There is a material called thatch that can develop at the base of grass plants. It is simply an organic matter that accumulates over time. It is not simply dead plant matter, but it can also contain living components. Some of the thatch components will include rhizomes, stolons, the roots of older plants, and grass crowns. A common thought is that thatch results from continually mulching your lawn, primarily because microorganisms in the soil can break down this organic material. There are also organic polymers called lignins in the mix, something that does not decompose very easily. If you are worried about this buildup of thatch on your lawn, here are four simple ways that you can remove it.
Why Does Thatch Build Up So Quickly?
Thatch can build up relatively quickly for a variety of reasons. For example, you may have a particular type of grass that is known for thatch buildup. If you have soil that is extremely acidic or uses certain fungicides, it can lead to excessive rhizome and root growth. If you use insecticides regularly, earthworms will be less likely to be near the surface. Finally, if you fertilize your lawn continually, the buildup of nitrogen in the soil can contribute to soil acidity, leading to an abundance of thatch buildup.
How Can You Remove Thatch?
There are several ways that you can remove thatch from your lawn. If it is becoming a problem, you will need to do something soon. You need to remove as much thatch as possible because nutrients, water, and even air cannot circulate properly throughout the soil. It will also create a situation where you will have a substantial amount of runoff. Instead of the water percolating to the roots, it is simply going to flow out of the lawn area. That’s why removing thatch is so important, especially if you have at least 1/2 inch of that, a large amount that will start to cause these problems. Using a thatch rake is something that many people do. By simply pushing and pulling on this tool, you can begin to break up the thatch very quickly. You could also use a leaf rake, along with the tarp, so that you can rake out the thatch and remove it. Watering your lawn more than normal might be a good idea. If you have a substantial amount of runoff, overwatering might be necessary to break through the fat to resume the water’s percolation. Finally, to prevent this from happening at all or additional thatch showing up, you can reduce the amount of fertilizing that you do on an annual basis.
The Main Problems Caused By Too Much Thatch
Some of the problems that thatch can cause have already been mentioned. However, there are more serious problems that can occur. One of the leading problems that can cause your lawn to die is how it can cause the grassroots to become too dry. As mentioned before, if the water cannot reach the roots through the normal percolation process, roots will dry out, die, and contribute to the thatch. In addition to this, thatch provides a very thick layer where diseases and fungus can breed, leading to what could be a huge die-off of your lawn that can only be combated with fungicides.
Is There A Way To Manage The Thatch That Is Produced?
There are several ways to prevent the buildup of thatch, at least to unhealthy levels; first of all, you need to ensure that your soil’s pH level is that the proper amount. PH levels can be affected dramatically if you have too much salt in the soil or an overabundance of nitrogen. By cutting back on watering, fertilizing, and increasing your use of a rake on the surface of your lawn, you can manage the thatch very easily. Additionally, instead of mulching your grass while you are mowing it, you should use a catcher that will contain all of the cut grass, preventing it from contributing to the thatch that is already there.
When Is The Best Time To Remove Thatch From Your Lawn?
Most grass experts will agree that the best time to remove thatch is during the winter. That is because the grass has gone dormant, and you cannot damage the grass or the roots by using tools to loosen the thatch and subsequently extract it. The wintertime is best because it is much cooler, helping you only approach the thatch when it is no longer building up daily. If you were to try to do this during the spring when the grass is growing at a rapid pace, you would be doing this endlessly. By removing the problem during winter, when spring finally arrives, you are thatch problem may not occur at all the following year.
Now that you have information on what thatch is and how to remove it, you should schedule a time withto take care of this problem. If this has been problematic since the end of spring, you need to start addressing this issue when winter arrives. Once the thatch layer is removed, and if you do not overwater or fertilize, you will probably not have any problems at all. You will also remove the possibility of thatch becoming a breeding ground for certain types of fungus, a problem that is quite common in more humid areas. Although thatch will decompose naturally, it will cause problems and grow in size once it is too much. It is so important to make sure that this layer of deciduous material is removed during the winter so that you will have a much better year, free from thatch because you followed these suggestions for finally ending your problems with thatch in your lawn.