At last, spring is here, and now it’s time to start thinking about lawn care.

Over the winter, and especially after the epic rainfall earlier this month, your lawn may have grown thick and spongy. As spring approaches, and as sunny days begin to outnumber the rainy ones, you’ll want to have a strategy for getting it back into shape for summertime.

“Thatch is a layer of dead and decomposing plant tissue that forms above the soil,” explains Sean Fong, owner of Hawaiian Turf-grass. “A thin layer of thatch is beneficial, as it protects plant crowns and reduces compaction. But if the layer gets too thick, water, air and fertilizer can’t get through to the soil and grass roots.”


Usually, says Fong, thatch occurs on turf that hasn’t been mowed regularly, and it is most common on poorly drained, compacted and acidic soil. But, after weeks of heavy rain during which most island lawn mowers sat idle, many homeowners will have to take a few extra steps to prepare their lawns for summer.

“You’ll want to wait till the weather turns consistently sunny again,” says Fong. “Scalping, dethatching and sanding are ways to get your lawn back into tip-top shape.”

In the first step — scalping — you’ll thoroughly mow your lawn several times, lowering the blade height on each subsequent cut. Then, you’ll want to use a dethatcher (also known as a scarifier), a landscaping tool that cuts through soil.

“Scalping cuts everything down, and the dethatching removes that organic layer of dead roots and leaves,” Fong says. “Once you get it very low, almost to bare dirt, you’ll want to topdress that with clean sand.”


The sandy layer will help create a level and smooth surface, he explains, almost like a golf course putting green, and the grass will grow back through the sand.

After dethatching, Fong recommends applying fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® or Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Lawn Food.

“Remember, after dethatching and fertilizing, you’ll want to maintain a low height of cut, and mow every one to two weeks with a reel mower throughout the summer,” he concludes. “If you’re maintaining that schedule, you’ll most likely have one of the nicer lawns on the block!”

Hawaiian Turfgrass offers complete turnkey lawn services: site prep, irrigation, delivery and installation. Call 371-0527 and order your new lawn (minimum 500 square feet) by April 30 for a $500 installation discount. Prefer to install your new lawn yourself? Visit to place your order and arrange for pickup or curbside delivery!

CONTACT 371-0527
ADDRESS 94-840 Lanikuhana Ave., Mililani