Detaching Lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nhoj, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. nhoj

    nhoj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Yes Just way do people do this?

    Are they trying to tear up their lawn?

    My neighbor's never do this?

    Do they know what they are doing?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm not sure what your definition of thatch is... If it means the living and dead roots and stems then you may have it... the URL that was put up on page 1 is right on, for professional discussions...
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I kept part of the page, dealing with de-thatching... note that these guys say that it works on thatch under .5" in depth... please note also it is talking about thatch not dead grass that sits on the top of the soil...

    Also,,, please note the use of the word "damage" in reference to the desireable turfgrass... other dot edu urls discuss this as being quite severe for little or no real benefit...
    Afterall, 1/2 inch of living thatch is just fine so why dethatch at that depth,,, when the damage is there and aeration is the actual solution...

    Professional LCOs should be able to reference this article and know in-depth what it is talking about,,, yet we still have so-called professionals discussing 'apples as oranges and vice-versa'...

    Did anyone who read the article notice that dead grass was never once referred to as thatch???
  4. nhoj

    nhoj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I was just trying to help cagengineer out here.
    I do know why you De-thatch your lawn, some people have no ideal what you are doing or why you are ding that.

    I have neighbors that has never do it and they have lived there for 20 + years and thank that I am nuts for tearing up my lawn so they think I am.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So why do you tear up your lawn???
  6. nhoj

    nhoj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    When you use a spit seeder what do you think it will do?

    You are going to bring up there thatch or dead grass right?

    Also you will be putting down grass seed.

    You ask why am I tearing up my lawn ask the neighbors that have NO IDEAL what you are doing. After 20 + years they have no ideal how to care for their lawn. No fertilizer, no de-thatching, no aerification. They call their lawn grass, but it is all weeds and crab grass. The cut it as short as they can.

    Now why does my neighbors say I am tearing up my lawn?
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    OK, you're using a slit-seeder...
  8. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    Seems like we should also be distinguishing between the thatch layer, and the top of the root/soil zone. I encounter problems with the latter quite frequently on lawns that have been previously sodded and then died. This layer of dead sod has a lot of lignin, so it is not going to break down biologically. I rarely remove it entirely, but I find I have to chop it up/core aerate it pretty good. Otherwise, the seed has a hard time penetrating it with the new root, and once it germinates it just sits on top, and eventually dies. This dead root zone is not like the slimy/rubbery living thatch layer, that I often find in conjunction with fungus problems. Is the better advice simply to remove the dead sod, or should I just break as I have been doing. I have to confess, I have had problems and success with both methods, but I'm not sure I have figured out the pattern. The state Ag sites I have consulted are more often talking about the thatch layer, which can be successfully dealt with via aeration/slit seeding. What to do with the root zone is less clear to me.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Maynard, you hit on one of the characteristics of living thatch, i.e. lignin... this was even brought up in the article that was posted at the page 1...
    Most sod that we see around here is actually a thatch layer cut off the field and contains little or no soil whatsoever... so if the sod dies you have a tightly bound mat of lignin string material(roots and stems) left behind...

    IMO,,, since we know what causes living thatch, we should just switch over to practices that cause the existing roots to grow down into the soil and eventually the thatch layer will deteriorate to the point of allowing water and nutrients to penetrate into the soil...

    Of course the first step is to acknowledge what lignin thatch is and how it differs from what is mistakenly called thatch, which is composed of simple carbohydrates such as grass clippings...

    An interesting side note about digesting lignin, is the idea of using Soybean Meal to build a population of microbes capable of breaking down lignin at a higher rate of speed... this also feeds lawns in 2 different ways making the synferts unnecessary during this period...

    People think it is expensive, but only if they attempt 4-6 unnecessary applications in the season... :)

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