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Thick thatch - use turfcutter?

I went to overseed a job I'd scarified before today and realised after taking a sample that there is still about 1 "" 2.5 cms of thatch still there. Obviously I should have checked this before. What do you think.f these options s:

1) Scarify again and just keep going till soil reached?

2) Hire a turf cutter and just cut the top 1 " off it?

3) Spray off with herbicide and start again? But will glyfoss solve the thatch problem I'm thinking not.

4) Any other options?

First year doing lawn treatments so learning the hard way....

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  • PRO

    How big is the lawn and what scarifier are you using? Does it have blades or spring hook wires?

    • Hi Andrew, there are two areas of lawn basically equilateral triangles about 10 m each side. It took me a day to do it and 8 ton bags came off. I've been using a pro grade Camon scarifier from a hire shop with blades.

      It hasn't been done for about 10 years and was super thick with moss.

        Sorry I can't figure out out how to post pics.

  • I've been there, sympathies!  I genuinely believe you need to scarify it again so you get some soil onto which you can overseed. I have never found any other alternative. Scarifying is my least favourite job but the results are excellent and for all the fertiliser treatments out there, a good mechanical treatment is unmatched. I should add, in my opinion.

  • PRO

    scarify again, and again and again - not fiercely just over a number of visits about a month apart until you get there - ideally make sure the grass has been fed and well watered inbetween visits - down here in Wiltshire its as dry as bone at the moment - no good for this type of work as you will (I think) damage the grass that is left.

    Good luck :)

  • Which blades were fitted to the Camon? I found the "free-swinging" blades to be pretty useless in heavy thatch. Ideally you want the fixed-blade cartridge and then the spring-tine cartridge. The weather conditions aren't great for heavy scarification and overseeding, but still doable. Best of luck!

  • When a lawh as been as bad as this, I've resorted to mowing the thatch off.  Go over it with the mower, lowering one notch at a time and take slices off it, this can save many passes with the scarifier.  When it's down as low as the mower will go or about half an inch, then resume scarifying.  Having said all that, it's very late to be doing this work, Unless the client is prepared to water twice a day until the seed has germinated, it might be worth leaving it now until autumn.

  • PRO

    Check the blades first on any hired scarifier. I had to hire one when mine was in for service and the blades were totally blunt so less than useless

  • PRO

    It's not too big, so if the customer will give a good water once per week from June onwards, then give it another multi pass scarify now, aerate, overseed and feed. If watering not possible, then wait for say mid September for the heavy scarify etc.

  • Thanks for all the helpful advice and encouragement. I'm going in tomorrow so will let you know the outcome.


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