The process of thatching your lawn is necessary on a regular basis to remove the layer of roots and dead grass that forms between the soil and the grass. This is necessary to keep the grass healthy as thatching can hinder the growth of the lawn if it allowed to become too thick.
You'll want to thatch your lawn manually when it has reached a thickness level of between 1 and 2 inches. However, the process does become more difficult if the amount is any more or less than this. A rake that is specially designed for removing thatch is available from gardening centers and can be used to thin it down without damaging the existing grass. Ensure you choose a rake that can be adjusted so that you only remove as much thatch from the lawn as necessary. Avoid damage to the living grass by working when the lawn is dry and work methodically to break up the layer before removing and composting it. This method is convenient as a small amount of thatch can be beneficial for a lawn and it will allow you to keep the level in check.
The process of thatching a lawn can be undertaken with power equipment, some of which you may already own. With many lawn mowers, it will be possible to purchase a separate attachment to aid in the thatching of the lawn. When using this method, ensure that the attachment is suitable for your particular mower and that it can be adjusted for the thatching on your lawn. Alternatively, a dethatching machine can bought or rented from an equipment hire firm. The instructions for use of whichever method used should be fully perused before use to ensure that no damage is caused to the lawn. When using this equipment you will have to rake afterward to gather up all the resulting debris.
When the thickness of the thatching is not significant it may be possible to simply take care of it by aerating the lawn. This works best where the layer of thatch is approximately ¾ inch thick. When this is the case, an aerator can be obtained from an equipment hire company to remove plugs from the lawn to allow more air and water to circulate. Work in straight lines across the garden to ensure that you cover the entire surface.
It is possible to keep thatching in check by letting nature take its course. A thin layer of thatching is beneficial for a lawn as it helps to prevent wear from high traffic and insulates the soil against extremes of temperature. Where the layer of thatch is slightly more than ideal, it can be rectified by adding some topdressing. This is the process of adding some topsoil to the upper surface of the lawn, which will speed up the decomposing process of the thatch.