Does your grass look patchy? Thatch buildup is more than likely to blame. Thankfully, dethatching can help your lawn get back to its healthy, green state!
What is dethatching?
Thatch, the layer between the grass blades and soil, is comprised of roots, stems, etc. A moderate layer of thatch is beneficial, as it shields the soil from harsh sun and acts as a moisture-locking blanket. But if the thatch layer doesn’t maintain itself or decompose properly, it can get too thick and cause problems. Thatch buildup can:
- Inhibit the soil from absorbing air, water, and sunlight
- Increase insect populations
- Prevent your lawnmower from mowing evenly.
Why is dethatching important?
When you break up the thatch layer, your soil can receive adequate sunlight and water, your grass can develop strong root systems, and your lawn can stay healthy. Additionally, when you pair dethatching with aeration, you restore much-needed nutrient circulation to your lawn.
When should I dethatch?
Because too thick a thatch layer isn’t good for your lawn, you need to break it up if it gets thicker than 1 inch. To measure the thatch layer, cut a small square out of your soil so that you can see all of the layers and measure how thick the thatch layer is. You can also press your finger into the soil and if it doesn’t go through, it’s time to dethatch. Of course, the best way to avoid thatch buildup is prevention: don’t over-fertilize your lawn with nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and don’t water too much/too often.