Learn About Lawn Thatch and How to Remove It

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The most common aspect of lawn care involves removing the layer of thatch from your lawn.

All homeowners will have to deal with thatch year after year because there is no way to prevent it from building up. This is something that many homeowners don’t know, but you probably treat it anyway.

What’s Lawn Thatch?

Lawn thatch is a layer made up of turfgrass tissue and dead grass. It is found between the plant’s roots and the soil below. It occurs naturally when certain parts of the turfgrass plant don’t break down or decompose quickly enough.

Although we know that grass blades and their trimmings quickly decompose, not all parts do. The roots, stems and rhizomes, for example, take longer to be broken down. They will, however, add lots of nutrients to the soil once they have broken down, just like the clippings.

Lawn Thatch

Although this layer is usually harmless, it can become too thick in certain situations. This can lead to serious problems for your lawn.

This lawn thatch can block nutrients from reaching the soil below, as you can see. Your grass can suffer from a lack of essential nutrients or insufficient water. It may also be more vulnerable to insect and disease infestations.

In addition, if the thatch layers build up too much it can cause a spongy lawn. This layer can cause the mower’s wheels to sink when you mow your lawn. You could accidentally cut your lawn because of this layer.


There are things you can do to prevent lawn thatch from becoming unhealthy. You probably don’t even know you do it! You can simply rake the leaves in cooler seasons to help loosen the layer of thatch that has built up over the years.

You can give your lawn a vigorous raking by using a leaf rake if there are no leaves. Thatch removal is what you do with your lawn. Maintain a healthy thatch layer that is thin enough to allow nutrients, sun, and water to reach your soil.


Sometimes it is impossible to rake a thick layer of thatch. It is strongly recommended to aerate your lawn in these cases. This will allow air to flow into your grass roots and create opportunities for nutrients to reach the soil. Aerating is rarely required more than once or two times per year. This means that homeowners don’t need to buy an aerator.

This may seem like a lot of news, but unless you have problems due to a thick layer or thatch, there is no need to be concerned.

You can keep your lawn thatch under control in many different ways. It won’t likely add to your chores. Avoiding pesticides is the best way to keep your lawn thatch under control.

Earthworms can be affected by pesticides. These earthworms will eat the lawn’s layer of thatch and are just what you lawn needs. These tiny guys will do everything they can to keep your lawn’s thatch under control.

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