The best liquid thatch buster product...? Pondering testing these products...?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I have a lawn who is a neighbor of one of my clients and it is a relatively small lawn but thatch layer is crazy thick. Over and inch in spots. I triple aerated this lawn a few years back. Pondering using this lawn as a testing area and have the client pay a nominal amount for materials and I pitch in my labor. Not far from my closest service area.

    I have tried molasses on areas of my own lawn with little noticeable effect.

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  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Here there was guy use to push the molasses to take care of thatch never work on thick thatch lawns

    I found best way is to power rake the thatch out then spray molasses then takes care of the rest of the thatch that's laying here
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378 really assault the thatch layer we're talking full flail blades kicking up a huge amount of debris, rocks and haul off. It is one of the thickest thatch layers I have ever seen.

    Is there a reason a grind and cut fest dethatch is needed prior to using molasis...? Surface tension...?
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  4. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Well I found molasses works faster on thicker thatch lawn if you take a layer of thatch out

    Some lawns I'll just use molasses on and not dethatch

    Fescue lawn produce a lot of thatch vs a KB lawn

    A lot times the heavy thatch lawns needs slit seeding done so get the seed to the ground needs to be dethatch other wise the seed gets trap in the thatch.

    Back 80s I wasn't have good results just spraying molasses for thatch on some lawns. So started to dethatch them and then spray and it works for me may not for you in your area
  5. Tuttled

    Tuttled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Use a power rake, just be prepared for a few trips to the compost. Had one front yard that was so thatched up that I had to do it twice. With a thatch cleanup in between. There was so much thatch the Honda engine was bogging down and the power rake was darn near impossible to push. Raised the flail rail up after the first time around 5/8 of an inch for the first dethatch. Put it down for the second power rake! The volume of the thatch was unbelievable!
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Sound like every lawn I have done this year but I only make one pass then I spray them

    I went do one last Wednesday and the guy next door want his done The one I always do every year for last 10 years I maybe fill my dump trailer 1/3 of the way
    The lawn next door filled the rest 2/3 of the trailer it was bad and same size lawn 11ksf. and its never been dethatch. Funny part is another company spray his every year with molasses. The spray guy doesn't offer dethatching . So I got a new customer now even a Lawn treatment contact.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,675

    I don't want to discourage you--but its hopeless. Some types of grass are just aggressive and big thatch formers. If the guy is feeding it a lot and watering regularly it will be thick. Some of the athletic types of Kentucky bluegrass are bred for aggressive growth and "fill-in"; more rhizomes equates to more thatch.

    I think you are on the right track. I am sure Barry (Phast hound) can suggest a product. Or use an easy liquid product. For instance:

    Probably does not do much--but at least it is easy--you don't have to sweat or get dirty or haul away anything. Let the bacteria do the work. They are happy to work for peanuts. Or anything, really.

    Keep in mind that some types of fine fescue, when well fertilized, produce a mass of thatch that is resistant to decomposition, almost like wooden roots. Extremely difficult to renovate--resod is quicker.
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378


    You are correct. My own lawn had 3/4" plus of thatch. It is a very agressive self repairing turf of whatever KBG. The lawn here gets 3-4 plugr 850 passes per year. Many of the hydro seed Co. here have used numerous KBG combos over the years.

    The lawn in question is small and front only his budget is only $100 :rolleyes:

    I will post thatch pics later in the week. Rather just set him up on a volume discount for 8-10 plugr 850 passes this season for a flat monthly rate plus strict guidliness for organic fert only. Have him hand crank out dry molasis in the late May through early August.
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  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    Maybe those sports turf varieties of KBG were not meant to be maintained at home lawn height. Just saying, because the closest equivalent to that in the tropics is zoysia. Thatch gets ridiculous if it is kept above 1". Especially if someone is pouring on the high nitrogen fertilizer. If the lawn is totally starved, no problems.

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