How Much Does Lawn Dethatching Cost in 2024?

On average, homeowners can expect to pay $170 hourly or between $0.04 and $0.06 per square foot for lawn dethatching.

Thatch refers to a layer of thickly woven organic matter, including dead grass, that accumulates between grass blades and the soil’s surface. While a little bit of thatch can benefit your lawn, too much thatch buildup stops the soil from getting the air, water, and nutrients it needs. This can result in a lawn that looks less green and lush.

Dethatching, which costs between $0.04 and $0.06 per square foot, or $170 per hour, removes this layer of debris by slicing through the excess thatch and intensively raking your lawn until the soil’s surface is clear. This restores your lawn’s access to sunlight and ensures it stays beautiful all year.

In this pricing guide, we’ll cover:

Man dethatching lawn with power rake
Photo Credit: nycshooter | Canva Pro | License

Average lawn dethatching costs in 2024

National average cost$196
Typical price range$145 – $247
Extreme low-end cost$100
Extreme high-end cost$1,150

The typical price range for lawn dethatching is between $145 and $247, with most homeowners spending $170 per hour on average.

Factors that can impact the price of your dethatching service are lawn size, location, amount of thatch, weather, and lawn topography.

Dethatching cost estimator by lawn size

While lawn care companies often charge an hourly rate for dethatching, the size of your lawn can impact the price of your service. Companies usually charge between $0.04 and $0.06 per square foot for lawn dethatching.

Project sizeAverage overall cost
⅛ acre (5,445 square feet)$272
¼ acre (10,890 square feet)$544
½ acre (21,780 square feet)$871
1 acre (43,560 square feet)$1,742

Small yards around 5,000 square feet cost an average of $272 to dethatch, while large lawns around 1 acre in size can cost $1,742, on average.

Other factors that affect cost

Other traits of your lawn – not just its size – can affect the cost of dethatching. Each property is unique and presents its own set of challenges related to the following factors.

Topography

Topography can impact the cost of dethatching your lawn. Lawns that are uneven, steep, or have a lot of obstacles (such as trees, walkways, or landscaping) may take longer and be more challenging to dethatch. Lawns that are flatter, in better condition, and with fewer obstacles will take less time to dethatch, meaning labor will cost less.

Amount of thatch

The thickness of your lawn’s thatch layer will affect how long it takes to dethatch your lawn. While some thatch is good for a healthy lawn, it’s wise not to let it build up too much between services to keep costs low. If your lawn produces a lot of thatch, you may need to dethatch annually.

Weather conditions

Weather conditions can affect not just the price of your service but the quality. It’s generally not recommended to dethatch your lawn during rainy seasons. Dethatching your lawn after a rainstorm will complicate the process and increase prices. Likewise, dethatching during winter or on the hottest summer day can make it harder for your lawn to bounce back.

When’s the best time to dethatch your lawn? During its peak growing season, when the soil is moist. The best time of year to dethatch for cool-season grasses is late summer to early fall. For areas with warm-season grasses, late spring to early summer is best.

Dethatching is serious surgery for your lawn, and getting it done during these seasons ensures a healthy recovery.

If you already have a lawn care crew coming to your house to dethatch, it might be worth it to tack on a few extra lawn care services to your bill. These are some of the services you might want (or need) to order along with dethatching.

Aeration

The best time to aerate your lawn is right after dethatching. Removing the thatch layer first gives the aeration tool better access to the soil underneath. Lawn aeration costs between $82 and $251.

Many homeowners don’t know the difference between dethatching and aeration. Both services rejuvenate lawns by giving them better access to the nutrients they need, but they’re not the same thing. Core aeration helps loosen soil compaction, giving grassroots better access to sun, air, nutrients, and water.

Lawn mowing

You can mow your own lawn or get a lawn care professional to do it for you for around $35 to $100. Mowing your lawn is an essential step in preparing your lawn for dethatching. Cutting the grass slightly shorter than usual makes dethatching more effective. A regular mowing service also can help your lawn go longer without needing to be dethatched.

