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Lawn Thatch and its Effects on Your Lawn

Lawn thatch is a common enigma for most gardeners.

What is it?

Is it safe for my lawn?

How and when do I get rid of it?

These are some of the common questions that most gardeners will have to take into account to maintain a nice looking and healthy lawn. Lawn thatch is a layer of dead and living plant life, found between the stems and the roots of your grass. Thatch is not actually bad for your lawn; it prevents soil erosion during heavy rain seasons, helps retain soil moisture, etc. but when allowed to grow excessively it can create a lot of problems for your lawn. Excessive latch thatch (thatch exceeding half an inch) will act as a buffer between your lawn and the soil. So, as your lawn grows, its roots will extend into the thatch layer. The problem with this is that lawn thatch cannot retain moisture quite as well as soil does, which eventually leads your lawn to dry up and die off. Another major problem with thatch is that it acts as an ideal breeding ground for pests and diseases.

So - when and how should you get rid of it?

Once your thatch level has exceed the half an inch mark, it time to get rid of it. To remove the thatch you need to Scarify and aerate or hollow tine your soil. Once scarified and aerated, you should apply a lawn top dressing to add organic matter and nutrients back into the soil to assist your lawn in root growth and the soil with moisture retention. You should de-thatch your lawn just before its most rigorous growth cycle.
To reduce the growth of your thatch level, avoid over fertilizing your soil. Also make sure to check the height of your grass; when it’s too high the lower parts of your lawn will die.

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