Dethatching – Excellent Spring Lawn Care

Dethatching is an important step to take when trying to achieve a show quality lawn. It helps lawns look better but also helps them grow better. Below well explain what thatch is and how removing some of it (dethatching) can benefit your lawn.

Thatch is the part of the grass below the green blades but just above the soil. It is composed mostly of dead grass,but also contains other organic materials. Thatch is a good and needful aspect of a lawn. It provides nutrients as it decomposes and, perhaps more importantly, it protects against temperature changes, both hot and cold. It also helps decrease water needs as it can act as a “holding tank” to absorb water and release it as needed. .

Sounds like a pretty great part of the lawn. So why would we encourage you to remove it?? While some thatch is helpful in promoting a healthy lawn, too much can be detrimental. When thatch builds up to over 1/2 inch, it begins working almost opposite. Rather than protecting the grass from hot temperatures, it can start to smother the roots. Instead of holding the water, it can begin blocking it from ever getting to the root system. This can cause the roots to begin trying to grow in the thatch area rather than underground to get the water and air they need to live.

Thatch also makes for an amazing habitat for many types of insects and diseases. And while we may have just used the word “amazing,” that is far from a good thing. Insects and disease can spread rapidly, causing real harm to your lawn.

Thatch builds up naturally over time but it builds up quickly in lawns that are watered too much, mowed too high or not often enough, or over fertilized. In order to reverse this, dethatching is necessary. Dethatching means using raking to remove some of this buildup. There are power rakes that work best but if you feel ambitious, hand rakes also work.

Spring is an excellent time to dethatch. It works best on a damp lawn. Begin by mowing grass around 1 inch high, and remove clippings. (This should not be your common mowing practice!) Then rake  over the area. Piles of thatch will soon emerge and should be removed from the lawn area.

At VIRIDIS Lawn Care, we want to help you have the most beautiful lawn possible and dethatching is one way to get there. After completing your dethatching, your lawn will immediately look greener (as you just removed much of the dead yellow grass) but will continue to get healthier and more beautiful as the roots are able to thrive. And as always, please call us anytime for a consultation!

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