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What is it?
THATCH is 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.
Roll-on Turf


What causes it?

As 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 off.
So the wetting agent (detergent) breaks down the wax allowing the water to enter.
An 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.
If you 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 have in Perth, but perseverance is the key.

Turf sod







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