How to Stop Thatch Problems With Bermuda Grass


Bermuda grass is a vigorous warm-season grass that grows using surface spreading or creeping rhizomes. Its aggressive growth habit and self seeding make it a desirable hard-wearing grass for sports turf but the bane of those that see it as a weed in other lawns or crops. The thick rhizomes build up over time and can cut off the flow of water and applied nutrients to the roots and soil below, resulting in a stressed, under performing or dying lawn. Bermuda thatch build-up over a 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness should be thinned regularly to maintain a healthy and lush green lawn.

Step 1

Push or pull your de-thatching rake across the expanse of the lawn beginning on one end of the lawn and working over to the other end in neat rows. When using a manual power rake make short, chipping strokes pulling the tool through the thatch toward your feet to cut and lift the thatch from the lawn.

Step 2

Make a second pass with the de-thatching tool walking at a 90-degree angle to the first pass. This will allow the de-thatching tool blades to grasp alternating rhizomes and thatch and ensure an even thinning over the entire lawn surface.

Step 3

Use a flexible tine rake to collect all of the lifted thatch and bag it to be discarded in the trash. Skip the compost bin for Bermuda grass thatch as there will likely be a build up of seed in the thatch that can germinate and spread where the final compost is laid.

Step 4

Water the dethatched lawn deeply until soaked on to lessen stress on the lawn, keep any exposed roots moist, support new green blade and healthy root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Power rake or de-thatching rake
  • Water
  • Flexible tine rake
  • Trash bag


  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Minnesota
Keywords: lawn thatch, bermuda grass cynodon dactylon, eradicate build up problems excess

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.