Thatch is a layer between the grass and the soil made up of interwoven accumulated dead and living grass shoots, stems, crowns, and roots.
A thin layer of thatch is good.

  • It helps maintain soil moisture and temperature.

A thick layer of thatch can harm lawns the following ways.

  • It’s difficult for water to penetrate a thick thatch layer, causing water to run off instead of soaking in.
  • It can harbor insects and lawn diseases.
  • Grass may begin growing in the thatch layer instead of the soil, producing shallow root systems.
  • It can block air, nutrients, and pesticides from reaching the root system.

Two signs the lawn has a thatch problem are

  1. Water runs off the lawn instead of soaking in.
  2. You’ll begin to notice grayish-brown matts in your lawn.

Contributing to thatch build-up are the three things you already do to maintain your lawn.

  1. Mow
  2. Water
  3. Fertilize.
  4. Compacted soil can also contribute to thatch build-up.

Prepare yourself. Your lawn is going to look ragged for a short time after de-thatching. If it does, you did it correctly.

Thatch builds up over time, so it’s not necessary to de-thatch every year. You might want to give your lawn a quick check every year just to see how much thatch has accumulated. Over a half inch of thatch is just cause to de-thatch.

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