When it comes to taking care of your lawn, you know you need to weed it, you take the time to mow it, and depending on the season, you plant seeds and rake the leaves yourself. But sometimes that doesn’t seem to be enough to achieve that attractive, healthy yard of your dreams.
Don’t blame your efforts. Blame thatch. Made up of a layer of both living grass shoots and dead turfgrass tissue, thatch exists most commonly between the grass blades and soil of your lawn. The bulk of thatch is made up of crowns, roots, stems, and other parts of the turf that are the most decay-resistant.
How did that layer of thatch get there? In the Midwest, lawns can often develop thatch buildup after a hard winter with an abundance of snow. When the turfgrass produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down, thatch begins to build up.
However, thatch buildup is not caused by grass clippings from lawn mowing. Grass clippings from mowing can actually be beneficial, as soil microbes will break them down easily enough in healthy turf conditions.
Thatch itself isn’t always a problem either. There are some advantages to having a limited amount of thatch in your turfgrass. A good layer of thatch that is a half-inch thick or less can help to make your lawn healthy and resilient. Acting as a barrier between the roots and the elements, thatch delivers protection and insulation against soil moisture variations and temperature extremes.
You shouldn’t dethatch if you only have a half-inch of thatch. Additionally, avoid the common mistake of dethatching when your turf is weak or damaged from extreme heat or drought stress.
However, when too much thatch builds up in a short period of time, that’s when it becomes a problem. In this case, thatch inhibits nutrients and water from traveling all the way down to the roots of your grass.
If wet thatch retains too much water during rainy seasons, the grass roots may be susceptible to rot. On the other hand, if sufficient water cannot reach the grass roots because thatch is blocking it, this can result in shallow root syndrome and fungal issues.
Thatch that grows thicker than one-half-inch deep causes problems, as the grass roots will begin to grow in the thatch instead of growing deep into the soil, where the most nutrients are found. When this occurs, the roots become weak and vulnerable, making it hard for your grass to bounce back from even the slightest drought conditions and other stresses.
Dense thatch that accumulates quickly can lead to problems with the uptake of fertilizer, and can even harbor insects and diseases. Fertilizer itself can contribute to the buildup of thatch. If too much fertilizer is applied, rapid overgrowth will occur, leaving an inadequate amount of time for natural breakdown to happen.
If you have a dethatcher machine and the time to care for your lawn yourself, then you can remove the thatch and restore the health of your grass. Before you attempt to dethatch your yard, it is helpful to understand the proper tools and techniques to use when doing so.
As lawn care professionals, the Midwest Lawn Co team understands the issues that thatch can cause, and the importance of removing layers of thatch from your lawn. Midwest Lawn Co has the experience and equipment necessary to perform professional dethatching services.
Many homeowners use a power rake to remove thatch, but power raking and dethatching do not have the same purpose nor do they achieve the same results. Power raking is a much more aggressive approach to dethatching that is usually reserved for lawns with thatch that is more than half an inch thick.
Power raking rids your lawn of excess organic debris, like thatch, once it has become a serious concern. Consider using the power raking approach if you need to dig large amounts of very thick thatch out of your lawn.
Dethatching is a less aggressive approach. It removes small amounts of thatch from lawns that are relatively healthy. A dethatcher is a smaller, residential-grade machine that resembles a push mower. Some dethatchers may even offer the convenience of attaching to your tiller or mower.
Note that there is also a difference between dethatching and core aeration of your lawn. Core aeration is an approach that utilizes an aerator machine to pierce the ground and pull plugs of soil out. At Midwest Lawn Co, we provide lawn aeration services to add air to your soil so that the dirt does not stay too compacted. Unlike dethatching, aerating does not remove thatch. Instead, it allows roots to expand and your grass to grow thicker than before.
Power raking and core aerating are both beneficial for your lawn, but they are not a substitute for dethatching. If you are still unsure about whether a dethatcher will be sufficient or you should use a power rake or aerator machine, contact Midwest Lawn Co for expert advice.
It’s hard to ignore a lawn in need of a good mowing, but a problem with thatch buildup is not as apparent when you walk outside. Both homeowners and business owners alike should still make dethatching a priority to maintain a beautiful, hearty yard.
To remove the excess organic debris from your residential or commercial lawn, you may be thinking of buying or renting a dethatcher. However, most people do not want to invest in a machine that they only use once or twice a year.
If you are not physically up to the job of dethatching, or you just don’t have time to invest in the process, don’t let that be a reason to allow thatch to take over your yard. Dethatching is important to the long-term health of your grass, and the professionals at Midwest Lawn Co are committed to delivering the highest quality dethatching services to their customers.
For anyone who has taken the time to dethatch their own lawn, and is concerned about thatch buildup that seems to be a recurring problem, it might be time to reseed your lawn with grass that is not as prone to excessive thatch. Cool season grasses like Creeping Bentgrass and Kentucky Bluegrass are more prone to buildup, as are warm season grasses like Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass.
Thatch buildup does not tend to be a big concern with cool season Perennial Ryegrasses and Tall Fescues. However, Fine Fescues have blades that are tough and do not decompose very fast, which makes them prone to occasional thatch buildup.
If you are concerned that your grass type is contributing to thatch buildup, and you want to stop thatch from getting so thick that it obstructs proper water drainage and healthy root growth, contact a dethatching specialist at Midwest Lawn Co today.
The best approach to dealing with thatch is the proactive approach. Prevent thatch from building up in the first place by scheduling lawn aeration services, selecting the grass seed that is right for your yard, and checking your soil pH levels regularly. A soil pH of around 6.5 is recommended for prevention of excess thatch.
There are various methods for dealing with increasing levels of thatch build up, and you don’t want to waste your time and money on power raking if it is dethatching that your yard needs. At Midwest Lawn Co, we understand the different thatch removal methods and when to implement each one.
Consult a lawn care expert at Midwest Lawn Co, and we can help you assess your dethatching needs. If necessary, we can provide seeding, lawn aeration, dethatching, or power raking services once we determine which approach would be most beneficial to your lawn.
Dethatching services can make a big difference in the health of your yard and it can enhance the overall look of your property. Ask a Midwest Lawn Co specialist for more information about the approach that will be best suited for your lawn.
Maintaining a lawn that is attractive to look at and soft to walk on doesn’t have to be complicated. For almost a decade, Midwest Lawn Co has provided services to residents of Chesterfield and surrounding West County suburbs that transform dull yards into stunning, thriving lawns.
At Midwest Lawn Co, lawn care and landscape maintenance are our specialties. Our professionally trained and certified team can handle all of your lawn care needs, including lawn aeration, dethatching, weed control, and more.
Don’t allow thatch to build up in your yard. Contact the professionals at Midwest Lawn Co, and leave the dethatching to us. We’re happy to offer our services and experience to create an outdoor living space that you’re sure to enjoy with family and friends for years to come.
To get more information about our services and receive a free estimate, call the Chesterfield lawn care professionals of Midwest Lawn Co today at (636) 220-9991 or contact us online.