I am side discharging.
I have sprinklers set to water at 0700 and then again at 1700. I would imagine this allows the water to sink in nice a deep and I dont think it dries out totally I think it remains moist.
As for thatch. Not all this thatch breaks down, Leaves get trapped and dead grass (Tall Fescue) is very bunchy at the base and really do not break down like id hope for. In fact, it is visibly an issue along with keep new seedlings, in April, from contacting the soil.
This year I just used the mower to mow really short my first mow, then I used a hand rake to remove all the crap that was covering the dead spots and got it all up as to CLEAN the lawn to allow seedlings to get into those areas and grow, filling in the bald spots.
This is the first year I have applied Milorganite and side discharged. I have always bagged and the lawn was gorgeous BUT I think its because my lawn was brand new construction, NEW, and its was crazy vibrant and healthy. Now its about 5 years old.
What type of fertilizer to you recommend. Johnsons doesnt have prices on their site and honestly I dont want to pay an arm and a leg