Here in Atlanta, the azaleas are blooming, the flowering trees are putting on a colorful show, and you’re probably thinking about getting your yard ready to enjoy for spring and summer. If achieving a beautiful, lush, healthy lawn is on your to-do list, it’s important to understand what thatch is and how it affects your grass. At Simply Green, our business is all about helping you achieve that “dream lawn,” so take a look at some pro tips from our lawn care team!
Lawn Thatch 101
What is Thatch?
You’ve probably heard of thatch before, but do you know what it is? Thatch is a layer of plant material which accumulates around the base of your grass. Remember that your lawn is an interconnected network of grass plants which not only sends roots down into the soil, but also grows shoots (stolons) horizontally across and just under the surface. Over time, that plant matter— rhizomes, runners, roots, blades, and crowns (the base of the grass plant)— eventually settles down around the base of your grass, where it will start to decompose and form a thick layer between the blades of grass and the soil.
Why is Thatch a Problem?
So, why is thatch a problem? After all, thatch is a natural result of growing grass, right? Well, while some amount of thatch is normal, this layer can become so thick and impermeable that it impedes the healthy growth of the grass. If proper lawn care is not maintained, the layer of thatch blocks sunlight, air, and water from permeating the ground and reaching the roots of the grass. This leads to compacted soil, roots that are shallow and weak, and ultimately, a sparse and lackluster lawn.
How to Deal with a Thatched Lawn
While there are several things that can cause thatch to build up in excess, your best best option for addressing the issue and improving your lawn is core aeration. This process removes small plugs or “cores” from your lawn, creating tunnels from the surface to the soil. Creating these holes allows water, air, and sunlight to reach all the way to the soil where the roots of your grass are located. Over the next month or so, your lawn will become denser and grow deeper roots, making your lawn more resistant to weeds and other invaders.
When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
If your lawn contains warm season grass varieties like Zoysia, Bermuda, or Centiped, you should have your yard aerated now. Spring and early summer aeration will help you enjoy a thick, green lawn all summer long.
As an essential business, we are still open and providing lawn care services to clients across metro Atlanta. Give us a call today at 770-923-0387 for a free core aeration estimate, or fill out our quick and easy online form.