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What Is Thatch?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist


How would you like to improve your lawn?
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  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
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Unless you're a roofer by trade, you may not be familiar with what Thatch is. That's O.K., that's why we're here to help! The reason why you may not be familiar with what thatch is is because it accumulates on the surface of your soil just below the grass line and usually out of sight. Thatch is a layer of grass stems, roots, clippings, and debris that settle on the ground and either slowly decompose and/or accumulate over time. Thatch buildup is commonly found in lawns where grass has grown tall, mulch is frequently left, and lawns that have never been aerated. Thatch is most common in warm-weather and with creeping grasses such as Bermuda, Zoyia, Bent grass, and Kentucky Bluegrass. If you have these grasses, you will usually have to dethatch more often than with other grasses. Dethatching is the process of removing thatch from your lawn. For more information see: When Should I Dethatch? and How Do I Dethatch?

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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