During your yard clean-up or soon after, you might notice a layer at the soil surface where it seems that dead and living plant parts are coming together. This is what is known as “thatch” and most lawns have a layer of it. Thatch is natural and can be broken down by insects, bacteria, and other living organisms. It can be beneficial up to a half inch. Where thatch becomes an issue is when it begins to build up from poor aeration, over saturation, and soil compaction. If you are unsure that you have a thatch problem or not, we can take a soil sample just to see how much dethatching your lawn needs. In general, if you want to see new, thick, grass growth and a more lustrous lawn, dethatching is a must.
When to Dethatch:
Dethatching can be done during multiple times a year, but the best times are when the turf can recover quickly from the process. Atlas Green does de-thatching as our second step of our seven step process to turf perfection(MAYBE A DIF WORD?) and we aim for a happy medium between cool/moist weather and when the weather begins to warm. We do this after our Spring clean-up to maximize positive results.
How does De-thatching work?
If your Lawn is building up thatch or you have concerns that the thatch will impede on the growth of your turf, dethatching is the way to go. Dethatching can be done by thatch rake, power rake, or dethatcher. At Atlas Green, if we see your lawn is in decent condition and just needs a supporting role: we will use a tow-behind dethatcher to start the process in the right direction. (side note: you will see these types in larger versions often used on farms!) If your lawn needs a hero, we prefer to use a power rake with the option to lay certified grass seed as we go!
Each machine does relatively the same thing: remove thatch. It is the amount of effort and thatch that is removed that is different. Of course, thatch rakes require manpower to lift the dead thatch out of the grass. A tow-behind detaching uses steel tines to comb through the grass. Finally, a power rake can be similar to a push mower but takes out the most thatch and can have multiple benefits.
Dethatching is great to relieve plant stress during periods of growth. It helps water, nutrients, and sunlight reach each blade of grass to create the perfect tri-fecta for abundant growth. Most importantly it helps establish healthy roots to start your season off right! It is recommended that every lawn be dethatched periodically so if you haven’t had it done in a while, your lawn most likely needs it.
We hope you enjoyed learning about detaching and that this helps you on your own personal journey to a beautiful lawn, garden, and landscape. As always, Atlas Green is here to help!
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