Cool Season grass...summer heat+h2O ....is possible to have a hyper green lawn with..

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    ....with out thatch development?

    People want a hyper super dark green lawn even in the summer heat and stress. How are you true turf gurus pulling this off without running into thatch issues...?
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  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Lower doses of N at one time, use micros for color.
    Mowing less than 1/3 of the blade leaving fine clippings.
    Deep infrequent watering, about 1 inch beyond roots at most encourages deeper roots.

    I also like to use some biologicals/sugars in my folar feedings.
     
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Forgot to add the part about lots of fertilizer ....:hammerhead:
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  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Give it to them as a folar feeding.... less N per app, with Micros and biologicals. Feed that bacteria that eat the thatch.

    If you have compacted soils then you need to aerate to encourage deeper roots and reduce thatch.
     
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Duekster,

    Yes...exactly. Been drifting into more aps this year however there is a tug of war with a few clients who just don't get it. They want the.best looking lawn on.the block but are puzzled by.their thick thatch layer.
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  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Show them this:




    What is thatch?

    Thatch is the layer of living and dead stems, roots, stolons, and rhizomes between the green blades of grass and the soil surface. A thin layer of thatch (less than 1/2 inch thick) can be beneficial to the lawn because it helps to limit weed germination, reduce water evaporation, and protect from frost damage. However, thick thatch layers can prevent water, air, and nutrients from penetrating the soil, causing reduced root growth and increased potential for drought stress. Thatch also favors fungal growth and can harbor insect pests. Some turfgrass species, such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, do not produce much thatch. Other turfgrass species, such as bermudagrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass, have creeping growth habits and rapidly build thick thatch layers.

    Tips for preventing thatch build up
    Follow proper fertilization practices; avoid excessive amounts of nitrogen.
    Avoid frequent and shallow irrigation on established lawns.
    Mow properly; remove clippings if too much of the grass is removed at one time.


    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/TURF/MAINTAIN/thatch.html
     
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,096

    I prefer thick thatch over dead grass anytime.
    "Thatch prevents water air and nutrients from penetrating the soil." is this true? It sounds so old fashioned, so 20th century.

    What percent of air is lacking in soil under thatch? Or is it really the build up of carbon dioxide that is harmful? If thatch is bad for grass--why is the grass so thick?

    To me, thatch is a characteristic of a Kentucky bluegrass type that is strongly rhizomatous, tight sod-forming varieties, most suited for sports fields.
     
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    See above - A thin layer of thatch (less than 1/2 inch thick) can be beneficial to the lawn because it helps to limit weed germination, reduce water evaporation, and protect from frost damage.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    You can create a green health lawn w/out the development of thatch as long as you play to the creation of roots growing deep into the soil... Real thatch is formed from too much water and too much fertilizer,,, in that it encourages roots to grow up rather than down... mulch mowing is also important...

    What kind of soil are you dealing with???
     
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,576

    The reduction of thatch can be accomplished with establishing an active population of microbes which will decompose the thatch. Sound cultural methods and the addition of organic matter and/or inoculants will go a long way in preventing thatch buildup.
     

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