What is Thatch?

Have you ever noticed on the surface of your lawn, just below the vertical stalks of green turf, a brownish straw colored material? That is called thatch. It is a byproduct of mowing, leaves, and the buildup of dead grass. It’s a natural occurrence that houses microorganisms in all varieties of turf grass. As thatch forms, it creates a weave over the surface of your soil. This layer of decomposing material is very detrimental to a healthy lawn.

Why Dethatch?dethatching

Why would you want to remove this material from the surface of the soil? While thatch is building up, the ability for your lawn to receive and absorb fertilizers is significantly reduced. When pesticides and fertilizers are applied, they can be absorbed by the thatch and never make it into the root systems below.

Studies have shown as much as 50% of a fertilizer application can be lost to a heavy buildup of thatch in a lawn. The material that is in the composition of thatch is actually dead material that is decomposing. While the decomposition is happening, the healthy turf around it also subject to the effects of the decomposition. You wouldn’t want moldy bread next to good bread would you? Same thought process.

Thatch also absorbs rain water and irrigation water that should be absorbed and utilized by the roots of your lawn. This leads to a faster burnout in the event of a drought.

Once the thatch is removed, the lawn looks greener. The haze that is the underlying tone is no longer there. If your lawn also has a significant buildup of moss, the process of dethatching can help to reduce that content as well.

Our Dethatching Procedure

Our dethatching machines use a thine reel system. When these power rakes run over the turf, it loosens up the thatch and brings it to the surface of the lawn. We are then able to remove the dead material using rakes and blowers.

It is often surprising to folks to see us fill a dump truck after dethatching a standard sized lawn. There is that much dead material surrounding the lawn. Dethatching should not be done yearly. Once on a good maintenance program, dethatching should be done every other year.

If you have not had your lawn dethatched for some time, call to schedule a free estimate with us. The best time to dethatch is before the stressful and oppressive heat of the summer hits. The fall is also an opportune time to perform this service as well.