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What is Thatch?

April 5, 2016
Author:
Brad Bippus

What Is Thatch?

Thatch is comprised of leaves, pine needles, stems, other organic debris,  living and dead grass.   It is that layer between the soil and base of your grass stems.

Thatch Is Good for Your Lawn

A thin layer of thatch of 1/2″ to 3/4″ is needed for your lawn to stay healthy. It will slow water evaporation, cushions soil so it won’t become compacted, helps mitigate the effects of foot traffic, and insulates the grass to sustain a more even temperature for the soil.

Thatch Is Bad For Your Lawn

Too much thatch in your lawn and it can cause some issues.  A thick layer of thatch creates an impervious layer that sheds water and fertilizer.  Also, it blocks sunlight needed for the lower sections of the grass blades needed for basic plant functions.

How do you know if your lawn needs do be de-thatched?

You only want to de-thach if you have a very thick yard, it feels spongy when you walk on it,  kind of cushiony.  Sticking your fingers into the thatch and having to wiggle it down to the solid ground is another sign it needs to be serviced.  Also, taking a knife and cutting out a small 2 inch round circle, pulling it up and visually inspecting it.  Look for the thatch layer just about the soil and measure it.  If it’s more that 3/4″, then it is time for action.

What To Do About Thatch

Get rid of it!!!  There’s a mechanical method of de-thatching by renting a machine or using a special hand rake de-thatcher.  Call your local equipment rental company to rent a de-thatching machine.  Or buy a special de-thatching rake at your local hardware store.  Or call  us at 928.225.2224.

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