Latch on to Thatch

Lawn care. As a homeowner, you know it’s an important thing; but if you’re the average citizen, there are many aspects of total lawn care that you’re not ready to handle on your own. You’re probably not aware of everything that goes into seasonal lawn care to help you keep that healthy lawn you’re so proud of, things like dethatching and aerating and a multitude of other treatments that often fall by the wayside when your schedule is already full. The word “thatch” isn’t on your vocabulary, much less on your to-do list. But unless you want your yard to suffer from your lack of knowledge, now is the time to find out what thatch is and the ways that it affects your grass. So then, what is thatch? Lawn thatch is basically a built-up layering of loose dead and living organic matter like shoots, stems, and roots that settles in between the surface of the soil and the green, active vegetation of the grass. This happens when organic debris is produced faster than it can be broken down; and in order for it not to become thick enough to threaten the health of your lawn, it needs to be removed.

The Build Up

It may seem like it wouldn’t be a big concern. After all, thatch is organic material, right? Right. But it can actually become a block, preventing your lawn from getting the things it needs. Thick thatch can keep air, water, fertilizer, and lawn treatments from reaching the soil; and that can be a death sentence for your turf. Fortunately for you, dethatching can be done with a few simple tools like a thatch rake or a power-driven lawn thatcher. Even if you don’t have special lawn thatch removal equipment, you’ve probably got a few things in your garage that can help you break down the build-up. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Stiff rake
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Shovel or trowel

Removal Plan

To remove thatch, you’ll need to know how thick it actually is. You can measure its depth by taking a core sample with your shovel. The sample will easily show the layers and how deep the thatch has gone. If it’s too deep, you’ll need something more heavy duty than your stiff rake and may want to get your hands on a power rake. Thatch removal should be done before the active growth period of your lawn so that it can start the season off on a good foot. Mow your yard first, cutting it a little lower than you usually would; and water the area to moisten the soil. These are steps that will help the removal process go easier, and when you run the rake over the thatch, it won’t take quite as much work. Work in small areas until the whole lawn is done, and then remember to water and fertilize to help it recover. Depending on the condition of your grass, you may also need to adjust the pH level of your soil and overseed to fill in the weak spots. Don’t let your grass get buried under! Consult with the team of experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc., today!