Thatch is the layer of turf between the blades and the soil. This is where decaying matter breaks down, and new growth is generated. Lawns with too little, or too much thatch can struggle.
New developing yards need time to build up a thatch layer. Frequent mulching mows can help speed the process. Too much thatch is usually caused by over fertilizing, creating rapid growth. Rapid growth in the blades contributes to many grass clippings leaving excessive clumps that build up in the thatch after mowing. Rapid growth of stolons and stems build up as well. When the thatch layer gets too thick, water and nutrients from fertilizer and decaying clippings can't get down into the soil, where roots will have access to it. When air cannot pass through the thatch, the grass canopy stays wet too long after watering, leaving the turf susceptible to fungus and disease. At this point de-thatching is needed.
All grass is different, and while it's not always needed, de-thatching in the Spring can be helpful every year. Lawns that have been mowed infrequently, or weren't mowed late in the Fall will benefit greatly from a de-thatching mow. If your grass is in need you can take this task on yourself by getting a rake and running it through the whole yard. Rake the excess into piles and haul it off, or call me for a de-thatching cleanup mow. This will comb out the excess and clean up at the same time, leaving your grass prepared for the long season ahead.