If you’re asking yourself, “Do I have thatch?” Chances are you do. Thatch, to some degree, is present in nearly all lawns.

effects of thatch in lawn

As we have been out treating for broadleaf weeds this spring, we’ve noticed a handful of lawns becoming brown or showing some “yellowing.” This discoloration is similar to the effects of what damage from an improper mowing height or a fungus would cause. However, what we have seen was a result of an abundance of thatch.

Thatch naturally occurs over time and is a result of a combination of environmental, cultural, and biological components. Thatch is a layer below the stem/root zone of the grass and above the soil layer as shown below.

Thatch Core

Over watering and over fertilizer are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to creation of thatch. The lengthy clippings that are a result of over watering and/or over fertilizing, decompose less quickly and therefore begin to build up over time. This doesn’t mean that you have to bag your lawn, just regulate the rate in which the lawn grows by adjusting your mowing, watering, or fertilizing regime. 

Thatch does not cause much of a problem, unless it approaches or exceeds the 1/2″ mark. Once the thatch reaches this level the environment becomes a hot spot for lawn disease and lawn pests, and also unfavorable for the root systems of grass. In the middle part of April and May, lawns should be green, lush, and healthy… not straining and struggling.

Here are a few tips if you’re noticing a slight discoloration in your lawn, or are asking yourself, “Do I have thatch?”  

  • Inspect the lawn
  • Mow at a frequency that allows now more than 1/3 of the leaf blade to be removed per mowing
  • If the thatch layer appears to be heavy, perform verticutting or dethatching, to remove the excess buildup
  • Re seed or overseed the area to provide new seed to the area
  • Apply an all mineral fertilizer to help strengthen the roots of the grass and/or new grass seed
  • CALL WINKLER’S at 816-588-6434

The best ways to limit the thatch build up on your home is by performing Routine Mowing, Routine watering(not over watering), and Routine fertilizer applications.

Click here to contact Winkler’s to discuss a turf plan for your lawn.