Thatch is simply a layer of dead, un-decayed plant material that resides at the soil level. Thatch is typically comprised of old grass clippings and other matter that has not decayed back to the soil level. A small amount of thatch is normal in an organically active and healthy lawn but an elevated layer on the surface of the soils will deprive the lawn of much-needed oxygen, water, and nutrients. This elevated layer of thatch is an indication the soil needs care because the Soil Food Web is not doing the job.
There are several steps you can take to relieve the choking effects of thatch but the only permanent fix is to make the soil into an organically active, healthy environment by adding more organic matter. Lawn aeration, the application of Compost Tea followed by a repeated application of Organic fertilizers and nutrients are a positive and lasting approach to combating thatch problems. To enhance the results and increase the soils conversion to an Organic state, Compost Top Dressing has been show to deliver superior results.
The microbes and bacteria present in a quality compost breaks down the thatch into an Organic humus that is then reintroduced naturally into the soil to feed the grass. Additionally, the removal of this thatch layer will open the flow of Oxygen and Water to the roots of the plants. Compost Top Dressing can reduce elevated thatch levels and increase the soils fertility and organic makeup. The compost promotes the growth of active microorganisms that ultimately decomposes and controls the thatch layer.