Spring is a good time to see if your lawn is developing a thatch problem by digging a core sample using a garden spade. Thatch will appear as a distinct layer between the healthy grass crown and the underlying soil. If it is more than ½” thick, it’s probably time to dethatch your lawn.
Thatch is made up of un-decomposed plant material that accumulates on the surface of the soil. Dethatching removes that layer of material. If you have a small lawn, a manual thatching rake will work, though it will likely be a tedious process. For your large lawn, however, a Frontier loader mount rotary broom (US CA) will do a great job. With its optional lawn-dethatching gauge wheels attached, the bristles will barely touch the ground, avoiding damage to the underlying soil. Use a slower brush speed to avoid any bouncing, which could cause damage to your lawn from too much ground contact.
After dethatching, you’ll need to rake and remove the thatch you’ve brought to the surface. It should make an excellent addition to your compost pile. Now is also a great time to overseed and fertilize.
For more information on your particular lawn and environment situation, contact your state agricultural extension service.
And remember, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.