Is thatch hurting your Anchorage lawn?



Taking care of thatch is one of the first steps in kicking off your summer lawn care. This nuisance can easily be overcome, and should be taken care of on a regular basis.

What is thatch?

Thatch is a naturally occurring layer of roots, stems, and other pieces of organic debris from tree leaves and seeds. Some thatch is good, and can help your lawn regulate the temperature of its roots, by blocking sun, and insulating at night. This thin layer of thatch (1/2″) is great for preventing your lawn from drying out from the hot summer sun. Too much thatch, however, can wreak havoc on your lawn, as well as looking very unsightly. Thatch occurs when new grass growth occurs faster than the decomposition of the old growth.

The problems caused by thatch buildup.

Thatch that is too dense, or too thick, can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the lawns root system. Instead, water runs across the top of the lawn, taking with it the natural Nitrogen that comes with rain, and potentially any minerals added by fertilizing and lime. Another big problem with thick thatch is it can be a great home for insects and disease organisms. This is often seen more heavily in the south, but can happen to any lawn.

What you should do.

Using a de-thatcher or power rake every spring can do wonders for your lawn. These machines have special blades or tines that rotate vertically through your lawn, and pull up the thatch. These machines can also be great to prep a lawn for overseeding. Aerating annually will also help to reduce thatch, while providing other advantages. You can read more about aerating HERE. Thatch is much easier to remove when the lawn is very dry, so be sure to wait until the lawn dries out after spring break-up. Follow up dethatching with spring fertilizer, lime, and proper watering for a great looking lawn.

How can GEM help?

Glaciers Edge Maintenance offers aerating and dethatching services to help your lawn. Dethatching is a part of our regular spring cleanups, and is highly recommended if it has not been performed in many years. Annual aerating will usually prevent the need for dethatching. You can request an estimate for aerating, or a spring cleanup HERE.