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What is thatch?

Thatch is a layer of fibrous organic matter made up of dead leaves, grass and root stems that develops between the green leaves of the grass and the soil surface. In and of itself, thatch is not a problem – in fact a small amount of thatch is healthy, as it aids water absorption and protects the grass from extreme temperatures. However, excessive thatch can be a major issue. 

Thick layers of thatch can stop moisture and vital nutrients penetrating the soil and grass roots, preventing healthy growth, and providing an ideal breeding ground for unfriendly bacteria and fungi that cause disease. It also prevents new grass growth. 

How can I spot excessive thatch?

Symptoms of an overdeveloped thatch layer include dead patches of grass and a very spongy feeling to the lawn. It is easily diagnosed by taking a core extraction which allows us to measure the thickness of the thatch layer. 

How do I treat thatch?

Lawn thatch levels are best controlled by carrying out a scarification treatment. Using a high-powered mechanical raking machine, we can extract exactly the right amount of thatch from your lawn, leaving enough to provide optimum protection. 

Your lawn may also benefit from hollow tine aeration to open channels, allowing air and moisture through the thatch, and for bacteria to develop which will break the thatch down. 

In addition, keeping your lawn clear of debris – such as grass clippings and dead leaves – will help too much thatch from building up throughout the year.


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