Grass, it’s green, most of the time, it’s beautiful underfoot and makes the yard look great… if we look after it. Kikuyu is one of the varieties of grass that can develop a thick thatch layer if you’re unsure about how to care for it properly. It’s getting close to summer and you may need some tips to ensure your lawn is green and lush for the entire summer.
Thatch is the layer of organic matter between the root system below and the aboveground shoot. Some thatch is natural and good for a lawn, too much can bring problems with it. Continue reading if you want to know how to tell when to dethatch Kikuyu grass.
Thatch contains leaves, stems and roots, some living and some dead. It forms as a natural part of the turf’s growing process. It covers the soil and is a tightly woven layer beneath the grass blades.
As long as it doesn’t get thicker than 12mm you will have no problem. Any thicker and it will be time to start de-thatching!
When the thatch in your lawn gets too thick it can form a resistant layer that prevents water, fertiliser and insect or disease controls from reaching the soil. It will block sunlight from reaching lower grass blades and it can hold too much moisture against grass blades that can foster disease in your lawn. It can also block access to the soil causing the roots to grow into the thatch, which naturally lacks nutrients leading to a shallow-rooted lawn. Too much thatch can also lead to an uneven lawn resulting in uneven mowing and scalping.
A little bit of thatch won’t hurt your lawn, but anything more than 12mm of growth and its time to get dethatching!
1. Feel the lawn. If your lawn feels spongy or bouncy underfoot or if it’s springy it often has a thick thatch layer.
2. Inspect the lawn. Is soil visible between the crowns of the grass? Can you shove your finger through the visible thatch layer? If you can’t push your finger through, it needs dethatching.
3. Measure the thatch. Use a trowel or spade to remove a wedge-shaped layer of grass and soil about 7 ½ centimetres thick, or just pry up a small section of turf. Look for the thatch layer directly on top of the soil. Measure the thickness. If you’ve got thatch thicker than 12mm it’s time to dethatch.
For more information on dethatching your Kikuyu grass or anything else regarding the health of your lawn, contact us at Rivers Edge Turf.