If you like healthy green grass then the GreenWorks Dethatcher (27022) might become your new best friend. I know, that sounds silly but if you truly want a healthy lawn then dethatching is something that you must do — whether you like it or not.
Spring and Fall are the best times of the year to dethatch, depending on the type of grass you have. How do you do you know if you need to dethatch? Well, keep reading.
To dethatch or not to dethatch? That is the question —
Before we get to the review of the GreenWorks Dethatcher (27022) it’s important to understand what ‘thatch’ actually is.
What is thatch?
Thatch is a layer of organic matter that forms between your growing grass and the soil below it. Thatch is typically composed of a wide variety of organic material, such as: stolons, leaves, rhizomes, dead grass, dead stems and roots. Your instincts might tell you that thatch is good for your lawn but in fact, the opposite is true.
Thatch greatly reduces soil moisture by creating a barrier between your grass and the soil underneath, preventing the natural flow of water, air and nutrients from circulating throughout your lawn. Essentially, thatch slowly chokes the life out of your lawn.Excessive thatch promotes moss to grow while encouraging insects to gather and harboring disease organisms to fluorish. From a biological perspective, thatch is almost dead. The biological properties associated with natural matter is non-existent in thatch. Also, thatch doesn’t readily absorb water and it dries quickly.
A little thatch is healthy but too much thatch will cause your lawn to remain brown underneath even after you’ve mowed your lawn. Another sign of excessive thatch is that your lawn feels ‘spongy’ when you walk on it.
Too much thatch is bad
Not only is thatch bad, but it will also prevent you from having a lush soft green lawn. I wish my dad knew that when I was a kid because I never saw a dethatcher move across our yard — and we could’ve used one back in the eighties. It’s a nice feeling to lounge in your yard when the grass is vibrant, healthy and soft.
If you have more than 1/2″ of thatch then it’s time to dethatch. Simply cut out a small area of grass and measure the depth of your thatch.
Using the Greenworks dethatcher (27022) — or any effective dethatcher — restores the natural flow of water, air and nutrients throughout your lawn. Not only will your lawn become lush again, but it will also grow thicker and stronger.
You should dethatch every year, either before the weather turns too hot in summer or six weeks before the soil freezes in autumn — but you can dethatch every 2nd year if you’re lazy. The advantage of dethatching in the fall is that it prevents fewer weeds from growing the following year.
Regular dethatching enables buds to grow at the base of the grass stems which solves the problem of having dead grass on the bottom layer of your lawn. Dethatching will set you new grass shoots free.
Never dethatch during a drought or a heat wave. Learn more about thatch.
Aerification is an excellent way to keep thatch at bay and allow you to maintain a healthy lawn for an extended period of time. Here’s a quote from the Garden department at the University of Minnesota:
Compacted soils and soils with poor drainage tend to accumulate thatch faster than well-drained soils. Aerification promotes better moisture and air penetration into compacted soils. It helps establish a deeper and healthier root system and also stimulates the microbial activity involved in decomposing the thatch layer. To be effective, the aerifier must have hollow tines or spoons that bring the cores of soil to the surface.
Here are a couple aerators that will get the job done:
GreenWorks Dethatcher | Model 27022
The GreenWorks dethatcher is a relatively simple power tool, but very effective and efficient at doing what it was engineered to do — removing the thatch from your lawn and bringing it to the surface which allows you to rake it up and dispose of it. The GreenWorks dethatcher has a series of moving vertical tines that pull up thatch from your top layer of soil.
This is a 10 Amp electric model so you’ll have to manage an extension cord while you use it but for homeowners this is the way to go. It’s very easy to maneuver across your lawn so no need to worry if you’ve never used one before. It’s as straightforward as vacuuming your carpet.
I recommend a 12-gauge 100-foot extension cord so you don’t feel restricted when you use your GreenWorks dethatcher and the gauge number is important so you get the right amount of power to run it efficiently. A hundred feet cord isn’t as long as you think it is when you’re outside. You can buy one locally or online. It’s up to you.
If you want to learn more about extension cords then you’ll find useful information in our in-depth article entitled: Buying the right extension cord.
When you read the features for this dethatcher it states that there are 3 tine depth levels, which is true, but that’s a little misleading. One of the depth levels is only used for transporting the Greenworks dethatcher. So, in fact, there are only two working depth levels — 3mm and 10mm.
