Detaching the grass blades

       January 1, 0000    991


A thatch is a natural component of an actively grown turf grass. Thatches comprises of tightly intermingled layers of dead and living stems, leaves and roots that accumulates in between the growing grasses and the soil underneath. Until the thickness of the thatches does not exceed the normal levels, which is to inches it has the potential to considerably increase the resilience of the turf grass to heavy traffic. The thatches are found to develop more readily in those patches of lawns that are under high maintenance. On the contrary low maintained lawns are generally devoid of thatches.

Causes of thatch development:

An excessively thick layer of thatch can possibly restrict the movement of air, water and fertilizers making it hard for the roots of the grass to absorb all these materials. This causes numerous potential problems that can probably restrict the growth of the turf grass. For example if the thatch dries out then it cannot be easily re wetted even though the thatches generally remains moist most of the times. However this may also encourage fungal infestation resulting in numerous turf diseases. In an overall view the effect of a thickened thatch layer is an unthrifty lawn that does not respond well to the management practices and makes it easily injured or vulnerable to the adverse weather conditions and pest attacks.


The first step in detaching is to identify its presence in the grass. The presence can be detected if there is a bouncy feel when the lawn is stepped over. This determines a considerable build up of thatch in the lawn. The best method for the removal of an excessively accumulated thick thatch is by mechanical means. There are a lot of detaching machines available in the market namely vertical mowers, verticutters and power rakes. Most of these machines are having vertically spinning blades that pull the thatch materials to the surface and slice the thatch layers. The best time for a mechanical detaching is either late summer or fall especially when the cool weather prevails. However experts suggests detaching only when required, and never as a regular process.

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