Lawn Care
everything for lawn care all in one place
providing dependable & original lawn tips since 2008
The Lawn Guide
Lawn Thatch
Brown thatch layer between soil and lawn leaf

What Is Lawn Thatch

Thatch is a layer of organic matter that lies underneath the top green leafy layer of the lawn.

In Warm Season Lawns, thatch is comprised of living and dead runners (stolons), as well as other build up of organic material such as lawn clippings, and other organic plant matter which is in the process of breaking down.

Thatch in Cool Season Lawns is an assortment of dead or dying leaf matter, lawn clippings, and other organic material.


Importance Of Thatch In Lawn Care

A layer of thatch is vitally important to the ongoing health of a quality lawn. It provides insulation to the lawn's root system, preventing evaporation of water and any drying out or dying of the lawn roots.

The thatch is what provides the softness to lawns under foot, which makes them so functional as play or relaxation areas.

And a healthy thatch layer is part of the lawn that helps to prevent damage occurring by providing a thick knitted layer of runners, or thick tillering that work together to create a cushioning protection for the lawn.


When Thatch Problems Occur

Even with the best lawn care, over time, thatch can build up to excessive levels, this can be for many reasons, either by natural course, or through being sped up by bad lawn practices such as infrequent mowing.

Once excessive thatch is present, it must be dealt with, otherwise many problems will start occurring. Mowing will become more difficult, and each mowing will constantly cut back into the thatch layer, removing all the green leaf, and revealing the brown thatch layer.

  • Lawns become ugly from the constant straw like undergrowth being revealed.
  • With the removal of all the green leaf, Photosynthesis slows, and the lawn begins to suffer and starve from lack of food.
  • With the lack of food, lawns cannot quickly recover from its damaged state
  • It's a continuing cycle


Lawn Thatch Layer
Brown thatch layer between soil and leaf

Extreme Lawn Thatching

Lawns such as Buffalo can be at risk of extreme thatching, where the lawn continues to grow higher and higher above the ground. At the base of the thick layer is the original lawn, long since dead, and the entire lawn is now comprised of a mixture of living and dead stolons and roots.

Eventually, as the lawn continues to grow and regenerate, new roots may no longer reach into the soil, they may stay in the underlying dead lawn matter, at high risk of dehydration, starvation from lack of nutrients, and possible death.


Repairing Lawn Thatch

The only remedy to a severely thatched up lawn is to remove the thatch.

For Cool Season Grasses, this is best achieved by carefully reducing the mowing height over a few cuts with a Rotary Mower to remove any loose material. Then returning heights back to a healthy and normal level.

In most cases, the very best way to remove thatch in Warm Season Grasses is to Vertimow. Remembering that vertimowing can only be carried out on Warm Season Grasses that have stolons (runners).

Buffalo grass is often not recommended for vertimowing. A different process of lowering mowing heights in Spring is often the best way to reduce and control thatch in Buffalo grass lawns.


Vertimowing Information

For more information, please see our Vertimowing Article.

Lawn Care Tip
Vertimowing is also known as de-thatching, and scarifying, and is essential in the lawn care regimens of all warm season lawns.





All content original and copyright
The Lawn Guide
Lawn Care Tips
you may also like one of
these lawn care articles...
General Lawn Care
IMAGE
Lawn care for Liriopes as a lawn alternative Liriope 'Isabella'...
IMAGE
Fertilising Lawns In Winter A Greener Lawn This Winter Yes, lawns can...
IMAGE
Recycling Lawn Clippings in the Garden Recycling Our Lawn Clippings...
Lawn Repair
IMAGE
Repairing a Hard Lawn Hard Lawns and Compacted Soils Lawns, and more...
IMAGE
Lawn Top Dressing Reasons For Top Dressing Lawns Top dressing lawns...
IMAGE
An alternative method to aerate a lawn Lawn Coring Alternatives In...
Lawn Watering
IMAGE
When is the best time to water lawns Correct Lawn Watering Times...
IMAGE
A liquid Wetting Agent More Than Just Dry Soils A waxy coating on...
IMAGE
Adjusting From Excessive Watering Reducing Excessive Water Usage We...
Lawn Mowing
IMAGE
Lawn mower maintenance Preparing For A New Lawn Mowing Season Spring...
IMAGE
'New Content' By Kate Wall When it comes time to buy a mower we can...
IMAGE
Push Lawn Mower Introduction to Push Mowers The push lawn mower is a...
Weeds | Pests | Diseases
IMAGE
Lawn pesticides and weed killers Responsible Use of Lawn Chemicals...
IMAGE
Summer Grass How To Kill Summer Grass Summer Grass is a common weed...
IMAGE
Common Kikuyu Invading Buffalo Is Your Buffalo Really A Buffalo...
Lawn Varieties
IMAGE
Dichondra in a shaded area Managing Lawns In Shaded Areas With...
IMAGE
Choosing a Lawn For High Traffic Areas Choosing a new lawn type can...
IMAGE
Microscopic Photos of Buffalo Grass Amazing Photos of Buffalo Grass...
THE LAWN GUIDE ©


Lawn care covers everything to do with maintenance of lawns, including seasonal lawn care, lawn fertilising, lawn clippings, seeding & more
independent lawn care tips for australian lawns

Lawn Care Facts
Lawn Fact:
The high levels of Silica in Zoysia grass is responsible for the legendary durability and wear tolerance of Zoysia lawns...
Professional lawn care videos sharing quality lawn care tips in an easy video format - click to watch
preparing soils for new lawns video
meanings to the most common terms
used in lawn care practices in australia
Lawn Care Expert
Respected Australian turf and plant breeder Todd Layt shares expert lawn care advice with lawn lovers
LINK TO THE LAWN GUIDE
Grab this image and link to Australia's original & favourite source of quality lawn care tips
THE BUFFALO LAWN CARE SITE
Lawn care tips for Australia's favourite shade grass
Organic lawn care advice to create environmental benefit from our lawns
IMAGE
Good Lawn Care Is Key To Preventing Weeds As people who take the ideals of organic lawn care...
IMAGE
A Healthy Lawn Prevents Lawn Problems When we're aiming to reduce the environmental impacts of...
IMAGE
Top Organic Lawn Care Tips The goals of Organic Lawn Care are to naturally reduce the...
A low maintenance and environmentally friendly lawn for all warmer regions
IMAGE
Who Shouldn't Choose A Zoysia Lawn We understand that Zoysia will not be the best lawn for...
IMAGE
Nara Zoysia growing well in the USA By Todd Layt 'New Content' Sold as Nara™ Native Turf in...
IMAGE
Roadsides are perfect for Zoysia Zoysia - The Great Choice For Low & Medium Use Government...
Lawn care discussions and observations in a friendly blog format from The Lawn Guide
IMAGE
Lawns Are The Greatest Carbon Cleaners We should all have confidence in our lawns, knowing...
IMAGE
Lawn Club is a new lawn care, lawn mowing, and gardening contractors business information...
IMAGE
As many people who have visited The Lawn Guide over the years, and since our first launch in...

Lawn Care Topics
the lawn guide ~ australia's leading source of quality lawn care information