Dethatching and Aerating

Dethatching and Aerating

Over time, little bits and pieces of grass die and gather just above the soil. This is called thatch. A little bit of thatch can be beneficial. It's organic material that is broken down by microbes in the soil. Unfortunately, thatch can build up too fast which forms a barrier, keeping moisture and air from going where your grass needs it to be. There are 2 ways to remove it: dethatching and aerating.

If your lawn doesn’t seem to be growing as well as it should, even though it’s being fed regularly, it may be because of either thick thatch or compacted soil (or both). In both cases, the grass is suffering because air, water, and nutrients aren’t able to move freely into and through the soil, and are having trouble reaching the roots.

You can tell your soil is overly compacted if you can’t easily insert a screwdriver into it.

If your lawn’s failure to thrive is due to compaction, you will want to aerate it. If thick thatch is the problem, you will instead need to dethatch your lawn. Here’s how to do both of these simple fixes.

What Is Lawn Aeration?

Lawn aeration, coring, and aerifying are different terms you might hear for the same procedure. A core aerator removes plugs of soil from your lawn, which helps loosen the compacted soil and allows the necessary air flow, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. You can either aerate your lawn yourself or call us at Idaho Lawn Pros.

What is Dethatching?

Thatch is a layer of living and dead grass shoots, roots, and stems that forms between the green grass blades and the surface of the soil. Some thatch (1/2 inch or less) is actually beneficial; it acts like mulch to provide insulation from temperature extremes, helps keep moisture in the soil, and provides a protective layer.

However, when the thatch layer is too thick, it can lead to an increase in pest problems and diseases, and reduce the amount of oxygen and moisture that are able to reach the grass roots. When this happens, it’s time to dethatch your lawn. Dethatching removes this thick layer of decaying material so air, water, nutrients, and fertilizer can reach the soil better, plus your lawn can drain more effectively.

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