How to remove lawn thatch

The recent dry weather and subsequent dry, brown lawns could mean that there is now a build up of thatch in your lawn. Find out how to remove lawn thatch with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.

What is lawn thatch?

Thatch is a build up of dead plant material which sits just above the soil layer. This layer can build up for a number of reasons, the most likely of which is the application of too much fertiliser, however this year with the weather being so very dry and hot a layer of the dry dead grass material could be sitting in amongst the new growth.

Naturally occurring fungi already present in the turf normally breaks down the thatch to a manageable level, however when the thatch has built up too much for the fungi to break it down, it may be necessary to remove it manually.

How to identify thatch

The presence of thatch in a lawn generally means that the lawn is soft and spongy to walk on. If thatch is present, you will see a layer of dead plant material sitting above the layer of soil. This is thatch.

How to remove lawn thatch Paynes Turf

How to remove lawn thatch

To remove thatch you will need a spring tined rake. Pull the rake towards you in short, sharp movements to pull the thatch out from the lawn. Go over the entire lawn, and then place the thatch in a recycling bin.

After de-thatching the lawn (also known as scarifying), the lawn may look a little worse for wear. Rectify this by applying a good quality top dressing – this will provide essential nutrients to allow the grass to recover quickly, and to promote the growth of new, strong roots. Feed the lawn with the appropriate lawn feed for the time of year.

Following on, feed your lawn according to the manufacturer’s instructions during the spring and autumn months. This should keep thatch down to a minimum.