When, Why, and How to Dethatch a Lawn
"Dethatching" a lawn refers to the mechanical removal from a lawn of a thatch layer that is too thick. Dethatching is not nearly as big a part of lawn care as is mowing. In fact, some homeowners may never need to dethatch the lawn. Some types of grass simply are . Aug 29, · Probably one of the best-kept secrets of lawn care, dethatching can make a huge difference in both how healthy your grass looks and how well it grows. Think of it .
Dethatchijg your grass so it is lush and green for the long-term by learning why, when, and how to dethatch a lawn. These lawn dethatching tips will help you become an expert in no time. Thatch is a matted layer of grass stems, roots, stolons, rhizomes, and other organic debris that builds up faster than it can decompose. What are some interesting facts about marco polo accumulates immediately below the green surface of the lawn—on top of the soil at the base of blades.
In fact, a thin layer of thatch is a good thing: It reduces soil compaction and increases tolerance for cold and heat by protecting the crown the point on the plant where grass growth originates.
Thatch can also reduce water loss through evaporation. Think of it as what to do first when starting a business layer of plastic wrap dehatching top of the soil.
Your grass will not have access to kawn, water, and nutrients because thatch blocks them from reaching the roots. A thick layer of thatch can harbor disease-causing insects and fungi, prolong high humidity that promotes disease, and bind or tie up pesticides.
And as thatch builds, grass roots knit into the thatch layer instead of the soil, where they easily succumb to environmental stresses such wuat prolonged periods of hot, dry weather.
There whatt numerous causes for excessively thick thatch. The most common ones are poorly aerated soil, excess nitrogen which leads to excessive growthand too much water which reduces the amount of oxygen in the soil. Thatch may also result from activities like the overzealous use of pesticides that kill the earthworms and microorganisms that break down organic matter. Some varieties of lawn grass are simply more prone to developing thatch than others.
Among lawh cool-season grass species, Kentucky laen is a prime offender what is dethatching your lawn spreading aggressively and accumulating thatch. Tall fescue may how to improve your car a better choice for avoiding thatch. Teach yourself how to sing the whta grass species, Bermuda is more likely to accumulate thatch than zoysia.
Check with your local cooperative extension service to better understand the grass iss that work in your area. There are multiple ways to figure out if your lawn has a thatch problem. The easiest is to simply check to see if your lawn is green on top dethatchjng brown below. Either of those conditions indicates thatch.
Another test dethatchinb to walk across the lawn: If it feels spongy, it may be due to thatch. If you are still in doubt, use a spade or knife to cut several small plugs from the lawn. Measure the thatch, which will appear as a layer of spongy brown material between the grass and the soil.
Lawns should be dethatched only when conditions are best to promote rapid recovery of your grass type. The best time to dethatch cool-season lawns is late August to early October, depending on your location, when the grass is growing vigorously and few weed seeds are likely to germinate. There are several ways. For lawns with moderate levels of thatch, aerating see iw may do the trick. Or use a cavex rake aka thatching or lawn dethatcher how to measure total cholesterol —which has unusual semicircular tines.
Those knifelike blades cut through the sod and pull out thatch. For large lawns with serious thatch problems, the most effective solution is a vertical mower aka power rake. Resembling a heavy-duty power mower but with a series of spinning vertical knives, it cuts through thatch.
Dethatching often creates a large volume of debris that must be yourr. If the debris is weed-free and you have dethatchint used herbicides or pesticides on your lawn, compost it. Or check to see if your city has a composting program for yard waste. Thatch is inevitable, but appropriate lawn care practices will help reduce the severity in the future.
Use the right type and amount of fertilizer for normal growth. Water deeply, thoroughly, but infrequently. Maintain proper pH levels ; adjust them if needed. Dethatcbing aerate your lawn on a regular schedule to make room for new growth.
