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??
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.
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