The thrill of a nice thick crop of thatch in the lawn is not one of the best things for most homeowners. Thatch is basically just a bunch of dead vegetation that doesn't want to decompose. When it becomes too thick water, bugs, and air have a hard time getting to it so it just kind of … sits there. A little thatch is normal and healthy in a yard, but once it gets over an inch thick steps need to be taken to combat it.

Lawn dethatching is simply getting rid of thatch. The main component of thatch is grass clippings (or whatever you mowed up) that is left on the lawn. It gets dry and compact and is surprisingly tough to get rid of. It creates a layer of between the grass and soil. This is actually a good thing until it gets too thick. The layer of mulch helps to conserve moisture and protects the soil from the drying rays of the sun. Once it reaches that one inch mark it becomes a barrier rather than a protective layer.

This barrier repels water and stops it from reaching the roots of the grass. Instead of soaking into the soil as water (and fertilizer) should it will just run off. This will water the sidewalk and the street but doesn't do much for your grass.

When you are ready to dethatch you need to get a thatch rake or aerate the lawn. You'll be surprised at how much stuff you'll get out of the lawn using a rake to dethatch. Thatch can be composted if it is mixed into a composter or used as mulch in a more appropriate area.

Frequent thatch removal or seasonal core aeration will keep the thatch down to a manageable level. This should be a part of every lawn care schedule. It is much easier to do it occasionally than to do a huge amount of thatch every few years.