Thatch in Your Lawn and What to Do About It

by GuestPoster on April 9, 2012

Thatch is nothing but a thick layer of grass stems, clippings, roots and other debris that settle on the ground. These components slowly decompose and accumulate over time. Thatch is usually found in places where the grass has grown tall and the lawn has never been aerated. It is very common in warm areas and with grasses like Zoyia, Bermuda, Kentucky bluegrass and Bent grass. If you have one of these grasses on your lawn, you have to dethatch more often when compared to other types.

The process of removing the thatch from the yard is known as dethatching. As a rule,  thatch that is about 1/2 inch thick is not harmful. It can be useful during some occasions like water restrictions, drought and high heat. It acts like a screen and protects the soil by holding moisture and preventing excess sunlight. However, if the thatch overgrows, it can become dangerous to your lawn. It creates too much buffer between the soil and the grass and also prevents the absorption of air, water, nutrients and fertilizers. Excess thatch can also encourage the growth of pests and various other insects that can be harmful to the grass.

How will you know if there is thatch build up or not? All you have to do is take a screwdriver or a narrow wire and place it in the soil until it reaches the soil. Mark the place where the thatch reaches on the top. Pull out the wire or screwdriver and measure the depth. If you find that it is excess in many places, then you have to dethatch your lawn. Thatching is also one of the best procedures for ensuring good health of your lawn. Spring or fall is the best time for dethatching.

Different Types of Dethatching Rakes

There are various types of rakes for dethatching the garden. If you go to a store, you will be confused over choosing the best type. There are three main types of rakes, the manual, power and tow-behind types. Manual thatcher rakes are similar to leaf rakes. The blades have sharp edges on both  sides and are sickle-shaped. Such a rake can be used if you have to dethatch a small area. In places where the other two types cannot be used, the manuals ones are very useful. You can easily purchase one for about $10. For a better quality rake, you need to spend about $30. It will last longer and work better. The tow-behind types are used if you own a tractor or a riding lawnmower. It can be easily attached to the back of a vehicle. It is wider than the normal rakes and covers more area too. So you can finish the job quickly. These types are more expensive when compared to the manual types. You can buy one for about $150-$200. You can save a lot of time and also complete the work faster.

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