Dethatching St Augustine Grass: Step-By-Step Guide

Published Categorized as Warm-Season Grasses

Most homeowners and gardening experts debate a lot about dethatching St. Augustine grass. We all know how this practice is crucial for any lawn as long as you do it professionally. However, dethatching St Augustine grass using the wrong tools and at the wrong time will damage your lawn. In this article, I’ll discuss the step-by-step process of dethatching St Augustine lawn and when to do it.

When dethatching St Augustine grass, mow the lawn, water it to loosen the hard-packed thatch, run the dethatcher, aerate the soil, and fertilize the yard with a slow-release fertilizer. Carry out the process in spring after your lawn exits dormancy and begins to grow actively. Dethatching during this period gives the turf ample time to recover.

Should You Dethatch St Augustine Grass?

Dethatching St Augustine Grass

To grow a healthy lawn, it is recommended to dethatch St Augustine grass. Like other warm-season grasses, St Augustine can also develop thatch build-up, which impedes grass growth.

However, avoid dethatching this grass frequently, as the process can damage your lawn. Similarly, avoid using a power rake when dethatching St Augustine, as it cuts a lot of grass runners/stolons, damaging your property. Instead, use a vertical lawn mower or hand rake.

How to Dethatch St Augustine Grass (5 Easy Steps)

Follow these five simple ways when dethatching St. Augustine grass:

1. Mow the lawn

The first step when preparing your St Augustine lawn for dethatching is mowing. This gives the dethatching tool easy access beneath the grass blades to remove thatch. However, avoid mowing too low or too high.

2. Water your lawn

Watering your lawn before dethatching loosens the hard-packed thatch, making it easier to remove it with a dethatcher. However, avoid over-watering the yard so you don’t make it muddy.

3. Dethatch

Dethatching St Augustine Grass

Once you mow the grass and soften the thatch by watering the yard, dethatch using a commercial-grade dethatcher (pictured above). Use a hand rake if your lawn is small or a vertical mower for large properties.

4. Aerate the soil

After dethatching your St. Augustine lawn, aerate the soil to accelerate the decomposition of organic matter in the thatch.

5. Fertilize your yard

Lastly, fertilize your St Augustine grass with a slow-release fertilizer. This helps the lawn recover quickly from the dethatching stress and enhances grass growth. Furthermore, this fertilizer helps reduce thatch build-up in your yard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you dethatch St Augustine grass?

A: Dethatching St Augustine grass can be a risky maintenance practice. The dethatcher can damage your lawn if not correctly adjusted. However, thatch still build-up in this turf, which impedes its growth and makes the yard prone to pests and diseases. So, you can carefully dethatch St Augustine if it develops a thick thatch layer.

Q: When should I dethatch my St Augustine grass?

A: Dethatch St Augustine grass only in spring, after your lawn exits dormancy and begins to grow actively. Remember, dethatching puts enormous stress on the grass, and doing it in spring gives the turf ample time to recover. Therefore, avoid carrying out the process in fall or winter, as your lawn may die in spots as it enters dormancy.


It’s crucial to dethatch your St Augustine lawn to maintain its health and vigor. If you need to know how to dethatch St Augustine grass, begin by mowing the lawn and watering it.

Once you have short grass and soft thatch, dethatch the yard. Afterward, aerate the soil and fertilize your yard with a slow-release fertilizer to boost grass growth. Ensure you carry out the process in spring for the best outcomes.

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