the tangled layer of living and dead leaf, stem and root matter that has
developed over time between the grass leaf and the soil surface. The spongy
feeling to a lawn is a result of heavy thatch build up over time.
A thin thatch layer is beneficial because it buffers the variation in soil
temperature, helps to reduce compaction and gives a cushioning effect for
safety in play. However, when thatch develops into a layer greater than say
2cm it provides a great environment for disease and insect spores. It also
leads to a reduced drought, heat and cold tolerance in lawns.This is because
the lawn roots will start growing in the thatch layer rather than in the soil.
THATCH BUSTERS believes that Air, water and fertilizer movement can be impeded
and if the thatch layer is thick enough it can become water repellent causing
the dreaded Perth dry patch. Lawns can develop these problems within a year
of establishment with shredded turf and as soon as 6 months with roll on.
What causes it?
explained above, dry patch is caused by the thatch layer impeding the water
movement to the root system in the soil.As soon as the soil starts to dry out
it becomes water repellent. This usually starts to occur early summer and
gradually gets worse as the heat continues.
THATCH BUSTERS' remedy to this is to apply a wetting type agent. However for
this agent to work properly it needs to reach the soil, so the thatch needs to
be removed first.
The way wetting agents work is similar to dishwashing detergents. The soil
granules, over time, develop a waxy coating. This coating acts like oil or
grease on a frying pan. You know what it's like when you are out camping, and
you try to wash a pan with just water. Yuck!!
The detergent breaks down the coating of the oil, allowing it to be washed
off. If you get some dry soil and drip some water on it you will see it run
So the wetting agent (detergent) breaks down the wax allowing the water to
important note to remember here is wetting agents don't replace the need for
water. IT HELPS WATER, WATER BETTER.
Regular watering is still most important. If you apply a wetting agent, then
let your lawn dry out again, the agent will be rendered useless.
Another important note to remember is , Lawn pests prefer dry soil, so fix the
soil and 9 times out of 10 you should control your pest problem.
THATCH BUSTERS can fix any of these problems, just give us a buzz.
can get a sod of turf and soil out of your lawn like the one pictured
below,then you are one lucky home owner. Most of us would get a sod out
that would fall apart from being so dry. The trick is, don`t let your soil
dry out. I know that it is hard, especially with water restrictions like we
Perth, but perseverance is the key.