The roots of all plants need air as much as water, which is why aerating is so important. Aerating lawwn the roots to grow deeply, producing a ie vigorous lawn. Multiple tools are available for aerating lawns. If your lawn is small, a foot-press aerator that you push into the soil like a spade may suffice. For large lawns more than a few hundred square feetyou may want to buy or rent an engine-powered core aerator that resembles a lawn mower.
You steer it across the lawn—several times in different directions—to break up compacted soil as much as possible. Aim for 20 to 40 holes per square foot. Either method requires moist soil, so aerate a day or two after a soaking rain or water the lawn deeply prior to aerating. Soil that is too wet or too dry will prevent the tool from working properly. Avoid tools that are designed to punch holes without removing cores. Let the plugs dry for a few days, then break them up with energetic raking to create a thin, beneficial topdressing.
The best time to aerate cool-season lawns is dethatcing late August and early October. Derhatching second best time is in the spring. Follow with regular, frequent watering. The best time to aerate warm-season laws is in late spring or early summer—or anytime followed by four weeks of good growing weather. Lawns with severe thatch problems may need twice-yearly aeration. Why, When, and How to Dethatch a Lawn. Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Credit: Scott Little.
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Removing Excessive Thatch an Essential Part of Keeping Grass Healthy
Jun 21, · These lawn dethatching tips will help you become an expert in no time. Thatch is a matted layer of grass stems, roots, stolons, rhizomes, and other organic debris that builds up faster than it can decompose. Thatch accumulates immediately below the green surface of the lawn—on top of the soil at the base of blades. Manual dethatching rakes are heavy, short-tined rakes with curved blades designed to dig into your lawn and pull up thatch as you rake. Dethatching rakes are good for light thatch and general thatch maintenance on small lawn freenicedating.com: Pennington Seed. Apr 14, · If you have sandy soil or your lawn is growing well, aerating the lawn can happen every years. What is Dethatching? Thatch is a layer of living and dead grass shoots, stems, and roots that forms between the green grass blades and the soil surface.
Not all lawns need dethatching, but when your lawn does need it, knowing how to dethatch your lawn is crucial to its future. Done properly, dethatching helps restore your lawn to health and keep it beautiful in years to come. By learning why, when and how to dethatch, you can keep your thick, lush grass on track. These lawn dethatching basics can help understand:. If your thatch is over 2 inches thick, you may want to consider hiring a professional for the job.
Excessive thatch can take more than one removal session, and removing too much at once can damage grass roots. Your local county extension agent can help you decide which route to take. If DIY is more your style , you can dethatch your lawn in three ways:. Most lawn and garden stores carry manual dethatching rakes.
Equipment rental stores often keep power rakes and vertical mowers on hand, especial during dethatching season. Whatever option you choose, finish the job by raking up all the thatch debris and watering your dethatched lawn thoroughly.
Seeding your lawn is an economical and satisfying way to introduce healthy turf to your yard. Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. You can do your part to manage water usage, and keep your lawn. When you're on a quest for the perfect lawn, you're bound to encounter challenges. These lawn dethatching basics can help understand: What is Thatch?
If you've ever seen a cross-section of soil and grass roots, you've seen the layer of organic debris known as thatch. A mix of dead and living plant material, thatch forms at the base of grass plants, where stems meet roots and soil. Some organic matter, such as small grass clippings or mulched leaves, break down quickly in healthy lawns, but other materials take much longer to decompose. When buildup outpaces breakdown, your lawn's thatch layer grows thicker. A thin thatch layer allows water, nutrients and air to penetrate into soil and reach waiting plant roots.
But when thatch grows thick, grass suffers. Thatch layers of 1 inch or more become barriers instead of benefits. Thick thatch blocks water and fertilizer, and grass roots get trapped in thatch, where they're vulnerable to heat, drought and stress. Water from irrigation can accumulate in the thatch layer, too, so grass roots suffocate from lack of air. Thick thatch also provides a breeding ground for lawn disease and insect pests. Some lawn grasses are more prone to thatch buildup than other.
