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Learn How to Dethatching St. Augustine Grass

Learn How to Dethatching St. Augustine Grass
Last Updated: 02 April 2021

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If you see a beautiful lawn in the neighborhood with a dark green look, they likely have some St. Augustine grass on the lawn. It is among the most beautiful lawn options and is mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions. We shall talk more about the origin and spread of the grass in another post.

However, keeping your lawn beautiful with it takes some bit of work (It is not your usual lawn vegetation). It needs regular maintenance, mainly because it grows pretty fast in warm weather conditions. There are several ways to maintain Saint Augustine grass, including mowing, sodding, aerating, watering, fertilizing, and dethatching. Today, our focus will be on dethatching and, in particular, everything you need to know when it comes to dethatching St Augustine grass.

Well, let us begin by shedding some light on what thatch is. Thatch is a load of dead plant material usually found on top of the soil. It protects direct sunlight from reaching the surface of your lawn and serves as a source of manure.

How Does Thatching Your Lawn’s Health?

How Does Thatching Your Lawn’s Health

Dead thatch can help retain nutrients in the soil, but an excessive layer of thatch could affect overall growth. It tends to restrict moisture and other essential elements for the healthy and quick growth of your Turf. In turn, the grass begins to root within the thatch while fighting to obtain these elements. That is not what you want.

Moreover, a lawn with a thick layer of thatch is usually quite challenging to maintain and is quite vulnerable to adverse weather effects. But let’s get to that a little bit later in this piece.

What is the Role of a Dethatcher?

Firstly, a dethatcher is also known as verticutter, and it uses several vertically placed blades to cut the thatch layer. As the name suggests, a dethatcher plays the role of getting rid of dead plants and roots, forming a layer between vegetation and the soil.

When is the Right Time to Dethatch?

When is the Right Time to Dethatch

As mentioned earlier, St Augustine grass care is essential if you want your lawn to maintain an alluring, green appearance. If you just started growing St Augustine turf, your biggest worry must be on when to do some dethatching.

When you realize that thatch has grown more than half an inch, know it is time you get busy with liquid dethatching. Alternatively, if your turf is growing on top of the thatch, it is time to detach. Stay on the lookout for these two signs, and you will never have a problem with timing.

The Drawbacks of St Augustine Grass Dethatching

If dethatching St Augustine grass is not done correctly, you may end up replacing your entire lawn. Hence, it is crucial to have in mind the negative consequences that you may face if you do not know how to dethatch St Augustine grass appropriately.

If you use a power dethatcher for the job, you will cut it below 2 inches, which makes it weak and causes difficulties in growth. Also, removing the entire top growth will inhibit it from spreading and filling the bare soil patches.

How Regularly Should You Dethatch Your Turf?

Generally, a lawn needs dethatching at least once in a year. Precisely, the accurate way to know when some dethatching is needed is by checking if the thatch layer has grown beyond ½ an inch. When it comes to St Augustine thatch, we recommend dethatching early in the spring.

How to take Care of your Dethatch?

How to take Care of your Dethatch

To assist with regrowth, it is crucial to implement some after-care once you dethatch St. Augustine lawn. Below are helpful hacks you can follow to put your St Augustine turf back in place after liquid dethatching.

Irrigate The thatch helps in preventing moisture evaporation from the soil. Therefore, when removed, evaporation begins to occur rapidly. It, in turn, calls for deep irrigation to replace the moisture and boost growth.


With a thick layer of thatch, it is definite that this best grass for clay soil is famished of growth nutrients. Hence, you can use a slow-release fertilizer with phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium portions to heal the vegetation.


Mowing has a significant role to play in the growth of your lawn. Once you dethatch St Augustine, ensure that you continue mowing to enhance new grass growth. Beware that mowing can adversely affect growth.

Treat for Weeds

We all know that bare soil is usually an invitation for weed growth. After dethatching, you will realize that weeds will be competing for space with your grass. If you do not deal with them in good time, your efforts will be in vain. Always have a pre-emergent weed killer to do away with the weeds attempting to germinate during the grass’s recovery period.

Final Thoughts

One of the genius ways of dethatching your St Augustine grass healthy and well maintained. Having gone through our guide, we hope that you now have all it takes to make heads turn on your lawn. Moreover, you can always improve your soil quality by using compost to top-dress your lawn at the start and the end of each growing season.

If you have been wondering which way to go between Bermuda grass vs St Augustine, they are both warm-season grasses that need serious maintenance. We leave the decision to you. Now you got it all to make your lawn the envy of your neighborhood.

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