Perspective. It’s funny how that works.
When I first read this research report in 2011, I skimmed over some parts, and cherry-picked what I was looking for — that 15 to 20% surface area removal was required every year in order to keep soil organic matter under control.
This post takes a few minutes to read because it covers this topic in a bit of detail. The summary is, I make use of two types of soil organic matter tests for turfgrass, these tests measure two different things, both important, and I recommend turfgrass managers measure both of these, ideally once a year.
These are the predicted distributions and percentiles of total organic matter in the surface 2 cm (0.8 inches) of warm-season grass putting greens.
I include a plot for predicted organic matter of a random green of an unknown species.
Anything resembling thatch or mat is explicitly excluded from the soil organic matter measurement made on routine soil nutrient analyses.
That portion of soil organic matter is excluded because it is not measured.
There’s a ton of work done to modify the soil organic matter of turfgrass surfaces. Fertilizer, water, and increased light will allow the grass to grow and naturally increase the organic matter in the soil.
I watched the Greenkeeper App meeting about organic matter, and I recommend you do too. The video has Doug Soldat, Bill Kreuser, and Roch Gaussoin talking about soil organic matter, rootzones, sand topdressing, and turf performance.