A dead layer of decomposing plant tissue is referred to as thatch. Having a thin layer of thatch on your lawn can actually have benefits. One of the ways it does this is by protecting the crowns and reducing soil compaction. If you have a layer that is too thick your fertilizer and water won’t be able to make it into the soil which can cause runoff which will lead to dry spots. Also when it gets wet the thatch can become saturated and suffocate the roots. One of the most common ways thatch becomes an issue is when the lawn is over fertilized or has poor drainage. Keep in mind some types of grass are more prone to thatch problems. One of the best ways to avoid this is core aeration. Learn more about aeration with our previous post.