The Importance Of Dethatching Your Los Angeles Lawn
December 15, 2022
Lawn dethatching is an often misunderstood yet vital part of the strategy to keep your lawn healthy. When older grass plants die at the end of the growing season, their remains form a thick, almost impenetrable mat of interwoven plant tissue, dirt, and dust, which keeps water and vital sunshine from reaching the new grass growth. Lawn thatch formed over the ground of your lawn restricts new grass growth and damages the soil's ability to recoup nutrients exhausted by the previous year's growth. Worst of all, it makes your lawn look spotty and grass growing on it unhealthy.
Let's take a look at what exactly lawn thatch is and why it's such a problem if you're trying to maintain your lawn. We will also go over when to dethatch your lawn and where to find reliable lawn care in Los Angeles with the tools and experience to fix this problem.
What Is Lawn Thatch?
When your lawn starts to produce organic material (dead grass and other plants) faster than it can be naturally broken down and incorporated into the soil, a thick mat of loose, intermingled remains of plants, roots, and debris forms. Most often, it's the result of over-fertilizing or over-watering, producing a spike in growth that the turf can't sustain or decompose.
Some of the other common culprits to be blamed for thatch overdevelopment are:
- Certain grass species, such as Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue.
- Acidic soils.
- Aggressive application of fungicides.
- Over-fertilization with nitrogen-heavy fertilizers.
While a little bit of thatch (under 1/2 an inch thick) can be beneficial in certain climates by keeping the ground warmer and protecting the grass from the impact of walking on it, etc., most of the time, it is a problem, restricting grass growth and keeping water and nutrients away from plant's roots.
Why Too Much Thatch In Your Lawn Can Be A Problem
To survive, plants require a balanced set of nutrients in the soil, and access to water, air, and sunlight for photosynthesis. A thick layer of thatch impedes plants from accessing most of those requirements.
Thatch prevents water from reaching young plants and blocks sunlight, resulting in weak, diseased, and insect susceptible grass. Eventually, you'll see grass on your lawn starting to look pale and weak, and after a season or two, thatch will severely restrict new growth, and bold patches will pop up in your yard.
How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs A Dethatching
To determine if your lawn needs dethatching, simply measure the thickness of the thatch layer. A layer under 1/2 an inch thick is not a problem and can even be beneficial during a cold snap, but a layer thicker than 2 inches will restrict the growth of the new grass and deprive plants of needed nutrients.
The best time to dethatch your lawn populated with colder season grass is during a cooler period when the new grass's growth is starting to pick up speed. In the Los Angeles area, that will fall in the early spring and late fall seasons. Most of the lawn grass grown in our area is a warm season type, and the best time to dethatch it is in the early summer, after the first couple of mows.
Let The Pros Take Care Of Your Dethatching Needs
An out-of-control layer of thatch can ruin your lawn just as reliably as forgetting to water or fertilize it. At Aerations Plus, we've been helping Los Angeles residents keep their lawns lush and green for over 26 years. Reach out today to get started on lawn dethatching services in Los Angeles.
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"Aerations Plus were professional and did an excellent job. They were prompt and completed the work completely and thoroughly."