If you want to lay down turf that is a good all-round choice for your climate and perfectly suited for your specific location, then you may well choose Buffalo grass. This type of grass is very easy to look after and even if you have pets or small children to contend with, but you will need to pay attention to certain conditions as the seasons roll around. Why do you need to be aware of dethatching, in particular, and what should you do to deal with this situation?
As a lawn grows, stems will appear, mature and eventually die off in a continuous circle of evolution. Certain features (known as rhizomes) will grow horizontally and often underground, but will occasionally strike through to the surface to generate new stems.
As the stems, rhizomes and other materials die off, they will fall down below the surface of the grass and lie just above the soil. They will begin to decompose but may not very quickly, and this can often lead to a condition known as 'thatching.' Thatch is basically a layer of dead and dying material that can form a barrier between the soil and the air above, leading to dehydration. This barrier may also retain any nutrients or fertiliser that you put down and not allow it to nourish the root system beneath. If the thatch gets particularly thick, it may even host an insect colony, and this could exacerbate the hydration or nutrition problems.
If you walk on your lawn and it feels spongy beneath your feet, you likely have a thatch problem. You'll find it difficult to mow your lawn at the optimal height, and you may find patches of disease in certain places as well.
Thatching is perfectly normal for Buffalo and other species of grass, but when it gets out of hand, you need to act. This means that you will need to dethatch your lawn as a normal part of your care regimen whenever the layer gets too thick.
This can be quite a labour-intensive job, especially if you have a large lawn area. You can achieve your goal by buying a specially modified rake and making sure that you press it down firmly as you apply. Alternatively, you can bring in a powered raker, and this will do much of the heavy lifting for you.
Make sure that you do this job at the right time, and just before the growing season begins. Chat with your landscape contractor to talk about this problem, and see if they can do the work for you instead.
To learn more, reach out to a Buffalo turf supplier.