View Full Version : Turfgrass Thatch Problem

07-17-2012, 05:19 PM
We recently acquired a new, rather large maintenance account. Very large new estate which was completed approximately 5-6 years ago. One particular turf area called the soccer field by the owners, approx. 60,000 sq.ft. has the worst thatch problem I have ever come accross.(northern bluegrass) Easily 3-4" thick. Previous company aerated last spring and fall. We did a heavy mechanical power raking this spring as well as an aggressive aeration. Double and triple coverage. I believe most of the problem started with this particular area being the staging area during construction. Super compacted, at least to start things down the wrong path. Everything I have been reading indicates that if any thatch layer reaches 1 1/2" or more, the chances of reversing the situation is slim. All recommendations say that the existing turf needs to be removed. Fairly expensive. My question is, even if the owners are patient and we do an aggressive verti cut this fall with another round of aeration with a compost topdressing or overseeding, would this be just a waste of time. Has anyone ever successfully improved this type of situation?

07-17-2012, 05:23 PM
Cut back on the fertilizing. That can cause thatch.

07-17-2012, 05:37 PM
We have not applied any fertilizers to this particular area. Didn't want to feed the bear.

07-17-2012, 06:35 PM
I was thinking the last company did the deed.

07-17-2012, 07:34 PM
Applications of molasses and/or compost tea to get the microbes decaying the dead material and creating access to the soil...