In most cases, the short answer is no. There are some benefits to this service, but they are typically outweighed by the harms. First, we need to explain what thatch is.

From Oxford: A roof covering of straw, reeds, palm leaves, or a similar material. “the rain drummed noisily on the thatch above her head”

Hmmm…, not exactly what we are looking for. It does however, conjure up an image of what may be happening in your lawn. Excessive grass growth, coupled with our desert climate of dry air and relatively low microbe activity, can lead to a layer of dead material that seems ready to shed the water off like that Tahitian bungalow you’re dreaming of. The simple answer is to find a landscaper who will fire up their power rake and rip that thatch layer to shreds, right?

Well, not quite. That course of action neglects the fact that we want a thatch layer in our lawns! To keep that lush green grass we all desire, the soil beneath needs a few things: moisture, oxygen, nutrients, and microbes. When the thatch layer has been removed, you lose an insulating layer that keeps the soil cool and moist, and prevents run-off. This leads to a hot, dry, compacted soil surface that is less hospitable to microbial life.

A better option is to aerate the lawn. Aeration creates small holes in the lawn that allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the root zone more easily. This promotes deeper root growth, which can lead to a healthier, more resilient lawn that requires less water and fertilizer. In addition, aeration can help break up compacted soil, which can improve drainage and reduce soil erosion. Aeration addresses the problems of excessive thatch buildup, without removing the myriad benefits of a thatch layer.