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  #11  
Old 09-20-2001, 08:13 PM
jrodgers jrodgers is offline
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I have heard that the clippings actually reduce the thatch a little by their microbial action when breaking down.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2001, 08:28 PM
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Runner Runner is offline
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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to connote that all thatch was all clippings. Much of it is just dead material (or for all practical purposes, dead) that accumulates on the subsurface. Excess clipping are certainly a contributor to thatch buildup though. This is NOT a myth or fallacy. Also, many times, excess clippings ARE the oly thatch problem a lawn has. I know we have ALL gone into or seen a lawn that had this problem from cut grass just laying on it, and then being rained down into it. Thanks for the added info though.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2001, 08:49 PM
jnjnlc jnjnlc is offline
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Excellent Post

I have also checked my customers and none need to be de-thatched.

I pulled out my tow behind de-thatcher this year only to get up some bermuda grass I had killed. Worked great for that.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2001, 10:47 PM
kutnkru kutnkru is offline
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Sorry - Should have elaborated a little better on this point is right!

Quote:
Originally posted by TGCummings
... 1) A layer of thatch 1/2" or less is actually beneficial to a lawn! It can insulate the grass against temperature changes, ...
This is some verbage from our Agreements explaining our Power Raking service: A thin layer of thatch can be beneficial, as it helps retain moisture and adds resilience to the turf.

Thanks for clarifying that!
Kris
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2001, 11:44 PM
GroundKprs GroundKprs is offline
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Heed the words of kutnkru & TGC ! !

Go to a university turf website, like http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay8.htm , and you will find that thatch is basically from overactivity in grass growth - dead, tightly packed root and stem tissue (slow decaying lignin, to be exact). Live roots and stems exist also in the thatch layer.

What is thatch? To see thatch, you will have to cut a profile out of the lawn. Simple probes usually will not give an accurate view of the thatch; use a decent sized plug, like you would get with a cup cutter. Real thatch is a dark brown layer, almost the consistency of a heavy woolen blanket. If you are calling the fluff that spring dethatchers or flail powerrakes pull up thatch, you are wrong. Scratching the surface with these machines will not remove thatch. To remove thatch, you must use a true powerrake, with fixed knife blades, or a sod cutter.

Thatch can be controlled by core aeration. Thatch will decompose over time, but needs the soil microbe activity for this decomposition. Unfortunately, these microbes don't walk, even 1/2". So by aeration you deposit soil, with the microbes, on the surface, then it is washed down and trapped in the thatch layer. But you need a lot of aeration to correct a heavy thatch problem. For example, I once corrected a 1-3/4" thatch problem by aerating twice a year, four passes each time, for four years. The decay loosened the thatch enough that we could maintain a healthy lawn on the site again. But 6 years later you could still see the original thatch layer, not as the tightly packed original, but a slowly decomposing interface.

Another problem with thatch is that is has a high cec, so fertilizers are easily bound in the thatch layer. This causes root growth just in the thatch layer, leading to a weak lawn and an ever thicker thatch layer.
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2001, 09:11 AM
awm awm is offline
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well im gon call it dead matted hay from now on then.
in any case the soil benefits from a little airing out now an then.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2001, 09:17 AM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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excelent replies folks, thank u so much, very helpful.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2001, 06:53 PM
summitgroundskeeping summitgroundskeeping is offline
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Grass
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2001, 07:07 PM
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morturf morturf is offline
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after all the discussions, i can't believe nobody mentioned verti-cutting. Aeration is a great way to help control the thatch layer, Verti-cutting is a very aggresive method of doing the same thing. My personal opinion of "thatching" is that it is a joke. Sorry guys just my opinion.
I was wondering if any of the golfcourse guys could chip in on this. There are few finished turf areas that are as cared for as a fairway on a golf course. These are fertilized and mowed on tight schedules. When is the last time you ever saw a golf course catch the clippings when it was mowing fairways or roughs. When was the last time you saw a golf course "power rake" or "thatch" those areas. Yes, golf courses aerate. They also verti-cut. Never seen one "thatch".
If you think you are pulling out a lot of crud when you "thatch" or power rake, you aint seen nothing compared to verti-cutting. At least twice the amount and usually more.
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2001, 07:50 PM
kutnkru kutnkru is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by morturf
after all the discussions, i can't believe nobody mentioned verti-cutting. ...
Is this not the same thing as a power rake??? I have always referred to a p-r as having a "slicing reel" and a dethatcher as having a "flail" reel.

I wont use a thatcher/dethatcher on a property with those flail blades beating the ground. I use a power rake where the reel slices thru the first few layers stimulating growth and enhanceing fert and waters ability to be reached by the root zone.

Kris
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