The small clippings of grass accumulating on top of the soil between the grass blades in your lawn are known as “Thatch.” Some thatch is actually important for a healthy lawn. Too much thatch can prevent the roots of your turf from accessing the proper amount of water. Certain varieties of grass ought to be de-thatched more often than others, but all grass should be dethatched every so often.
How To check for thatch
Cutting a nice thick chunk of sod out of the lawn is the best way to measure thatch. If you can’t cut a chunk of sod without the soil crumbling apart, you may have a week root system in your lawn (or you’ve found some feeder roots from a nearby tree). Usually these are signs that you have too little thatch. If you can see the dirt under your grass, your lawn is not thick enough to have thatch issues. Your focus ought to be on seeding. If you do pull a good chunk of sod, grab a ruler and measure the yellow layer between the brown dirt and the green grass. If the yellow area is thicker than 1 inch, you are in need of our dethatching services. If the yellow area is between 1/2 an inch and 1 inch you have a healthy amount of thatch and nothing should continue maintenance as normal. If you have less than 1/2 an inch of thatch, you ought to try aerating and over-seeding to promote a thicker stand of grass.
In a vigorous turf stand, thatch ought to be checked annually. So if you are in the Springfield, Nixa, or Ozark, Missouri areas, you can just call and let us know you want to have the thatch layer measured in your yard. If a sod cutting is necessary, it only takes a moment and it’s a free inspection with our estimate visit. Set up a free estimate to find out when your lawn will be in need of dethatching.
Why is thatch important?
Thatch is a lot like mulch for your lawn. It provides a habitat for the beneficial organisms which live in a healthy lawn. Just like mulch, too much or too little thatch can cause problems. Too much thatch can lead to fungus issues and too little can lead to washout and thin spots in the yard. Thatch is a lot like a shield for your grass roots. Since thatch is full of living organisms essential to healthy lawns, often times, we’ve noticed that the thatch layer is decomposed nearly as fast as it builds up in fescue lawns. Therefore we tend to recommend less dethatching services than some of the older information may suggest. As well, the type of grass directly impacts the speed of thatch build-up. All of our practices are geared towards a cool season lawn, comprised of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.