Pro Lawn Help

Thatch

Lawn Thatch“Thatch” is the term given to the matted layers between the green vegetation and the soil surface, which are made up of the accumulation of dead stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes, roots and lawn clippings, intermingled with the decaying organic matter.  When this layer dries out it becomes ‘hydrophobic’ (waterproof). The matted layers then respond in a similar fashion to that of the thatch roof of the Robert Burns Cottage preventing moisture, oxygen, fertilisers and other nutrients from penetrating into the root zone, where the lawn needs it the most. As a result of this you are encouraging “lazy” root development, thus creating “shallow rooting”. Your lawn will become prone to grass diseases (e.g. Red Thread & Fusarium) and drying-out. 

In order to rectify this situation you must first and foremost reduce and control the volume of “thatch” in your lawn. This can be achieved by scarifying the effected lawns; badly affected lawns with a thick layer of “thatch” will be required to be heavily scarified, to the extent you are exposing the surface of the soil beneath. 

Lawn Thatch Diagram
 
After heavily scarifying your lawn it is strongly recommended to solid tine aerate your lawn, helping to relieve surface soil compaction and to create good seed-beds evenly across your lawn for sowing seed. 

Scarifying a lawn with “shallow rooting” and a thick “thatch” layer will generally result in the lawn(s) being left thin, patchy or even in some cases bare.  The recommended final step in this procedure is to evenly top-dress (spread) a seed and soil/compost mix over your lawns in order to ensure a good density of grass and to replenish your lawn(s). 

Lawn Thatch
 
Once this has been carried-out it is essential to keep your lawn well watered, a minimum of two (2) hours a day for the first few weeks of the initial establishing period of your new lawn(s).