There are three common ways to repair a matted lawn: raking, blowing and dethatching. Each method is effective, but you should first examine the condition of your grass before deciding which one is right for the job.
Raking with a flexible plastic- or metal-toothed rake is a great method for post-winter lawn recovery, but it also works well for repairing patches of matted grass.
Depending on the size of your matted area, raking is quick and easy. It's best to gently rake matted grass in varied directions to help lift grass and air it out. This also helps to stimulate root growth.
If dead grass is pulled out during raking, don't leave it to pile up; remove it to prevent additional matting. If the affected area is severely damaged, apply fertilizer on top of the repair to give soil a rich boost of nutrients.
If you have a medium- to large-sized lawn with several matted areas, a leaf blower can help you cover more ground while still lifting the grass to help encourage root growth.
A handheld blower like the TB2MB JET Gas Leaf Blower is ideal to repair matted grass. It delivers a perfect balance of speed and volume so you can repair the area in a controlled, effective way. The Jet blower also produces a high volume of air with speeds up to 130 mph.
You can also use a wheeled leaf blower for large repairs. The FLEX Leaf Blower can handle heavy duty repair jobs, generating an air speed of 150 mph and covering 1,000 cfm. You can also use the handlebars to control the airflow, allowing you to start and stop when air is needed.
Whatever type of blower you use, it's recommended to simply pass over the matted areas of your lawn in various directions as you would with a rake. This method helps to fluff your grass and air out any damaged blades. To ensure a good pull on the affected areas, a few passes over your lawn may be needed.
If your lawn is more brown than green, you'll want to dethatch. Thatch results from a buildup of leaves, grass clippings, stems and other vegetation between grass and the soil surface. If thatch continues to grow beneath the surface of your lawn, it can inhibit grass growth and ultimately kill it. Dethatching helps refresh your entire lawn's root system and creates open passages for air, water and nutrients to reach grass roots.
A dethatcher like the FLEX Dethatcher has vertical tines that slice into the dead compacted grass to lift it to the surface. When using a dethatcher, it's best to start your blade height at surface level, progressing no deeper than one-half inch. Additional depth may be needed to remove thatch, depending on the severity. The FLEX Dethatcher offers six different height settings so you can adjust the depth as needed.
You should also dethatch after you've watered your lawn and mowed at a low height to make it easier to lift grass. Pass over your lawn as you would with your mower. Once you've finished, rake and remove scattered grass, and sprinkle lawn sparingly with fertilizer.
After dethatching your lawn, it's very important to let your grass grow about 3 to 4 inches before mowing again. This will help strengthen its roots.