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What is Thatch and Why is it a Problem?


Thatch is an organic layer made up of dead and living stems which naturally occurs on the lawn. It builds up between the surface of the soil and the bottom of the grass blades. A little bit of thatch is normal and healthy. It makes grass more resilient against wear and insulates the soil against temperature extremes. The trouble starts when a 1/2" or more of this layer has collected on your lawn.

Thatch can cause multiple problems. Excess thatch may increase the likelihood of pest problems by harboring insect populations. It may also make your lawn more prone to turf disease, because the thatch layer remains moist and dark (an ideal environment for fungus growth).

A dense layer of thatch can reduce the effectiveness of various lawn care treatments. For example, your fertilizer or insecticides won’t do as much good if they are caught up in a thick layer of thatch. Thatch build-up can also impact the overall health of your lawn by making it difficult for oxygen and water to penetrate through its layers into the soil.

For this service we use mower-mounted tine rake dethatchers which are gentle enough not to damage the healthy grass but tough enough to remove the thatch layer. We typically perform this service with our spring clean-ups in April/early May before the mowing season starts.

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