I am just now finding out that I should probably dethatch and seed my lawn. I moved into the house in the middle of summer and not much lawn care was done by the previous owner, so there is some thatch in the lawn.

Now it is early October and, I live in Kansas City. I just read this SE post that says around Labor Day is the ideal time to dethatch cool season lawns. My neighbors have all dethatched their lawns in the last month or so.

Is it too late for me to do it now if I can get it done by mid October?

1 Answer 1


Along with dethatching usually comes overseeding. The seeding is the important thing to time. It's a good time to put down more grass seed to fill in bare/thin spots now that you've opened up the soil. Ideally you want the soil temperature to be above 65 degF for cool season grasses.

It's going to depend on what type of grass you currently have and what type of grass seed you plan on putting down.

Perennial ryegrass is one of the quickest to establish.

Tall fescues and fine fescues are a little slower but fairly quick. 1-2 weeks you'll have full germination and the lawn will be pretty well established for winter in about 4 weeks total.

Kentucky bluegrass takes longer to fully germinate. Up to 4 weeks and then needs time to establish as well.

If your in Kansas City, KS it looks like you should have enough time to get perennial rye or fescue to establish before winter if you put it down soon. see http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/USKS0298

Remember, the soil temperature usually stays warmer longer than air temperature.

You may not even need to dethatch. 1/2" of thatch is OK but it sounds like your lawn needs improvment and dethatching and overseeding will help improve the appearance. If you can spread a 1/4" layer of compost over the lawn when you put down the seed after you dethatch that will also help. You need about 1 cubic yard of screened compost per 1,000 sq ft of lawn. If you have a truck you can pick it up cheap or have it delivered in bulk. Spread it around in piles across the yard and use a rake to spread it out evenly across the lawn.It'll help keep the seeds moist too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.