The Importance of Thatch Control

The Importance of Thatch Control In High-Quality Sports Surfaces And Lawns

A really great sports surface or lawn requires more than just excellent and regular mowing. You also need to consider nutrient levels and feeding, pest and disease control and water management. One of the main factors that affect your sports turf or lawn is the control of thatch. Any healthy lawn naturally produces thatch as part of its normal process. Thatch is the layer or organic material consisting of the dead, dying and living stems, roots and leaves lying on the surface of the soil. Low-level thatch of less than ¼” is considered beneficial as it helps provide a mulch at the base of the plants to reduce water loss. But thatch levels above ¼” will create a haven for turf-pests, weeds and diseases. This spongey layer also inhibits the flow of nutrients and water into the soil profile so that they are not available to the plant’s roots. A regular programme of cultivations to the turf is essential to keep the grass plants healthy, increase plant density, reduce divots and improve presentation and striping contrast. Specialised machines are available to help you with the battle against your thatch layer. The Allett principles of cultivation of the healthy turf are to cultivate shallow and quickly more regularly, as opposed to the normal practice of being really aggressive, damaging and deep once or twice per season. This principle means it is quick and easy, the disturbance to the appearance is minimal, the material collected is less per cultivation, and the plants recover from the trauma more quickly. The Allett principle of turf cultivation – little-and-often-wins-the-game. Allett has developed a range of interchangeable mower cartridges which can be quickly exchanged using just one base power unit. The Importance of Thatch Control | Blog | Allett Mowers


Key- Disturbance Level 1-5- 5* Most aggressive Note- These are our PROFESSIONAL/SPORTS RANGE cartridges BRUSH * The brush is perfect for sweeping away any ugly worm casts, leaves and divots that are littering the surface of your sports-field and has been carefully designed to keep your lawn stripes perfect for even longer. This is a gentle process ensuring that your field is healthier and stays luscious and green for longer. Brushing prior to cutting also helps the grass stand more upright, meaning a sharper and more uniform cut is achieved when mowing. SORREL ROLLER ** The sorrel roller pushes hundreds of small holes into the surface of the turf quickly. Roots need air. It’s important to use the Sorrel roller on your playing surfaces regularly, especially on the high-traffic and wear areas to allow aeration of the soil caused by compaction. The Sorrel Roller causes minimum disturbance to the soil providing in-season aeration without unsightly marks, using round-hole-penetration rather than slot. This is ideally carried out before fertilising as this allows a quicker route to the soil. TURF RAKE *** The Turf Rake is designed to lift lateral growth, remove moss and dead material from the grass but it does a lot more than that. You can also use it for removal of broken blades of grass after games and for removing footprints left by the players in your perfect stripes. It is one of our most popular cartridges because of its gentleness and versatility. VERTICUT **** The Verticut cartridge is equipped with saw-like blades specially designed to prune the grass to improve tillering and stolon formation. This increases the turf density and is very important for anyone wishing to develop fine turf. This cartridge controls thatch by removing the dead and dying grass plants which would otherwise contribute to the thatch layer. It stands the grass upright which will be easier and cleaner to cut with a cutting cylinder later. It’s also a great method of controlling weeds and coarse weed grasses that lie flat. SCARIFIER ***** The Scarifier is designed to remove thatch, surface debris and dead moss and prune roots helping to keep your sports surface healthy and with reduced disease by allowing air and water to penetrate the soil surface with steel blades to cut out the unwanted thatch. This encourages thickening of the turf by producing extra shoots for a more luxuriant and traffic resistant playing surface. We have a range of HOMEOWNER cartridges for your Allett Kensington or Liberty 43 - Find them here
Back to blog