There are many things that you can do to help create a beautifully green lawn that is the envy of the neighbors. Many of the steps to make your lawn beautiful need to be taken in the spring. As a result we will layout some common tasks that can be done in the spring to create the perfect carpet of green. This post will cover thatching your lawn.
What is Thatch?
Thatch is a layer of naturally occurring organic material that is the by-product of a healthy lawn. It is located between the green tops of the grass and the roots. Thatch is often the dead shoots, leaves and other parts of grass.
Thatch often creates a barrier that prevents water and nutrients to enter the ground. It is also will stop sunlight from reaching the base of a grass blade. The removal of thatch also opens up room for more blades of grass to grow in resulting in a more lush lawn.
It is recommended to dethatch your yard every year or two in March or April.
How to Dethatch.
There are two ways to dethatch your yard. The first is to do it with a dethatching machine. Unless you have used one in the past, it is recommended to have a lawn care company come in and do this for you. The blades on the machine need to be set up and spaced properly – this is something that is a little harded to set unless you are trained specifically.
The second way to dethatch is to use a rake. A lawn rake will work, but often a dethatching rake will work better. You can typically purchase a dethatching rake at your local hardware store for under $20. When you are raking your thatch up you will want to try to apply enough pressure to not only remove the thatch, but to also stir the soil about 1/2″ deep. This will open the soil up to future growth, seeding, and nutrient absorption.
Before you thatch, be sure to mow your lawn at about 1/2 the height you will typically mow it. This should be your first cut of the season and will help your lawn grow greener and stronger!