No doubt you must have some point in your life come across people engaging in controlled burning of fields and prairies but without knowing why it is truly done. However, when it comes to pastures, fields and lands controlled burning needs to be done in few years or annually and this helps in reviving and renewing the land. In order cases, you must have seen lawn care workers getting rid of thatch using fire and the removal of thatch using fire is one subject that is considered to be controversial today and that is exactly what we would be talking about today.
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Getting Rid Of Thatch Using Fire
What is Thatch?
This is simply a tan brown, fibrous organic matter that tends to build up in fields or lawns between grass blades and soils and even though most people confuse thatch to be a mixture of grass clippings and other forms of debris, it still consists of runners, stems and living roots on the surface. There are grasses that would likely to convert to thatch than other grasses and these grasses includes;
- Rye grass
- Buffalo grass
- Zoysia grass
- Bermuda grass
- Tall fescue
This lawn clippings as well as other forms of organic debris tends to decay and also breakdowns very fast instead of piling up on the surface of the soil while the thatch which is also the runners and surface roots are brought about by too much use of nitrogen fertilizer, shallow watering, too much use of pesticides, poorly aerated soil and a soil with a poor texture. This is why grass burning has turned out to be a constant practice in the south eastern part of the United States and this topic is also constantly debated among lawn specialists.
Is Grass Burning Safe
Due to fire hazards and safety reasons, getting rid of thatch using fire is not totally and widely acceptable yet and this is because even controlled fire sometimes might get out of hand as it is completely unpredictable. Experts rather prefer the use of chemical and mechanical de-thatching methods, scalping, aerating the soil regularly, ideal lawn practices and vermiculture as a better method instead of getting rid of thatch using fire. However, laws put in place regarding the burning of thatch and other 0rganic matter differs in several places.
This is why it is very important that you first get a confirmation from your local fire service before you go about burning anything. There are places which have already placed a ban on burning anything while there are places which have certain times permits if burning must be done. It is necessary that you do your findings so you don’t get hit with a hefty fine and it is also very important that you have a conversation with your neighbor before you go about burning so you don’t take them by surprise.
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Do’s And Don’t Of Burning Grass To Get Rid Of Thatch
Prepping the area and also having a fire plan is something that you must do if you must get rid of thatch using fire and in most cases, fire lines are created before anything gets burned. This fire line is necessary because it tells you you need to put off the fire immediately the fire starts getting to the fire lines. Having lots of helpers available on the day you choose to burn is also very necessary and this is necessary because if the fire gets out hand, it would take more than just one person to put it off.
Connecting hoses to water sources and placing the strategically is also another thing that needs to be done and also makes sure that anyone you choose to help has his protective gear. When you decide to burn grass, proper timing is also another factor that is very important and the ideal time to get rid of thatch using burning fire is during the early spring season which is when the dangers of frost have completely passed away. Also make sure that you do not burn grass during high traffic on the road if burning would be done close to the road.
Getting rid of thatch using fire has its own series of benefits and not only does it put a stop to the build up of thatch but it also helps in killing of serious diseases and pests. It also ends up providing the soil with more nutrients but at the end of the day, what you should do is making sure that proper planning is done before you go about burning up grass and one important fact that you should know is NEVER TO LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED TO.
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