A small amount of thatch within your lawn is acceptable and also quite necessary. Thatch is your lawns insulation, it will help keep in soil heat when the weather is cold but also act as a protection to the soil in hot conditions. We call this a ‘healthy’ layer of thatch.
Thatch becomes a problem when we allow it to become too thick. Thatch is made up of a decaying layer of debris which if unable to decay quickly enough will become to form the layer we call thatch. Every lawn is different but an acceptable layer of thatch will be between ¼ – ½ inch deep. Cheshire Lawn Doctor will sample your lawn on inspection to evaluate the levels of thatch.
Along with the sample taken increased thatch levels can be seen throughout the year. You may find that water drainage and retention is an issue. The thatch layer will soak up any water and prevent it from reaching the soil. The roots of your grass will begin to grow in to this layer instead of the dry soil but once the weather becomes drier the thatch will dry out very quickly. Your lawn will soon look brown and begin to die.
You will also notice that your lawn has become spongy. The wheels of your mower may sink in to the thatch and thus cutting the grass becomes harder.
Colour loss will also occur due to thatch. Poor nutrition and lack of water are the problems here, again as thatch acts as a barrier to the soil preventing anything from reaching it.
To remove thatch we must scarify. The degree of scarifying will be down to the amount of thatch in your lawn. A really heavily thatched lawn will need renovation, a heavy scarifying process followed by over seeding.
Prevention is always better than cure and to help your lawn not become too heavily thatched we recommend not only scarifying but aerating the lawn also. This will break up the thatch layer and enable not only water and nutrients to reach the soil but will aid in microbial activity.
Contact Cheshire Lawn Doctor for further information and to book a lawn care survey.