer is only months away, which means the dry season is waiting to take a toll on your lawn.  Preparing your lawn for the upcoming dry season means taking the right steps towards the end of spring and beginning of summer are essential to your lawns health.  Here are 4 lawn care tips you can follow to ensure a healthy green lawn this summer.


Dethatching your lawn is by far one of the most important things you can do in the spring to help your lawn grow healthy in the summer.  Dethatching is the process of raking out the dead and damaged grass from your lawn.  Dead and damaged grass absorbs nutrients in your lawn leaving less nutrients for healthy grass to absorb and grow.

Late Spring Fertilizer

In the late spring/early summer, weed control that focuses on popular Minnesota weeds such as dandelions and creeping Charlie/ground ivy should be applied before they start to take over your lawn.  Once these weeds begin to take over your lawn, it’s hard to stop them as their seeds are easily spread across your lawn by wind and animals.

The second application of fertilizer in the late spring is a granular fertilizer that promotes healthy lawn growth.  This granular fertilizer should be a slow release granular fertilizer that releases nutrients that feed your lawn over time.  A slow release is phenomenal during the drier months of the late spring and early summer.

Lawn Mowing

Regularly mowing your lawn is ideal helps reduce of creating an ideal habitat for insects like mosquitos, voles, mice and snakes.  Furthermore, when mowing your lawn, it is important to keep in mind that shorter is not always better.   Proper mowing height is important to help your lawn strive during the colder, wetter months and the hotter, drier months.  During the hotter, drier months, you may want to let your lawn grow a tad bit longer so it can strive.

Below are the ideal height for grass based on the type of grass you have in your lawn…

Cool Season Grasses of Minnesota

Kentucky Bluegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches (60-75 mm)
Perennial Ryegrass                : 2.5 to 3 inches(60-75mm)
Tall Fescue                             : 2.5 to 4 inches (60-100 mm)

Warm Season Grasses of Southern State

Common bermuda                  : 0.75 to 1.25 inches ( 20-30mm)
Hybrid bermuda                      : 0.5 to 1.0 inches (12-25 mm)
St. Augustine                          : 2.0 to 4 inches ( 50-100 mm)
Zoysiagrass                            : 1 to 2.5 inches (25-60 mm)
Centipede grass                     : 1.0 to 2.0 inches ( 25-50 mm)

Following the lawn care tips above should prove to give you the lush, healthy, green lawn you strive for this year.