Thatch is the dense spongy layer at the base of your lawn made up of tightly interwoven or compacted stems, leaves and roots. Lawns with high levels of thatch (2 cm or more) can create an environment in which disease and insect pests thrive. Poor drainage, compacted soil and unfavourable pH can contribute to high levels of thatch. How to dethatch excessive thatch in a lawn.
Identify the problem
Some thatch (less than 2 cm) is good for your lawn. Soil dwelling organisms break the thatch down into humus which helps nourish both the grass and the beneficial organisms in the soil which helps keep the soil and the grass healthy. If the thatch builds up faster than it is broken down and it exceeds 2 cm depth, the layer can begin to cause problems for the lawn; the lawn becomes spongy and retains moisture that encourages fungal disease of the grass, insect pests can harbour in the thatch, the grass struggles to grow through the thatch and oxygen is less able to penetrate the soil below and roots and beneficial organisms may suffer in anaerobic conditions.
How to Dethatch Your Lawn
- Apply LawnPro D-Thatch or Turfclean & Green Rapid+ to the affected areas of lawn. This naturally encourages the breakdown of excessive thatch by beneficial soil organisms and restores the balance of build-up and breakdown.
- Alternatively manually remove the excessive thatch by raking (scarifying) out the dead material with a grass rake, de-thatching rake or mechanical scarifier.
- Then apply LawnPro 7-Day-Green or LawnPro Lawn Thickener to promote strong grass growth and to fill in areas where grass has been stunted.
Did You Know
- For small areas, you can use a thatching rake, which is a sharp-tined rake that rips the thatch out of the lawn. Rake the grass, digging deep to penetrate the thatch and loosen it. In early spring removing thatch by raking is best to prevent damaging new growth.
- Apply LawnPro D-Thatch products early morning, late evening or when overcast and when there is moisture in the soil. Most effective in spring and autumn.
- If the lawn requires irrigation, water in the morning.
- For extremely dense thatch ( more than 2 cm) repeat application 1 month after first application and as required.
- We recommend the LawnPro range of products for lawn maintenance towards lush, healthy, green lawns.