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Dethatching

The term Thatch refers to the layer of dead stems that builds up under many lawn grasses. Thatch should be removed periodically to promote better water and nutrient penetration into the soil.

Dethatching (or Scarification) of lawns or turf is a mechanical process whereby the surface and subsurface of the lawn, green or sports pitch is rigorously abraded by penetrating metal blades, tines or prongs.

Thatch is a build-up of organic matter which can include, dead grass leaves, stems, stolons, rhizomes and overcrowded grass roots and lateral weed growth. Thatch can stifle the growth and health of grass or turf. Removing the thatch helps the grass by encouraging it to thicken up and also makes it stronger and less susceptible to disease. Reducing thatch levels increases the levels of water, air and nutrients that can get through to the root zone of the grass plants.

Significant thatch problems in lawns can cause diseases and can encourage moss to grow in the areas where grass has died. A by-product of scarifying or Dethatching is that moss is also removed, and depending on how deep the scarifying blades are set, root cutting can also occur, and this in turn helps grass to thicken up over time.

Scarifying is normally carried out in autumn or spring. When scarifying or Dethatching not all thatch should be removed as a small amount of thatch is beneficial to the lawn. A lawn that has excessive thatch may feel spongy when trod upon. After removing thatch, it can be swept or raked up using a lawn sweeper.
Posted on May 8th, 2014
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