Scarification is a very important part of keeping your lawn in a good condition. It is a mechanical rake-like process which removes thatch from the surface of your lawn. Thatch is a build up layer of surface and sub-surface dead grass, grass clippings and moss that can accumulate over many years.
Why do lawns need Scarification?
A build-up of thatch and moss can becoming damaging to a lawn by preventing water, air and nutrients from reaching the soil and root zone. As a result lawns will suffer by becoming thin, patchy and let stress tolerant. Removing the layer of organic matter from your lawn encourages a healthier and more resilient grass growth as well as a denser sward.
When is the best time to Scarify?
The optimum time of year to carry out scarification or general lawn renovation is during the autumn months from mid August to October. This is because the soil is warm and autumn moisture will assist natural recovery and seed germination as you go into the winter.
Spring can also be a good time for a light scarify or de-thatch but we advise against heavy scarification in the spring as cool soil temperatures and dry weather can hamper recovery as you go into the summer.
As a general rule we advise scarification at least every other year.
How do you carry out Scarification?
It is best to scarify your lawn using a professional scarifier which can be purchased or hired. Professional machines will do a much more thorough job compared to using a spring-tine rake. Prior to scarifying mow your lawn a little on the short side, between 10-20mm. Carry out two ‘passes’ of your lawn, one straight up your lawn and the other diagonally (avoid a cross pattern). Once completed rake up the debris and remove from the surface of your lawn. Alternatively use a rotary mower to collect/remove debris.
General benefits of Scarification?
- Removes harmful levels of thatch.
- Prunes grass roots encouraging growth.
- Allows water to reach the soil.
- Allows air to reach the sward.
- Allows nutrients to reach the grass plants.
- Removes moss and dead weeds.