Note: About Thatch
"Thatch is light brown, fibrous organic matter that looks like peat moss. It is located between the soil and grass blades and is made up of compressed surface roots, stems, and runners. Thatch is hidden, so most people do not realize it is there. Excessive thatch feels soft and springy underfoot. " -Matthew J. Fagerness Checking for thatchChecking for thatch is easy. All you need is a study jackknife. Start by cutting a pie-shaped wedge out of the lawn, making sure to get down into the soil.From info source Division of Cooperative Extension of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Item # 535 Thatch (Viewed 6 Apr. 2004)
Pull the wedge out, and examine the brown mat of thatch just above the soil surface.
Replace the wedge and examine other places in your lawn. Just because thatch is present or absent in one place doesn't mean the same will be true in another. Thatch thickness typically varies throughout the lawn. Places where thatch has gotten thick feel soft and spongy when you walk across them.
Photographs illustrating thatch
- See Turf 101: Thatch http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2003/thatch514.htm PURDUE TURFGRASS PROGRAM Turf Tips, TURF TIP 5/14/03. Z Reicher, Auth. (2003, May 14. Viewed 6 Apr. 2004). A photograph on this page shows the thickness of the thatch layer being measured. Note that the thatch layer is the dark brown, peaty layer, NOT the light brown, dead grass on the surface of the soil
- See Pest Alert Sept. 1, 1999, South Dakota Tate University, Spons. (Viewed 6 Apr., 2004).
Under DISEASES: L PATCH DISEASE INJURY IN LAWNS, there is a brief discussion of thatch; the links (thatch buildup and more than 1" in depth bring up excellent illustrations of thatchy turf.