I know I know. It's July, and hot, but my lawn looks like garbage. I've purchased an electric dethatcher and aerator. I have a lot of thatch and brown/tan spots. Crabgrass is very frustrating to me.

I was thinking of dethatching, overseeding with Scotts Turf Builder Sun & Shade Water Smart Plus and at the same time throwing down Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food. Watering like crazy.

Do I sound nuts?

  • well i can read the product recommendations. thanks. kinda just wondering if its possible, if anyone has had results like this. – riegersn Jul 3 '17 at 3:09
  • No you are not nuts! Get away from Scotts and Ortho advertisements! Stop and read the question answers on this site FIRSTUS!! Watering like crazy is wrong and wronger. Take your electric dethatcher aerator back before you get it dirty and make your problems worse. We can help you big time!!! Need to learn how to make your lawn drought tolerant by deep watering and ALLOWING to dry out before watering again. What are you doing for fertilizer? What else have you added to your lawn? Do you know the soil pH? Dunno where you live but if you've got cool season grasses I am the dang Queen! – stormy Jul 3 '17 at 19:13

You say you know, but it sounds like you don't know.

Or you're acting like you don't know.

If you want instant beautiful lawn in July, there's astroturf and there's turf and a ton of water. Turf and a ton of water gets to be an expensive habit, particularly if you get water-use restrictions while it's not established, and it drops dead or you get fined for watering it.

The time to make a nice lawn in July is October (more or less.) If you want to improve your lawn with overseeding, the fall is the time. If you'd like a happier lawn, what you could do now is add compost, raise your lawnmower cutting height, and send in some soil samples to your test laboratory so you actually know what your soil needs, rather than throwing some random "lawn fertilizer" at it. It may or may not need lime, for instance, and lime is best applied at a time different from when fertilizer is applied.

  • 1
    ...where it's midwinter. – Ecnerwal Jul 3 '17 at 15:33
  • Never use lime without a soil test or at least a pH test... – stormy Jul 3 '17 at 22:46

An electric dethatcher cum aerator? Interesting. Dethatching is a very stressful event akin to totally scalping your lawn and ripping it to pieces to grow a better lawn. Best to avoid ever having to resort to dethatching.

Aerating has to be core aerating. Pulling plugs of soil and grass out of the lawn and allowing to dry and dessicate. That is critical to do at least once per year. What is your machine called so that I am able to check this out. Having a hard time seeing the two in one machine.

My one shout out is that dethatching would rip crabgrass into tiny pieces all of which would be viable. If you haven't dethatched please don't do this until you've dealt with your crabgrass by killing the entire plant including the roots.

Go check out other question/answers about lawns. We've got some incredible essays on how to manage this BEAST called a lawn. You are looking forward to doing a lot of work that will make your initial problem WORSE.

Do you have at least an inch or 1/2 inch of thatch? If not do not dethatch. I'd rather you spend your energy renting a sod cutter and taking your entire lawn out to resod!

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