Turfgrass dethatching and aeration are two distinct cultural management practices which are used to promote a healthier, more vigorous turf.

Dethatching involves the mechanical removal of thatch. It consist of tightly intermingled layer of dead and decaying turfgrass tissue derived from leaves, stems, stolons and roots. Located between the green vegetation and the soil surface, thatch accumulates when turfgrass organic matter production exceeds decomposition.

Thatch forms to a much greater extent with stolon and rhizome producing grasses. Therefore bermuda grass and zoysia would tend to produce more thatch than ryegrass and tall fescue which are bunch grasses. KBG and buffalograss are intermediate in thatch production.

Small amounts (less than 6mm) of thatch can be beneficial because it increase the turfs resiliency, improves its wear tolerance, and insulates it against soil temperature changes. When thatch layers exceed 6mm, however, the disadvantages generally outweigh the advantages.

To determine thatch accumulation, cut a pie-shaped wedge of grass and soil from the turf. Remove it and measure the organic matter that has accumulated. Measure the accumulation from several areas in the turf since thatch is not uniformly distributed. If this layer exceeds 6mm, steps need to be taken to reduce it. Thats where we at Justurfit come in giving you our expertise in the field and a service that is effective and efficient.

Thatch Removal Process.

Remove thatch during periods of active turfgrass growth because dethatching is an injurious process. Remove thatch when at least 7-14 days of favorable growing conditions are anticipated following the process. This will ensure turfgrass recovery and minimize weed competition, and potential stresses associated with dethatching.

Minimizing Thatch Accumulation

Thatch accumulation can be minimized by using proper cultural practices. Proper mowing frequency and height are the principle cultural practices that can be used to reduce thatching tendency.

Use pesticides only as needed. Thatch accumulation can be minimised by avoiding unnecessary use of pesticides because pesticide application may affect desirable microorganisms and earthworm populations.