Overseeding

The perfect time to overseed your lawn is after eliminating your thatch problem. With the dense layer of thatch buildup removed and the soil exposed, the seeds make it into the ground more quickly. For lawns made brown and patchy by too much organic material, overseeding helps them bounce back better than ever.

A number of factors, including the type of grass seed and seeding method, can affect the total cost of overseeding.

Cost of dethatching DIY

Dethatching your lawn yourself is doable. Still, the price can vary significantly depending on the equipment you use. When choosing dethatching equipment, there are a few options:

  • Thatch rakes are rakes with steel tines that slash through the thatch, pull it up, and cultivate the soil. This option requires the most elbow grease on your part but is also the most cost-effective.
  • Dethatching machines look similar to lawn mowers but have rotating tines that easily cut through layers of thick thatch.
  • Dethatching tow behinds attach to riding lawn mowers so you can dethatch your lawn as you mow. This method makes dethatching a breeze for larger lawns or lawns with bumpy terrain.

DIY cost breakdown

The total cost of dethatching your lawn yourself will depend on which way you choose. You’ll need a standard lawn mower if you’re not using a tow behind. You’ll also need a leaf rake to quickly collect the thatch once it’s pulled up, a wheelbarrow, and lawn waste bags to dispose of the debris.

Equipment/MaterialsAverage cost
Thatch rake$43
Dethatching machine$145
Dethatching tow behinds$159
Riding (zero-turn) lawn mower$4,058
Standard (reel) lawn mower$129
Leaf rake$30
Wheelbarrow$69
Lawn waste bags$6
Total:$277 – $4,322

DIY cost vs. professional cost

When considering whether you should dethatch your lawn yourself, it’s best to take a peek inside your garage and see what equipment you already have. Since dethatching DIY can cost up to $4,322 (if you purchase a riding mower) and be labor intensive, it may be wise to consider hiring a pro who can do it for less.

Since the typical price for professional lawn dethatching is between $145 and $247, calling a pro may be more cost-effective if you don’t already own some of the necessary equipment. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as lawn size that may affect the cost of a professional service.

Cost of dethatching by location

Because average lawn size varies significantly by state, the cost to dethatch your lawn may differ depending on where you live. Homeowners in Montana have lawns that average over 70,000 square feet, so dethatching services take longer and are more expensive. However, Nevada residents might pay less since their lawns average around 6,000 square feet.

FAQ

What are the signs that my lawn might need dethatching?

Signs include spongy or uneven turf, excessive thatch, poor water absorption, and increased vulnerability to pests and diseases.

How long does it take for a lawn to recover after dethatching, and what maintenance is required afterward?

Recovery time varies but typically ranges from a few weeks to a month. After dethatching your lawn, regular watering and proper lawn care practices are essential to support recovery and encourage new, healthy grass growth.

Can I combine dethatching with other lawn care services for cost efficiency?

Yes, you can combine dethatching with services like aeration or overseeding for a comprehensive lawn care approach, potentially reducing overall service costs.

Final Thoughts

If your lawn is developing dry spots, thinning, and looking less green, don’t hesitate to dethatch your lawn. Dethatching allows your lawn to get the nutrients it needs and return to its most lush self.

You can buy a power rake, dethatching machine, or tow-behind dethatcher from your local home improvement store and have your lawn looking fresh with just a little bit of sweat on your part.

If you’d rather leave the slicing and dicing to the experts, call a local lawn care pro and ask about their lawn dethatching services. You can sit back and relax while your lawn is revitalized.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with lawn maintenance contractors in your area.

Main Photo Credit: stenkovlad | Adobe Stock Free | License

Beck Carter

Beck is a creative writer from Central Texas. She graduated with an MFA in poetry from Texas State University. Beck enjoys martial arts, kayaking, and walking her wiener dog, Cookie.