Turf tip - we look at dethatching and why springtime is the right time to scalp your lawn. This is a recommended annual maintenance tip for when lawn is dry and before the weather gets too hot.
What is thatch?
When many people think of thatch, the first thing that comes to mind is thatch huts or old English homes with a thatch roof. Lawn thatch is a build-up of organic material between your grass and your soil. Thatch is a normal part of a healthy lawn and helps protect your lawn from heavy traffic. It only becomes a problem when the layer of thatch becomes too thick, then you need to de-thatch. Dethatching most likely will leave your lawn looking a mess for a few weeks. However, over time it will recover making dethatching your lawn worthwhile.
How does it affect my lawn
When the thatch builds up past 25mm it will impede the ability of your lawn to receive the correct amount of nutrients it needs. Water, air and nutrients will all be restricted from reaching your lawns roots. As a result, your lawn will be susceptible to drought and the dry thatch layer will create a barrier that restricts the benefits of irrigation. A thick thatch layer also harbours fungi and the additional stress makes your lawn susceptible to pest damage.
Simple dethatching method: Mower
The simplest dethatching method only requires a mower with a catcher, with the blades set very low. This is essentially a controlled scalping of your lawn. It is vital that you ensure all clipping are going to the catcher. For buffalo lawns such as Sir Walter DNA certified Buffalo with no underground runners, this is the only type of dethatching method that should be done. Make sure to be careful not to have the height of your lawn mower too low, you don't want to affect the runners too much.
Professional dethatching method: Lawn dethatcher
Specialist equipment for dethatching is available from your local equipment hire shop such as Kennards Hire. Simply ask for a lawn dethatcher or Veritmower. The dethatcher is available for day hires and can be picked up or delivered.
A professional lawn dethatcher is great for couch and zoysia varieties with underground runners, as it allows you to break up a deeper thatch layer. An important tip is if you are using a professional lawn dethatcher on a buffalo lawn be very careful, don’t go too low as it will remove all of the above-ground runners.
Fertilising after dethatching
Turf grass thrives better with a balanced application of the right nutrients. After dethatching, we recommend removing any clippings that would have been left behind. After scalping your lawn, apply a good balanced fertiliser and water well for the following 2-3 weeks. It is best to perform this method in spring when your lawn will recover the quickest. For that, you want a quality fertiliser such as Lawn Solutions Premium Lawn Fertiliser. This can be purchased from our online store or in person from our Acacia Ridge Sales office. When the fertiliser is applied, a good soaking with the sprinkler immediately is a must to help reduce the risk of burning the grass. Applying a fertiliser now sets your lawn up well for the coming months, and gives it the nourishment required for the growth that is around the corner.
To get more advice on lawn care or to order your new lawn call our sales team on (07) 3114 8281. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Thursday 7am to 5pm, Friday 7am to 4pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm*.
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*Saturday hours subject to seasonality and weather events