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Removing thatch buildup.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gardenpro, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. gardenpro

    gardenpro LawnSite Member
    from -
    Messages: 90

    I have several new townhouses with thatch over a few inches deep. I plan to powerrake this spring. Is there a fertilizer that will help break down the remaining thatch? I will ruin the turf if I pull too much out.
  2. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Power rake it then give a short cut for about a month and then power rake it again. Works very well
  3. imalandscper

    imalandscper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Airation is the key. Four times very closesly timed.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Thatch over a few inches deep? Wow, just how deep is it? Are you planning on using a real powerrake, or just some scratching tool? Read <a href="http://hometown.aol.com/groundkprs/Thatch/FindingThatch.html">these 3 pages</a> before you reply.

    If thatch is indeed as deep as you say, a complete renovation is in order. Or repeated topdressing, which would take longer and probably be the same cost or higher.
  5. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I noticed that too - "a few inches deep?" Wow - mulching and a little aeration only lets the thatch in SE. Iowa get to about 1/4"

    I am talking about that real tight layer just on top of the ground that you see when you look at the plugs the aereator pulls out in the fall.

    Thanks, Brad

    PS - If I have a foot of leaves and dead grass, I double blade and mow a couple of times, and it is gone.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    Best time to thatch is late summer, early fall. Make sure to put down some fertilizer and water once you get all of the thatch up
  7. gardenpro

    gardenpro LawnSite Member
    from -
    Messages: 90

    Hello- Thanks for your ideas. I haven't measured but it is quite deep. Deeper than I've seen. The previous businesses have been mulching most of the time, for years.
    As you walk you leave footprints, and the mower must be set at nearly the top setting in fear of scalping, which happens often.
    I heard milorganite can break it down by a gold course worker, but I am afraid that super high N may force the grass to grow too fast. In this climate, it can grow thickly to 4" per week. (Imagine mulching this weekly for years)
  8. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    If it is getting cut real high then bag for a while and thatch it. After the first thatch lower the cut a 1/2 inch to an inch then thatch it again. But keep bagging it. I get a lot of accounts that people drop there company cause they notice the quality of there lawn is deminishing. I go in explain the steps needed to be taken then do so. I make lots of people happy be refreshening there lawn so to say. Aeration is also a big help. If you have any questions ask me.
  9. gardenpro

    gardenpro LawnSite Member
    from -
    Messages: 90

    Thanks for the offer. I will also be aerating this spring. As soon as the thatch is done, likely the same day. They certainly do need a fresh start.

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