Vigorous, spreading grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass , Bermudagrass and creeping fescues, may need regular dethatching. Clump-forming grasses, such as tall fescue or perennial ryegrass , seldom have thatch problems. Lawns with overly low soil pH or compacted soil are also prone to thatch. Overfertilization and heavy pesticide use contribute, too. When to Dethatch Your Lawn Always check your lawn's thatch layer before dethatching. Take a garden trowel or spade and dig up a small wedge of your lawn grass and soil.
You'll be able to see and measure its thatch layer. If your thatch is 1—2 inches or more, you've probably already seen signs of poor grass color and weak, thin growth.
Once you've confirmed your thatch exceeds the healthy mark, the time for dethatching has come. Like most major lawn projects, such as planting new lawns or overseeding existing lawns, dethatching should coincide with peak growth times for your grass type. Active grass growth helps speed your lawn's recovery. Dethatch cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, in late summer or early fall. Dethatch warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass or Zoysia grass , after spring green-up, as they enter early summer's peak growth.
Never dethatch when your lawn is dormant or stressed; you can damage it beyond recovery. Lawn aeration and dethatching are two different processes, but they can work together to help your lawn. Aeration removes cores of soil, including their thatch layer, and creates paths for water and nutrient to penetrate thatch and compacted soil.
This helps prepare thatch for removal and speeds the breakdown of existing thatch. Dethatching helps slice through thatch into soil and remove the barrier of thick, accumulated organic matter. How to Dethatch Your Lawn If your thatch is over 2 inches thick, you may want to consider hiring a professional for the job. If DIY is more your style , you can dethatch your lawn in three ways: Manual dethatching rakes are heavy, short-tined rakes with curved blades designed to dig into your lawn and pull up thatch as you rake.
Dethatching rakes are good for light thatch and general thatch maintenance on small lawn areas. Power rakes are mower-like devices with rotating, rake-like tines that dig into thatch at the soil level and pull it up. Power rakes work well for lawns with thinner thatch layers and grass that can withstand intense raking. Vertical mowers , also called verticutters, have vertical blades that slice down through the thatch layer and into soil, pulling thatch—and often grass roots—to the surface as they go.
Verticutters are best for thick thatch layers on lawns in need of renovation. Blades adjust to control how much thatch you remove at once.
What to Do After Dethatching With dethatching done, it's an ideal time to overseed your lawn and get it back on track for thick, lush, green beauty. By choosing premium grass seed such as water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed , you improve your lawn's sustainability as you overcome thatch.
For a quick, easy fix to thin grass, turn to Pennington Lawn Booster; this all-in-one product combines Smart Seed, professional-grade fertilizer and soil enhancers, all in a single, easy-to-use package.
To prevent future thatch problems, test your lawn soil every 3—4 years and follow soil test recommendations to keep soil pH and nutrients at optimal levels for thick, healthy grass growth. Your lawn may need lime to restore soil pH balance, which also promotes beneficial activity of thatch-reducing microorganisms.
Aerate heavy or compacted lawns annually and amend with gypsum to help loosen soil and encourage root growth. Fertilize your lawn, according to soil test recommendations, with the best lawn fertilizers to ensure it gets nitrogen it needs without over-fertilizing, and follow best practices for mowing and wise watering.
By learning why, when and how to dethatch your lawn properly and taking steps to prevent thatch, you can keep your lawn on track for healthy, thick, lush growth. Pennington is committed to providing you with the finest in grass seed and lawn care products so you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy lawn you're proud to own. Sources: 1. Grass Seed Resources. How to Plant Grass Seed Seeding your lawn is an economical and satisfying way to introduce healthy turf to your yard.
How to Water Your Lawn Wisely Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. Professional Grass Advice for the Perfect Lawn When you're on a quest for the perfect lawn, you're bound to encounter challenges.
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