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What is this that is invading the grass area . . .?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    The client said her son rototilled, yes tilled, part of the area last year but now it is spreading. She was also charged over $400 from one of the big name chem companies for treatment also last year. She has no clue what THEY said it was. The ground feels very spongy and feels like a peat bog of sorts. It looks like there is touch of fairy ring in one area?

    What do you think? :waving:





  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Looks like a pretty bad layer of thatch. Dead roots matted on the surface of the soil. Spongy, dosn't hold water, traps fertilizers from the soil, also keeps water from actually getting to the soil under it.

    At that point it looks like tilling the rest of it may be the best way to clean it up. You can't seed into it anyway.
  3. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 368

    We inherited a lawn like that .The owner mowed when ever ,left large clumps and piles of thatch that kill the sod .It got scorched last summer and there was very little grass left except a little p.r. .Then they did a fall over seed on top of heavy thatch and dead sod . Its like walking on a two inch foam mat .Some times you have to remove the thatch when its that thick or till deep .His mantis tiller could no go that deep .LOL .
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    THAT is what true thatch is. This thread should be bookmarked to show people exactly what real thatch looks like.
  5. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    "Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were."

    i like your signature. i have always felt the same for all of my 64 years.
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Ahmen... I feel the same way. I have so many people look at the dead grass in the lawn and think they have thatch, and until they actually have THATCH they have no clue. I have a lawn with a thatch problem like this, and the homeowner dosn't want to pay for 2X a year aeration to help the problem. I did once last fall, hit the bad areas hard, and this year the lawn is looking much better. Really needed aeration this spring too, but those rich people are always hard up for money for some reason...
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    I have some other pictures, will post this week, from another customers lawn that I aerated for a month or so ago and the grass was literally a pillow soft thatch layer and the plugs where literally all thatch. Like little miniature accordions.

    After I was done aerating, I asked the homeowner how often he fertilized and he said every 3 to 4 weeks. I tried to gently explain that this was the reason for the issue. He really had no clue that he was doing anything wrong. ;)

    The amazing thing is that he supposedly detached his lawn, prior to my aerating it, with one of those lawn mower blade spring rake things that usually rip up the turf. He must of been very careful to of Not ripped through the pillow thatch layer.
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Hard to tell from the pic, but I think you guys missed the real problem. Yes there is a lot of thatch, but look at all the big roots and stems, as well as the ring of mushrooms. My thoughts are that the soil is dirty, meaning it is full of debris, mostly twiggs and tree limbs, that should have been removed before planting. The woody materials are holding excess moisture causeing molds (you can actually see slime molds in some of the pics) and poor microbial activity, which is contributeing to the thatch problem. Mushrooms are feeding on the woody plant materials buried in the soil. Drainage is also probably poor. Till it up, clean it up, and fix the drainage and then reseed.

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