Thatch is the surface of roots, leaves, and dead grasses that are between the soil and the grass, which is essential for moisture or drainage retention. But when thatch is too big, it is not good for the soil. In this post, I’ll show you how to remove your lawn when it’s time.

A good rule of thumb is to check and ensure that your thatch is not more than ¾ inches thick. You should perform the following tests to see if the thatch has become too thick:

Step 1 of 3

Checking for a Soft Thatch

1. Calculate the deepness of the thatch by using your finger.

Right, where you want to measure the thatch, push your fingers gently into the layer of the thatch, and then pay close attention to how deep your fingers go into the thatch. Remove your fingers, and by looking at them, calculate the depth.

When you do this, ensure it is not more than half an inch, which is about 1.3cm deep. When trying out this step, here are some things to note.

  •  If the thatch happens to be thicker than the ¾ inch earlier stated, then it is time for you to remove the lawn.
  •  If you want to try this step, and you do not feel comfortable using your fingers, you can employ the use of a stick or measurement ruler.

2. Take a walk on the lawn to see if it is strong or soft.

Another way to determine if a lawn needs to be removed is to walk on it. Take a walk around it to observe if it is strong or soft. If you do this and you notice that the lawn is soft and almost bouncy, then it is surely an indication that the thatch has become too thick and needs to be removed. It would help if you put these in mind when taking these steps:

  •  If you walk on the lawn and it feels strong, then it has the right thickness, and there is no need for replacement.
  •  To get a much better feel of the lawn, it would be advisable to walk barefooted on it.

3. Push against the lawn with your hands.

When you have walked around the lawn, you might still not have a good idea of how strong it is. In order for you to have an even better feel of the lawn, you need to make use of your hands while checking it; this is because your hands are more sensitive than your legs.

If you push the lawn, and it is soft on your hands, and you are able to push it further downwards, then it is advisable to detach; but if it is strong, then there is no need to worry.

Step 2 of 3

Conducting a Grass Wedge Test

1. Get a shovel.

A quick way to easily test your lawn is to get a shovel and then use that shovel to mark the exact portion of the lawn you are about to test.

When you have searched around, and the only instrument you have is just a trowel, then that is just ok because you will only be using it on a little portion of the lawn.

2. Dig the lawn by using the shovel in your hands.

Begin by first using the trowel to dig the part of the lawn you marked and ensure that it reaches deep down the soil. After doing this, cut a circle like a shape on the ground so you can pull it out.

There is no need to dig out a large chunk of the grass; we just need a little in order to see the soil, the grass, and the thatch.

3. Measure the thickness of the thatch with a ruler.

Hold by hand the chunk of grass you just dug out. Put the measuring ruler of the thatch. Place the part of the ruler where the zero mark starts from right on top of the thatch. If the thatch goes past ¾ inches, then it is time you remove the lawn.

  •  Also, be aware that if you take some time to check the different lawn sections, it will be very beneficial to you. Doing a few tests on different segments of the lawn will help save your time and also determine if you will have to remove the entire lawn.

Step 3 of 3

Removing the Lawn

1. Get a professional detaching service.

If, after doing the necessary tests, your thatch is thicker than one inch, you will find it easier to remove the lawn when you get a professional to do the job; a professional can do the job better than you can.

You can get a professional for around $250, but this price will only be determined by the price of your lawn.

2. Consider renting a power detacher.

For lawns that are much thicker and larger than normal, rent a Detaching machine. This machine is very useful because it digs into the soil to bring out thicker thatch. To get a good detaching machine, enquire from any equipment shop around you.

If you are worried about not having the technology initiative to use the detaching machine, there is no need for that. What you have to do is push the lines you see on the machine through the lawn.

But first, before renting the machine, you are to ask the person who rents it for him or her to set the blades to the required depths.

3. Get a convex rake.

The last option for you to use is to purchase a convex rake. The convex rake is easy to use. So when using this tool, ensure to remove most of the Thatch layer.


In order to get good service from a professional lawn detacher, it is advisable to have at the back of your mind that you will be charged based on the size of your yard. The price used for professional detaching is solely dependent on how thick the thatch is and how big the lawn is.

Also, check for the growing season of the type of grass in your lawn before detaching so as not to detach a thatch that is in the process of growing. 

Thank you so much for your time reading this article; if you have some questions, please leave your comment below, and I more than happy to write back to you.