In my backyard, the answer is "not often enough"!
We moved into our current home last summer, and decided last fall not to plant winter rye grass in the backyard - we had enough on our plate at the time and not mowing the backyard all winter sounded like a good idea. Apparently, the people who owned the house before us had the same idea.. EVERY WINTER! But they must not have thatched (or de-thatched, however you want to say it) in the spring, either.
Today, our yard is a mess. The thatch is so thick that our grass is growing its roots in the thatch rather than the soil. Fertilizer isn't getting absorbed (and neither is the water), the growth is spotty and uneven... yuck.
This winter we'll scalp the Bermuda and plant winter rye, as much to give us a healthy yard next year as to enjoy the deep green winter lawn.
- Chris Butterworth
[tags] Bermuda grass, thatch, de-thatching, winter lawn [/tags]