What is Thatch?
Thatch is the layer of leaves, stems and roots that is present between your lawn’s root system and the blades of grass above. Thatch can develop for several different reasons. If you over-fertilize your lawn, water it too much, consistently cut your grass too high or have a heavy soil content, your lawn may be at a higher risk of developing unhealthy thatch.
Some thatch is healthy for your lawn as it slows the loss of water and naturally mulches your soil. It also insulates your soil from rapid temperature changes and builds your lawn’s tolerance to everyday traffic.
Too much thatch can pose a serious threat to your lawn. It prevents proper amounts of water and fertilizer from reaching your soil. In addition, it blocks sunlight from reaching the lower portions of the grass blades and can cause an uneven lawn, which can lead to uneven mowing and damage to your yard. Unhealthy amounts of thatch can also hold too much moisture against the grass, which can cause widespread disease like leaf spot and summer patch.
How to Measure the Amount of Thatch in Your Lawn
The best way to determine the amount of thatch in your yard is to remove a small portion of your lawn approximately two inches deep. Measure the layer of thatch with a ruler or tape measure. If the thatch is thicker than one quarter of an inch, your lawn should be power racked or dethatched.
Dethatching vs Power Raking
Dethatching is recommended for thinner lawns. It is done with an attachment to our lawn mowers. The attachment has metal fingers on springs that lift dead grass and thatch from lawns. Dethatching is done in the spring and we recommend doing it every year.
Power raking is recommended for thicker lawns. It is done with a walk behind machine with metal tines that spin around and lift up dead grass and thatch, followed by a mower and bagger to collect the debris. Power raking is done in the spring and we recommend doing it every year.
If you’d like an estimate or would like to be added to our dethatching or power raking schedules, contact us.