Thatch is one of the greatest problems associated with Buffalo lawns, the problem is that Buffalo thatches much more heavily than any other grass type. This is made much worse for the homeowner when facing the problem of having to remove the thatch, which is a much more difficult task for Buffalo lawns than other grasses.
The purpose of this article is to share one method of controlling thatch.
Great care must be taken when controlling thatch in a Buffalo lawn.
Methods of Controlling Thatch
Vertimowing is a process of removing most of the surface vegetation of lawns at one time, with the use of specialised machines. Buffalo lawns should be de-thatched regularly and only ever by professionals if using the vertimowing method.
One Time Lawn Mowing
This can be used as a method of de-thatching by aggressively lowering the mowing height and removing most of the surface vegetation in a single mowing. This is not recommended for Buffalo. However it can be done if great care is taken not to go too low with the mowing, and only if it is done very regularly.
Slowly reducing mowing heights over several mowing sessions is probably the safest method to control thatch in Buffalo.
Using a rotary mower, lower the mowing height so that the lawn mowing aggressively bites into the thatch of the Buffalo grass. Don't go too low at once.
Now wait until the lawn begins to show signs of green leaf growth and repair.
Mow the lawn again one notch lower on the lawn mower.
Repeat the process as required until the thatch is removed.
The more frequently the lawn can be mowed - the better the result will be.
Never begin mowing again until the lawn is showing good signs of health and repair from the previous mowing.
Never de-thatch during the heat of Summer, as this could highly stress the lawn and may kill it. Begin de-thatching at the start of Spring or Autumn only.
Do not fertilise the lawn during the repair process.
Back To Good Lawn Health
Once the lawn has fully repaired and is in full health, increase mowing heights to normal mowing levels once more. The lawn can now be fertilised as well.
To understand more about thatch in Buffalo, so to control thatch properly, please see our article - Thatch in Buffalo Grass.