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Bend, Oregon-Thatching and Aerating: Purpose and Benefits

Bend, OR- Thatching and aerating: Purpose and Benefits

As March approaches our focus begins to shift from snow removal and sidewalk salts to turf grass and plants. But, before you plan your back yard barbecues and break out the badminton set, give some thought to the health of your lawn. Spring is an ideal time to set a good foundation for the health of your turf, and taking the proper steps now can create positive outcomes throughout the length of the growing season.

De-thatching (often referred to as thatching) or aerating your lawn can have several long lasting benefits for both the look and health of your grass, but it could also have some benefits for the bank account as well. Before you commit to thatching or aerating your lawn, however, ask yourself a few questions: Is my grass thick and almost spongy? Does my lawn have dry spots even where there is good sprinkler coverage? Is my grass overly compacted and hard? Does my lawn have a hard time getting green? Am I spending a lot on water each month?

If you answered yes to any of these questions thatching and/or aerating might be appropriate. Let me briefly explain their purposes and benefits:


Thatch is the result of built up dead roots, grass stems, etc. in your lawn. It creates a spongy feel in your grass when it becomes excessive (over 1/2 inch) and can make it difficult for water, fertilizer, and oxygen to reach the root zone of your turf. Excessive thatch not only chokes the roots of necessary nutrients, but is also guilty of harboring insects and earthworms.

De-thatching, as evident in its name, removes the excess thatch between the soil and green surface in your lawn. It benefits the lawn in a handful of ways; removing this layer allows water to more freely move through the turf and into the soil where roots can absorb it and the nutrients it carries with it, it will help to curb insect problems that make those backyard barbecues slightly more annoying than your invitations imply, and finally it saves you money on your water bill each month.


Similar to thatching, aerating has the benefit of allowing water, oxygen and other nutrients (i.e. fertilizer) to reach the root zone of grass. Hard and compacted turf is a tell tale sign that your lawn needs it! Aerating removes a 1/2-3/4 inch plug of grass, thatch, and soil from your lawn, effective in reaching the root zone (note: watering grass prior to aerating may result in a more harmonious outcome). Not only does it oxygenate the soil, but it allows worms to get oxygen in the soil and therefore stay in the soil and not on top of it. Plugs can either stay on the lawn (their decomposition adds nutrients to the soil) or be removed.

If it sounds like de-thatching and/or aerating might be appropriate for your lawn please call YAK LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE, LLC at (541) 678-2920 or visit us at

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