As we emerge from our homes seeking the sun many of us may find that our lawns are very soft and spongy to walk on. If this is your lawn you may have an issue with thatch in your lawn. Read on as we explain what thatch is and the dethatching process.
Thatch is a layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots of your lawn that develop on the surface of the root zone just below the green tops of the lawn plants. When thatch is excessive it creates any environment that is difficult for the roots of the grass to grasp the soil and can turn your lawn into a breeding ground for vermin and diseases. Dethatching (or vertimowing) is recommended to improve the overall health of your lawn.
The first consideration in dethatching your lawn is the size of your lawn. A smaller lawn can be handled manually, but for a larger yard you may be better off hiring in some machinery which will make short work of an otherwise labourious task.
Regardless of whether you will be dethatching under your own steam or machinery, the first task is to mow the lawn to reduce the height of the lawn by one half.
To complete the job manually, you can use either a stiff rake or pick up a thatching rake. A thatching rake has knife like blades rather than the normal tines of a standard rake. Using a vigorous raking action, rake the lawn in a crisscross pattern and go over each area a few times. Remove all debris.
For a larger area, you may be best to hire a petrol powered dethatcher. Again, go across the lawn in several directions with the dethatcher, alternating the direction as you go. Remove all debris.
Removed debris can be used for mulching or composting, providing you have not used any pesticides or insecticides recently.
Dethatching is not recommended for Fescue, Rye Grass or Kentucky Blue Grass types. Dethatching is best conducted during late spring or early autumn, so if your lawn is very spongy to walk on, pop dethatching on your spring to-do list.
For more information on lawn care or lawn problems, see the blogs on the Daleys Turf website.