Dethatching, Top Dressing, and Aerating

13th Mar 2017


Thatch occurs when grass runners grow over the top of each other, killing the runners underneath. Over time, this becomes problematic. Sir Walter Buffalo requires Dethatching at least every 2 years, but if you have any other Buffalo type you usually need to dethatch yearly. You can either use a dethatching machine or a lawn mower to bring it back to soil level, just be careful not to go too far down as you may lose your lawn. There should still be runners along the ground. After removing all the thatch, use a slow release fertiliser to encouraged it to thicken up again.

Top dressing: 

Top dressing is the use of a sandy loam to cover the underneath thatch. Prior to topdressing, you should apply a slow release fertiliser which will really help the lawn. Next, layer the sandy loam on top with a shovel. Use a rake to even it out, making sure that there is still leaf visible. This should be done every three years.


Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. You should aerate your lawn when there are high levels of traffic (pet, children etc). First you need to ensure your soil is nice and moist. The best time to do this is the day after rain or the day after a good water. You can either use a spike aerator or a plug aerator. We recommend the plug aerator because it takes out chunks of lawn, releasing the pressure and gives a better result.