Thatch, built-up plant material between green growth and the grass roots, is essential, but too much can deter healthy lawn growth.
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To remove thatch from a small lawn, use a thatching rake, which will slice into the lawn and bring up vast amounts of dead material. Rake in one direction to prevent damaging grass roots. Once you remove the thatch layer, clean the lawn with a metal leaf rake. After getting rid of the thatch, you can compost it and recycle it back into the garden.
You can remove thatch in summer, fall and even when the lawn is dormant in winter. Dethatching isn't recommended in the spring during the transition between dormancy and active growth because at this time the energy and nutrient stores in grass roots are low.
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