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Controlling Thatch

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by jlbf0786, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. jlbf0786

    jlbf0786 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Charlotte, NC
    Messages: 616

    My lawn is comprised of Fescue, Kentucky Blue and Perennial Rye.
    Since i've left the business, sold my commercial mowers..etc, I now use a 21" TroyBilt self-propelled mower, and at the highest setting its clumping up pretty bad due to how thick the coverage is.

    I'm wondering if a Gator Mulching blade would solve the clumping?
  2. signature lawns

    signature lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    No 21" mower will do a good job with tall thick grass. They just don't have the torque or blade tip speed. Try a sharp blade, and take "half bites", other than that you will need more power. As far as keeping thatch at bay, aeration done once a year should help. Good luck:)
  3. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Ya especially Kentucky bluegrass is one of the highest recommended cutting height. (3") you will need sharp blades. Aerate in the spring or fall to reduce thatch. Power rake if you have more than 1/2 inch of thatch.
  4. jlbf0786

    jlbf0786 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Charlotte, NC
    Messages: 616

    I aerate my lawn every Fall and each Spring I run over it again just for good measure.
    It "is" the blade tip speed, I make sure to remove and sharpen the blade every other mowing.

    I'm gonna find another commercial unit so its not an issue!
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It seems you are talking more about grass clippings than you are thatch...

    Anyways, You could make sure that the truf is completely dry, when you mow, and bag... But I would say that too much N, is the likely problem here...
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I agree with Smallaxe. Excessive nitrogen will cause thatch. We're told up here
    that up to a half inch is alright. It helps to cool the roots in the summer.

    I don't like to power rake. You should see how thick and wet the moss gets up here.

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