When you step on your grass, you want to be able to feel a soft and bouncy feeling underneath your feet. But if you don’t, chances are your lawn could be too thick, or could be growing an excessive amount of thatch. Thatch is the layer under the grass that can be caused by leaving lawn clippings around or not raking the leaves enough.
As a result, thatch may cause your grass to stop growing or grow too thick.
What Are the Repercussions of a Thick Lawn?
Any patch of grass that is too thick means it’s not getting the right amount of nutrients it needs. Grass needs a certain amount of water and sunlight to grow, and having grass that is too dense can keep the grass from getting these things.
Grass that is too thick can also keep fertilizer from penetrating the soil, and can cause disease within the grass. Before you know it, your grass will start turning different colors or die off completely.
If you’ve noticed thatch taking over your grass, you should detach it as soon as you can, especially if it’s more than one or two inches in length.
After you have successfully gotten rid of the excessive thatch. You can go in and start to re seed your lawn. Make sure that you’ve purchased the right type of grass seed or else your grass will start to grow unevenly if not.
Once your lawn starts to grow back, you may assume you’re in the clear. However, you have to keep checking your soil every 3-4 years to make sure the pH levels are normal and your grass continues to grow healthy.
Test it Out
Before you jump to any conclusions, be sure to test your grass out to see if your problem is thatch, or something much worse. You can do this by feeling the lawn and seeing if the grass bounces back when you apply pressure to it.
The next thing you can do is just simply look at it. Thatch can be pretty obvious to the naked eye, so a close inspection of your lawn should tell you everything you need to know.
You can also always take a sample of your grass to try and figure out what’s going on. Using a trowel, remove dirt that is up to three inches deep and measure it. If it seems like it’s thicker than usual, you may want to do something about it.
What Causes Thatch?
There are several things that can cause thatch to grow in your lawn. As mentioned earlier, leaving your lawn clippings behind is a sure fire way of getting thatch to grow in your lawn. Another reason could be that you are over fertilizing your lawn with too much nitrogen. Your soil may also be to blame. If it is thick with clay, this could also be a catalyst.
How to Get Rid of Thatch
The good news is, thatch can be pretty easy to get rid of. If it hasn’t penetrated your grass too much, you can simply take a rake and brush it off the lawn. However, if it has been there for quite some time, you will need a dethatcher, or a professional who can come and help you out.
Of course, you can also start mowing your lawn more often, but be sure to get rid of the lawn clippings when you do. Otherwise, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Part of the reason why you may have thatch that is hard to get rid of on your hands could have something to do with the pH level of your soil. An ideal level of pH in your soil is 6.5 to 7. Anything lower than this can also inhibit decomposition of thatch.
A good way to get rid of thatch is to aerate the soil after you’ve removed the excess grass. This way, it will help the remaining grass get the nutrients it needs before it dies off.
If your lawn is simply too far gone, you may be left with no choice but to reseed it. If you do decide to take this route, however, be sure to do it when the climate is right.
How to Mow Grass Like a Pro
It doesn’t take a genius to keep a healthy lawn, but it does take a dedicated home owner. If you want the prestigious lawn you’ve always dreamed of, you have to make sure you know how to take care of it.
When it comes to mowing your lawn, you would be surprised at the many mistakes that people can make.
For one, people tend to over-mow their lawn, causing bald spots on certain pieces of lawn. This is also known as “scalping” your lawn. Whenever you do go out to cut your grass, however, make sure it isn’t just after it’s rained or after you’ve had your sprinklers on. This is because when grass is wet, it tends to clump together. So, if you go to cut it, you end up cutting out chunks of your lawn instead of cutting it evenly.
Be careful when you mow your lawn and you’re in a rush. Chances are, you will end up doing a terrible job. Imagine getting a haircut by a stylist in a rush? You wouldn’t want that on yourself, so why put your lawn through that!
You should also keep in mind that when mowing your grass, you will want to alternate patterns. This is because grass grows in the direction that it was mowed. You also want to make sure that you are overlapping your rows as not only do you not want to leave out parts of the lawn unmowed, but you also want to make sure your lawn looks as even as possible.
Some lawn mowers may not be able to cut grass if it’s too thick, so you may want to spring for a high quality mower that can get the job done. Otherwise, you may have to leave the job to the experts.
The Benefits of Having Thick Grass
Having thick grass isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are some benefits to it. For one, the thicker your grass, the less you have to worry about weeds. Because there’s so much grass growing already, there will hardly be any room left for other plants to grow.
Believe it or not, a thick lawn is also helpful to the environment. Grass helps to catch CO2, which can be harmful to humans in large quantities. Grass takes the CO2 and turns it into oxygen, which is obviously beneficial for humans.
Grass can also clean the air out of bacteria and other particles that can be harmful for our lungs.
Another benefit of having thick grass is that it can easily slow rain runoff from being dumped into sewers or streets, thus causing clogs and potential floods.
Healthy grass can also keep your neighborhoods quiet. It might sound strange, but thick grass reduces noise pollution by absorbing sound. Therefore, you won’t be bothered by your neighbor’s car alarm going off at 2 am or the crying baby next door.
Your grass may also be able to not only keep you cool during hot months, but it may even be able to save you money on electricity. Areas that have more grass and trees are naturally cooler than places that are surrounded by buildings. As a result, you won’t have to crank up the AC during the Summer months. All you have to do is step outside to feel the cool breeze.
Thick grass improves your soil structure. When soil is compact, it doesn’t allow water to get through. As a result, it could impact your drinking water. But thick grass will allow your soil to breathe, thus letting water run through it.
Not to mention that the more water your grass gets, the healthier it will be in the long run. At the end of the day, thick grass that is properly taken care of doesn’t always have to affect your lawn negatively. As you can see, it carries its benefits.
Taking care of your grass is almost like taking care of your children. You have to groom it, feed it, water it, and make sure you’re giving it enough adequate attention. If you don’t, your grass will start to deteriorate quickly and before you know it, you’ll have bald patches left and right.
It’s important to keep your grass fertilized as your soil’s health is just as important as your grass’s health is. Make sure you are also taking preventative measures such as keeping your grass mowed and raking any time you see an overabundance of debris piling up. This can be anything from leaves and sticks to branches and even clumps of dirt.
So, unless you want a brown lawn that is uncomfortable to step on, you should make sure you’re doing everything you possibly can to take care of your precious lawn!