If you’re interested in growing the best-looking lawn in your neighborhood, it’s going to take some work.  Regular mowing, weeding, and a program of fertilization and weed control can all go a long way towards improving the appearance of your lawn but if you do all those jobs and still suffer from dead spots and overall poor grass health, there could be another reason.  Today, the lawn care experts at EMC Lawncare would like to tell you about dethatching, an often overlooked lawn care job that can help give your grass its best chance of staying healthy and strong over the long term.

What is Dethatching?

As your grass grows, it’s constantly producing new shoots and retiring old ones that have served their purpose.  When old grass shoots die off, they can remain attached to the living plant.  Over time, dead grass shoots, rhizomes, root material, and other debris get pushed underneath the living grass, forming a mat of organic material that is highly resistant to decomposition.  This mat of dead plant matter is known as the thatch, and while it does serve the purpose of insulating grass roots from extreme temperature changes, too much thatch buildup can actually become detrimental to your lawn’s growth.  A thick layer of thatching can actually form a barrier that prevents water, nutrients, fertilizers, and weed control agents from reaching the soil and the roots of your grass.  If you want the most beautiful lawn possible, you’ll need to get rid of the thatch through a process known as dethatching.

In dethatching, a specialized rake is used to get in between healthy grass and remove dead material that’s been building up over time.  With that mat of dead grass out of the way, water and nutrients can much more easily reach grass roots, allowing your lawn to truly thrive.  If your lawn isn’t very large, dethatching can often be done by hand with a sturdy garden rake (a regular leaf rake just won’t be strong enough for this job) by raking firmly over the entire lawn surface.  As you rake, you’ll see dead material start to break off and accumulate on top of the living grass.  Once you cover your entire lawn, you can use a leaf rake to remove this dead material where it can be disposed of or composted.  Dethatching is a job that should be performed once per year and we recommend doing it in the early spring, as warm, moist weather will give your lawn the perfect conditions it needs to recover.

While dethatching small lawns can usually be done by hand, this strategy is not really feasible for homeowners with larger properties.  If your lawn thatch is building up or you haven’t performed the job in a few years, EMC Lawncare can help!  We offer dethatching and aeration services in addition to lawn fertilization, weed control, grub control, and seeding.  We even offer some landscaping services like mulching and stump grinding, so give us a call at (267) 718-5952 or fill out our online contact form to get your free quote on lawn services today!

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