Reducing and removing thatch from lawns

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Lawn thatch control is a major issue which must be addressed. Here’s how to deal with it;

You may be wondering why your lawn has thatch and how to remove thatch from lawns;

Lawn thatch is totally different from moss – don’t confuse the two
Thatch is a build-up of organic matter on the surface of the lawn above the soil
Occasionally thatch does occur further down in the soil profile but this is unusual

A scarifier as used for moss removal can be effective removing thatch. Watch this video of moss removal to see how:

How do I deal with lawn thatch?

So you might be asking…

Why does my lawn have thatch?

What should I do to reduce thatch?

When should I remove thatch?

What can you do to reduce thatch in your lawn?

A thatch free lawn needs you to do the following:

  • Ensure you lawn is not receiving too much of the wrong type of nutrition – Excess nitrogen encourages thatch
  • Regularly aerate your lawn to encourage beneficial microbes – they eat thatch!
  • Address lawn nutrition with a professional lawn treatment plan
  • Scarify regularly to ensure organic matter doesn’t build up
  • Make sure your lawn is receiving enough water in dry periods. Microbes need water to live.

Heavy Thatch

Maybe you’re wondering why more people don’t do this;

Well, the answer is simple;

Thatch reduction/removal is hard work requiring specialist knowledge and equipment

4 problems with thatch in your lawn;

  • Thatch is a layer of organic matter that isn’t broken down by microbes as it should be
  • Thatch reduces the amount of moisture that can reach the roots
  • Nutrition struggles to penetrate through the thatch resulting in poor grass growth
  • Thatch reduces the amount of air exchange through the soil which reduces the population of microbes and results in more thatch build-up

Thatch visible at the front of this picture

So how do you get rid of thatch in lawns?

Follow these steps carefully;

  • Identify and address the reasons for thatch in your lawn
  • Scarify the lawn HARD, ideally with a fixed blade machine
  • Aerate the lawn to improve any compaction
  • Top-dress the lawn with a high carbon dressing to feed the spoil microbes
  • Keep the soil moist – water regularly in dry weather
  • Apply a wetting agent to keep water in the soil for longer
  • Ensure you have the right nutritional plan in place to aid grass recovery

Want to know the best part?

Save yourself time and money on lawn care;

It’s more cost effective to pay a lawn care professional and achieve the best results than to do it yourself!