Thatch In Lawns

All lawns will have a Thatch layer just as long as it is kept under control, (approx ½ inch) it can have beneficial effects such as providing a cushion to your lawn’s surface and also as a breeding ground for beneficial macro and micro organisms.

So what is Thatch and why is it a problem for your lawn?


Lawn Thatch is a layer of decaying organic matter that lies on the surface of your soil. It consists of grass cuttings, stems, crowns and other parts of the grass plant that are no longer usable.

The build up of Thatch starts when turf produces organic debris much faster than it can actually be broken down. You may see some leaf clippings in layers of thatch, but they don’t actually contribute to Thatch build up because the microorganisms in the soil will easily break them down.

It’s when the Thatch layer gets out of control that problems for your lawn will start. This mat of organic matter covering the soil’s surface will restrict the flow of water and much needed nutrients down into the root zone. It will become a fertile breeding ground for potentially dangerous grass pathogens (biological agent that causes disease) and insects that will attack the grass plant. The layer of Thatch will hold onto water which results in the development of Moss.

Soil compaction, lack of organic materials and nutrients will contribute to Thatch in your lawn. If you leave grass clippings on your lawn and you don’t mow frequently enough it will prevent your grass from getting the good photosynthesis it needs to be healthy.

What can you do if you have Thatch?Thatch in lawns


We visit thousands of lawns and we see all types of lawn conditions. We often get asked by lawn owners what they can do to remove the Thatch that is spoiling the look of their lawn.

Thatch can be removed from your lawn’s surface by a process called Scarification. This process is carried out by using a powerful mechanical Scarifier, which will drive a series of sharp blades into the Thatch layer to remove it from your lawn. As well as removing the Thatch, Scarification will provide good Aeration, improving the drainage and tolerance.

A great lawn care professional understands Thatch and other lawn conditions and will know how and when to correctly Scarify your lawn and provide after care. If you have any questions on Scarification why not contact us, we can advise on Preventative Lawn Care Programmes that will keep Thatch at bay. Why not take advantage of our FREE lawn care review service, where we will thoroughly inspect your lawn for Thatch or any other lawn care issues and provide you with a solution.

Choosing the correct time to scarify your lawn is very important. This process should only be carried out when grass is actively growing in the Spring or Autumn. This allows the lawn time to recover from what can be a stressful process.

The depth of the Thatch, whether you plan to over-seed and the turf’s condition will have an impact on how much you remove in a single operation. If the turf is heavy with Thatch (approx 2 inches or more) it will be difficult to reduce it to a desirable level without thinning the turf. In these circumstances, most of the root system is growing in the thatch layer, so as you remove the thatch you will also be removing the good turfgrass plants. Over-seeding will be needed on these areas.

Once the Scarification has been carried out, the Thatch will be removed by raking out and bagged up for disposal or composting.


If you have any questions about Thatch or other lawn care issues just contact us and take advantage of our FREE Lawn Review Service.