Composting/thatch

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Sorta about composting.  I have a heavy Bermuda grass lawn (hate it) and in Summer it smells like rotting animals (at least I think it is the grass).  Have you ever come across this?  Could it be from the thatch layer under the grass?

Thanks,
Janet

Answer
Hello Janet

I am from Michigan, so this <type> of Lawn is not grown here, except for Putting Greens. Bermuda Lawns are rather high maintenance, so I understand your displeasure.

I will try my best to give you some tips. This type of lawn requires a special type of lawnmower designed for Bermuda Lawns. The normal type of mower, with the blades facing downward, will tear the blades. Now, as far as the smell, I think you may have hit on the issue, because Bermuda is known for creating a lot of thatch. Take your fingers and dig around the soil line, and see if you can bring up some of that thatch. With just that in your hands, take a smell. If this is the smell that you refer to as being like rotting animals, then it's thatch that is the issue.

Now as far as getting you to the point for getting rid of that thatch, and having a better lawn, the GREATEST resource there is for you, is you local Golf Course. The Greenskeeper, for the Golf Course is an EXPERT in this area. This is their living. Proper mowing heights, the correct watering, and fertilization timing, will prevent excess thatch from getting out of hand. Just compliment them on their lawn, and watch the eyes light up. They LOVE to pass on their knowledge, which has been passed down through time.


I hope this has been of help, if their is anything I have missed, don't hesitate to follow up with another question. The best of luck.


    Greg

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As a Master Gardener: taken classes in All Phases of Gardening...I Specialize in Lawns... Pererennials... Compost... Organic Gardening.

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