thatching

When is the best time to thatch your lawn........fall or spring?? I have an awful lot of dead grasses and grass cuttings due to the extremely dry weather..........Should I do it before winter??
Also when do you know whether to thatch or aerate??
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Fall because if you do it in the spring, it gives weed seed a nice place to germinate.

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Aerate ideally every spring and fall for optimum results.
If you really need to thatch and it is really bad you might think about starting over. What many people think is thatch is merely an accumulation of dead stuff on top of the soil. What most of the time really is the culprit is an organic layer in which the grass is growing in. The roots just hang out in this layer rarely actually penetrate into the soil below. The result is a lawn that requires huge amounts of water since it dries out VERY quickly, and if the water is not supplied frequently enough and copiously enough it dries up and goes dormant. As soon as water is applied again for an extended period of time such as fall and winter everything is fine. As soon as it gets hot and dry the troubles start all over. There are a number of products out on the market that are supposed to reduce the thatch layer, but I have yet to see one work reliably. Through horticultural practices it is possible to reduce the thatch layer, but it takes a lot of time and patience. The key to eliminating thatch is grass species selection, Fine Fescue is VERY prone to thatch, so are the bent grasses; frequent aeration, at least 2x per year, and an appropriate fertilizer and watering program. It may never be completely possible to eliminate thatch over time, but it is possible to delay the onset and minimize the thatch layer so it does not turn into a problem.
Good Luck

an
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Harry Cleland wrote:

"Thatch" is what you do to a roof. If you dethatch your lawn, Spring is best.
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