Dethatching your lawn

Thatch is a tightly wound organic layer of dead and living stems, leaves and roots which build up over time, reducing the amount of light and air which reaches the grass. An excess of thatch could result in your lawn becoming incredibly dry, amongst other troubling lawn problems. Find out how to prevent lawn problems from excess thatch arising, with Paynes Turfs’ top tips on dethatching your lawn.

Dethatching your lawn

How to identify thatch

If your lawn is soft and spongy to walk upon, or is difficult to pull a rake through, then your lawn most probably has too much thatch. In small amounts, thatch provides essential nutrients to your lawn and protects against extremes in temperature. However, an excess of thatch can cause a shallow-rooted, uneven lawn that is prone to disease.

How to remove thatch

Use a spring-tined rake to firmly (yet carefully) scratch the surface of the grass backwards and forwards, pulling the dead roots and moss out of the lawn. This may take some time, and your lawn will probably look very patchy and unkempt afterwards, but it will soon regenerate new, stronger roots due to the air and light that can now reach the roots of the grass. This will result in a healthy, lush green lawn, given time.

Did you know that dead moss makes fantastic compost? Make sure you add the moss that you’ve pulled from your lawn to your compost pile to take advantage of its excellent nutritional benefits.

When is the best time to dethatch the lawn?

The very best time to dethatch your lawn is during the autumn months. This is to give your lawn plenty of time to recover over the winter and spring, before heavy use of the lawn in the summer months.

If you really need to dethatch your lawn in the spring, opt instead for a light raking, as the lawn may not have enough time to recover fully before use in the summer.