Is Your Michigan Lawn Full of Thatch and Compacted Soil?

Shorter days, cool, crisp nights sitting around the campfire toasting s’mores and Sunday afternoons watching football. Here in Michigan, this probably means it’s October. When the leaves start to turn into a palette of bright colors, and pumpkin-flavored beverages begin appearing in your favorite coffee shops, you know fall is here. But what does this all mean for lawn care? Well, after a hot summer of excessive activity, your lawn probably has a build-up of thatch and compacted soil. If you were like many of us, you spent plenty of time in your backyard this summer, canceling those scheduled family vacations and enjoying time at home. Does your grass have brown, patchy areas? Does it appear dry, exhausted, and fatigued? Read on to find out more.

Signs Your Soil is Compactedwater puddling on grass

At first glance, your grass may look like it’s suffering from a lack of water. There are several other signs to look for when determining if your soil is too compact. Look for:

  • Bare, patchy areas
  • Water running off the surface
  • Spongy grass
  • Weak or yellowing grass
  • Water pooling in areas
  • Hard soil
  • Build-up of thatch

What is Thatch?

Thatch is an intermingled blend of organic material that gathers between the soil and the grass.  As it builds up, it prevents essential elements such as water, air, and nutrients from penetrating your soil. When these elements are unable to get to your roots, your grass will begin to weaken, wither and eventually die. Before it gets to this point, there is something we can do to help revitalize your lawn and bring it back to its green, healthy state.


The first step in dethatching your lawn is to mow it to its normal height. This will allow you to reach the thatch. The amount of hatch your grass has accumulated will determine if you can use a rake or special equipment.  At Grosse Ile Lawn and Sprinkler, we offer a dethatching service using a customized rake. We highly recommend hiring a professional lawn care service such as Grosse Ile Lawn and Sprinkler, because dethatching should be done with proper care. Our experienced technicians will dig into your thatch and pull it out without destroying any of your turf or its roots.

Core Aerationaeration machine

Another effective way of controlling thatch and combating soil compaction is through core aeration. This is the process of removing plugs of soil from your grass, depositing them on top, and distributing them across your lawn. Aeration is beneficial in a variety of ways. Some of these benefits include:

  • Deeper root growth
  • Thicker, more lush grass
  • Weed prevention
  • Faster growing grass
  • Reduced water runoff and increase of water absorption
  • Better access to those essential elements, including water, oxygen, and nutrients from fertilizer

Here in Michigan, we have cool-season grasses with a growing season in the spring and fall. That means that spring and fall are the best times to aerate your lawn. Contact Grosse Ile Lawn and Sprinkler. A fall core aeration service will help strengthen your roots before the frigid Michigan winter arrives.


Typically done after aeration, overseeding is the application of new grass seeds onto your existing lawn. Usually, it is a mix of different strains of grass. Adding in a variety of grasses can help increase your lawn’s resistance to lawn pests, drought, and lawn disease. Overseeding can also quickly thicken up your lawn and fill in bare spots.


Fall is the perfect time to invest in dethatching, core aeration, and overseeding. If your lawn shows signs of soil compaction or you want to give your yard an extra boost, call the professionals at Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler and Fertilizer.  We offer one fall core aeration service as part of our six-step lawn care program and as an individual service. Learn more on our website, or fill out our form online to receive a call. Want to talk with someone now? Call us at 734-285-4470.

We Partner with Local Home and Business Owners

Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler & Fertilizer services several cities and towns in Wayne County and across several other local communities including:

Woodhaven, Michigan

Collaborating with Woodhaven residents to create a results-driven solution that breathes new life into their yards, beds, and gardens.

Learn more

Flat Rock, Michigan

Leading the way in the Flat Rock market as a trusted partner for all things lawn & sprinkler, fertilizing, and more.

Learn more

Brownstown, Michigan

Transforming Brownstown lawns, yards, and landscaping with our unparalleled customer care and expertise

Learn more

Trenton, Michigan

Partnering with Trenton home and business owners to revitalize their properties with our full suite of services.

Learn more

Grosse Ile, Michigan

Serving the people of our hometown since 1986 to keep the community’s natural beauty as elegant as possible.

Learn more

Get your Estimate