If you’ve never heard of Greenworks don’t worry about quality, they make great products for the lawn and garden. Not only is this Greenworks dethatcher inexpensive but it’s also well-made, reliable and powerful enough to handle most lawns.
Greenworks provides you with an very impressive 4 year warranty. You won’t find that with any other company. Personally, when I buy a product I seriously factor the warranty when making my decision. It’s nice to know that if something goes wrong you won’t have to pay to get it fixed. This dethatcher also comes with a full replacement set of tines.
Watch this great video on GreenWorks dethatcher 27022 in action.
Before you use a dethatcher make sure you mow your lawn to about 2″ high to allow the dethatcher to get deeper in the ground.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a dethatch collection bag. I don’t understand why it doesn’t come with one but I guess that’s why they can afford to sell it so cheap. If that’s important to you then you’ll be happier with the Sun Joe AJ800E, which I’ll cover next.
Before I end this review I will say that the Greenworks dethatcher is one of the best dethatchers for homeowners. I dare you to find a better model that has stood the test of time as this product has. If you don’t believe me just read all the reviews from satisfied customers. You can’t argue with the reputation that this dethatcher has.
If you need something for large yards that require heavy-duty dethatching then this product isn’t for you — but it wasn’t designed for that purpose either. If you want something for more demanding jobs then you should consider Agri-Fab 40″ Tine Tow Dethatcher which I briefly cover at the end of this article.
View or download the manual for the GreenWorks dethatcher 27022.
Features (GreenWorks Dethatcher):
- 14″ dethatching width.
- Push button start.
- Stainless steel tines remain sharp for extended periods of time.
- Comfortable padded grip and bale switch for added convenience & ergonomics.
- Three position tine depth.
- Integrated extension cord lock will prevent accidental disconnect.
- Includes full set of replacement tines.
- Weight: 31.5 lbs.
I’ve decided to include this informative video from HSN on the Greenworks dethatcher (27022). I know it’s just one long infomercial (and I hate infomercials) but this one is worth looking at. They provide some decent footage of the Greenworks dethatcher in action, making it easier for you to decide if it’s what you need.
The GreenWorks dethatcher 27022 is a tried and tested lawn mower that has proven itself to be highly reliable.
Sun Joe Dethatcher Joe | AJ800E
If you want an alternative to the Greenworks dethatcher then the Sun Joe AJ800E is an excellent option. It’s very similar and a little more expensive but well-constructed, reliable and perfect for homeowners.
You’ll be happy to know that this Sun Joe dethatcher comes with a collection bag (11.88 gallon) so you won’t need to rake up the lawn after. Yes, you pay for it in the overall price but it will save you time in the long run but it will fill up quickly as it’s not as big as it should be.
It’s slightly more powerful at 11 amps but that’s negligible and shouldn’t sway you one way or the other. It also has a 14″ dethatching width but it does has one advantage – it’s designed with a 5-position depth control knob allowing you to set the depth range from .12″ (3 mm below the soil) to .35″ (9 mm above the soil).
One major stumbling block of the Sun Joe AJ800E is the 2-year warranty, compared to 4-years for the Greenworks dethatcher.
View or download the manual for the Sun Joe AJ800E.
You’ll also need a 12-gauge extension cord.
- Well suited for small to mid-sized lawns.
- Powerful 11-amp motor. 14” dethatching width.
- AirBoost technology: 24 spring steel tines.
- Maintenance free.
- 5-position depth control.
- 31.6 lbs (shipping weight).
- Detachable thatch collection bag.
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty.
Agri Fab-40″ Towable Dethatcher | 45-0294
If you have a large area to cover and you own a garden tractor then you’ll need something like this Agri-Fab dethatcher for your lawn. You’ll also need to add extra weight on top for this work effectively. Notice the railing at the top of it – just add concrete slabs or a bag of sand to help ground it.
View or download the manual for the Agri-Fab 40″ Tine Tow Dethatcher (45-0294).
- Heavy-duty dethatcher for your lawn tractor.
- 40-inches wide.
- Rust-proof & replaceable spring-loaded tines are heat-treated for greater durability.
- 7″ semi-pneumatic tires can handle a wide range of terrain.
- 1-year limited warranty.