Thatch is a mat of thickly woven roots, stems, and other organic matter that accumulates on top of the soil in your yard. When not properly managed, thatch can prevent water and fertilizer from reaching the soil and roots of your grass. It can also increase insect infestations and disease. All of this can cause unsightly browning and thinning of your lawn.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Excessive thatch can be prevented by a yearly or twice-yearly lawn aeration, which cuts through the thatch layer and mixes it with the soil beneath. Aeration can be accomplished in a number of ways, but it basically creates thousands of very small openings in your thatch, which quickly fill back in naturally with soil, water, fertilizer and other nutrients that your lawn needs. It’s like giving your lawn injections of nourishment, with the end result being thicker, greener, healthier grass.
Lawns suffering from serious, long-term thatch problems may need to be dethatched and reseeded. This involves loosening the thatch, power-raking the yard, and reseeding.