The Q&A Archives: When to Thatch

Question: What are the symptoms of a lawn that needs to be thatched and what time of year is the best for thatching?

Answer: Thatching helps remove old, dead roots, stems and rhizomes from lawn areas, improves water penetration, and encourages new growth. It can be done in the late spring, followed by an application of fertilizer, to promote vigorous growth. To tell if your lawn needs dethatching, dig out a slice of lawn, roots, and a few inches of soil. Measure the thatch (dead stems and rhizomes). If it measures over 1/2 inch, it should be removed. If the lawn area is small, you can rake it vigorously to remove thatch. If the lawn is large, you may want to consider renting a power thatcher.

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