MANAGING THATCH

LANDSCAPING BIRMINGHAM AL – AUBURN, AL – DADEVILLE, AL – ALEXANDER CITY, AL - LAKE MARTIN

LAWN CARE BIRMINGHAM AL– AUBURN, AL – DADEVILLE, AL – ALEXANDER CITY, AL - LAKE MARTIN

Lawn Care Ideas in BIRMINGHAM AL – AUBURN, AL – DADEVILLE, AL – ALEXANDER CITY, AL - LAKE MARTIN

Managing Thatch

  • Thatch is undecomposed organic matter that builds up on the lawn at soil level. Zoysia grass is very prone to thatch.
  • Numerous studies have shown that removing grass clippings (bagging) does not prohibit the buildup of thatch.
  • Clippings are not the main cause of thatch.  Improper soil pH causes thatch, by not allowing it to properly decompose.  That is why it is important to lime a yard in the winter.
  • Over fertilizing, over watering and compacted soils are the leading causes of thatch.

There are three conditions when you should bag your grass clippings:

  • Spring cut back
  • Excessive clippings (mowing more than 1/3 of height)
  • Severe disease problems
  • Otherwise it is best to recycle the clippings.
  • A shallow layer of thatch around the base of grass plants acts as a natural mulch to retain moisture and lower soil temperature.  It cushions the plant’s crowns and discourages germination of weed seeds.
  • Excessive thatch (greater than ½” to ¾”) inhibits water penetration into the soil, harbors insects and diseases, and leads to shallow root systems susceptible to heat, cold, and drought.

Things that contribute to thatch:

  • Acidic soil – soils with a pH of 5.5 or lower inhibit the microorganisms that decompose thatch.  Most turf grass performs best in a range of 5.8 to 7 pH.
  • Soils containing large amounts of clay or sand
  • Compacted soils
  • Over watering
  • Over fertilizing
  • Two procedures will help thatch removal: Aeration (removing plugs of soil from the lawn) and dethatching (removing accumulated thatch) opens channels for water, air, and nutrients to get through to the soil below.
  • Many dethatch in late summer or early fall, when a lawn is thriving and when annual weed seed germination has stopped.  If you dethatch when it is real hot, you can stress your grass. Late spring is a good time to dethatch but it makes it easier for annual weed germination and usually results in more significant weed populations.
  • You can control thatch by using routine core aeration followed by a light topdressing.
  • It is best to aerate after you de-thatch. Topdressing your lawn after it is de-thatched helps the grass recover better; use sterilized manure, compost, ground peat, sand, or a sandy topsoil.
  • Compacted soil and shallow watering encourage grass roots to stay near the soil surface and may also contribute to thatch.
  • If you water in the evenings fungus can more readily develop in the thatch.  You should water in the early morning.

Advanced Turf Care Lawn Care Services in Birmingham AL, Auburn AL, Dadeville AL, Alexander City AL, and Lake Martin Include:

  • Fertilization
  • Pre-Emergent Weed Control
  • Post-Emergent Weed Control
  • Lawn Pest Control
  • Lime Application
  • Tree and Shrub Application
  • Lawn Aeration

ADVANCED TURF CARE – BIRMINGHAM AL– AUBURN, AL – DADEVILLE, AL – ALEXANDER CITY, AL - LAKE MARTIN