SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 7, 2013

North Shore Gardener: Fast-growing evergreen should survive

(Continued)

A: Dethatching is done in the early spring to early summer; the second choice would be to do it in early fall. Because dethatching stresses grass, do it when the grass is growing best, not in the heat of summer or during a drought. Everyone’s got some thatch. It depends on how finely the grass is cut all year, how long it is allowed to grow before cutting, the regularity of raking, and the weight of snow cover on the lawn during winter.

Usually it is not necessary to dethatch every year. Check first — dethatching is hard work. You can check to see whether your lawn needs it by cutting into the sod and seeing how deep a thatch layer exists. Anything more than about a half-inch, and you could use a dethatching.

Dethatching can be done by machine. You can rent a power machine or do it by hand, using a firm rake. Both methods accomplish the same end — they remove the layer of dry, dead vegetation, which, if left to accumulate, will hinder the absorption of water, fertilizer and weed-control chemicals. Without dethatching, weed killers and fertilizers will just run off and never reach the soil and roots. When left in place, thatch also provides a cozy breeding place for bugs and grubs.

To prevent thatch from reoccurring, use a thatching mower, which cuts the grass blades into fine pieces. You can also accomplish this with an ordinary mower by repeated mowing over the cutting area, to chop and re-chop the grass clippings. Also, try mowing more often and at a higher blade setting, and just removing a fraction of the grass blade with each mowing.

After dethatching, do any necessary fertilizing, top-dressing and reseeding, as well as applying weed controls. And remember to water well — but it looks like Mother Nature will do that for you!

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Orchid North Shore Gardener: It’s the summer without hydrangeas August "Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen, the hey-day of the year, with robes that gleam with sunny sheen Sweet August doth appear." -- R. Combe Miller Q: Can you tell me why my numerous "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants are not blooming th

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Kate: 8 strategies to help your child overcome a fear of bullies Despite the massive anti-bullying campaigns that dominate our current culture, many students continue to feel bullied. The current anti-bullying campaign focuses on decreasing bullying by policing the bullies, but what about empowering the victims? B

    August 1, 2014

  • booknotes0801 Stroll through a story at Danvers library Reading can be good for the body as well as the mind. That's especially true for visitors of the new StoryWalk at Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. "StoryWalk is combining physical activity with reading," said Karen Veilleux, a children's librar

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • frenkel Quick pick: Bring stories to life Bring stories to life Explore and experience the challenges and satisfactions of combining text with images in a four-session illustration workshop, led by award-winning published illustrator Yetti Frenkel at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Outlander [Duplicate] 'Outlander' brings novels to life vibrantly NEW YORK -- There's an odd believability you find inside "Outlander" that somehow makes it feel true-to-life. Never mind that it's a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept fr

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Dear Abby: Diabetic friend suffers close call miles away from hospital Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would

    August 1, 2014

  • People-Alicia Keys [Duplicate] Alicia Keys pregnant with second child NEW YORK (AP) -- Alicia Keys is getting ready for another big release: her second child. A representative for the Grammy-winning performer confirmed Thursday that the singer is pregnant. Keys posted a photo with her baby bump on Instagram early Thurs

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, Aug. 1

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker