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THATCH is not just our mascot’s name!

Thatch is organic matter left behind from the breakdown of a grass blade as it grows and clippings left behind from mowing. When you cut a blade of grass, it grows back from the inside out. As it continues to grow upward, it remains resistant to growing too wide, so it sheds its oldest layers to remain healthy.

Thatch is an organic layer (both living and dead) at the base of turf, made up mostly of grass stems, rhizomes and stolons. This layer is not fully decomposed so it can continue to grow thicker.

If your lawn seems soft and spongy or you can see patches of brown “dead” grass, you likely have a thatch problem. 

When a thatch layer grows too thick, it is important to remove a majority of the matter. Removing it with a tine rake or power rake is known as de-thatching.

Too much thatch will create a barrier between the elements (rain, sun, fertilizer) and the soil, where the roots are. Roots require a certain amount of each element and nutrient to grow in a healthy manner. Thatch will absorb most of these nutrients and deprive turf.

A healthy layer of thatch is between 3/8 and 5/8 of an inch.

Keeping up on maintenance of thatch is an annual task, especially if you have irrigation and/or fertilizer applied regularly. The best course of action is to be on The Lawn Care Company’s spring schedule. If you are worried you have a problem or have not had a lawn assessment done, click “request an estimate” and let The Lawn Care Company manage your thatch problems.

Thatch is an essential part of your lawn’s ecosystem. Its main function is to create shade over the soil to help with water retention. Thatch helps moderate the temperature of the soil, so microbes can work to break down thatch and provide nutrients to promote a healthy root system to grow a thicker, fuller lawn.