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When To Scarify Your Lawn

Choice Of Lawn Scarifier

How to scarify your lawn step by step

There are a number of options

  • Manual lawn scarifier
  • Mechanical lawn scarifier

The size of your lawn and depth of your moss problem will influence your choice of scarifier. While rake is a good option, it doesnt root prune like a scarifier can.

If your lawn is 100m2 or more then a mechanical scarifier would be recommended.

What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn

What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn


  • Leave the soil plugs on the lawn to decompose and filter back into the holes left by the aeration machine.
  • Apply fertilizer immediately after aerating your lawn to put nutrients into your grass roots.
  • Reseed your lawn, especially in areas of the lawn where the grass is thin.
  • How Often Should You Scarify A Lawn

    If you’ve recently learnt how to plant grass seed and have given it a go in your yard, it’s important to leave it to establish before you try to scarify it. This goes for newly-laid turf too: wait at least a year.

    After this, established lawns should ideally be scarified once a year, or at least once every couple of years so that you can keep on top of the problem and ensure your carefully planned lawn ideas are always looking their best.

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    What Alternatives Are There To Scarifying

    Experienced gardeners scarify their lawn at least once a year if necessary. However, if you dont want to have a sparse lawn in front of your eyes for several weeks, you can meet the problem with continuity.

    Instead of slitting the sod with knives once, the lawn is aerated after each mowing. Heres how to do it right:


    • The lawn has not mutated into a completely mossy meadow
    • A stable, high-quality feather broom is available
    • After each mowing, break off the grass surface thoroughly with the spring broom
    • Moss and clippings that are not collected are continuously removed

    If all other measures of professional lawn care are carried out in the garden, you can save yourself scarifying every year thanks to this persistence.

    Since you will encounter each weed individually during this activity, you can simply cut out unwanted guests, such as dandelions and the like, with the weed cutter.

    What Are The Benefits Of Scarifying In The Uk

    What is Scarifying? Why You Need To Do The Task?  Amaze Vege Garden

    Too much thatch within a lawn leads to an undergrowth, which can prevent water and nutrients from getting to the base of your grass. Thoroughly scarifying your lawn can ensure that it is free of debris, grows evenly and attractively, and is getting the right levels of nutrients. You can also scarify and reseed your garden, allowing new grass seeds to receive adequate levels of moisture and nutrients.

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    Prepare The Lawn For Dethatching

    Before you get stuck in scarifying, make sure you spend a couple of weeks preparing your lawns for an experience that may shock it. To rake successfully with scarifying tools, you will need to ensure the grass is dry and short.


    Start mowing the lawn shorter and shorter over a fortnight. This achieves two things: reducing the risk of shock and allowing air to access the soil and dry the grass quicker. However, you dont want the ground itself to be too dry as the lawn needs a sound foundation from which to grow once you have scarified it.

    During this process, you may notice that moss is present. Fortunately, scarifying lawn to remove moss is perfectly safe.

    Help My Lawn Looks Terrible After Scarification

    Even if you scarify at the best time of the year, your lawn may look terrible immediately after its scarification. Provided that you have scarified at the right time of the year, you dont have anything to worry about. After several weeks of strong grass growth, your lawn will look much better and will, eventually, look much healthier than it did before you started. To help your lawn recover, you should:

    • water the lawn after it has been scarified
    • overseed the lawn, particularly where there are bare patches .

    Good luck. In time, you will have an amazing lawn .

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    Our Range Of Scarifiers

    At Sims Garden Machinery we sell a wide variety of scarifiers within our comprehensive range of garden machines and accessories. We have sturdy rakes, both standalone and as attachments for Wolf Garten multi-change handles. We also sell high-quality mechanical scarifiers from brands like STIHL, Toro, and Cobra, with both electric and petrol models. All of our equipment can be delivered across the UK, with a member of our team assembling and demonstrating all products to you upon arrival.

    Browse our fantastic range of scarifiers today.

    When To Scarify Your Lawn For Best Results

    How Deep Should You Scarify? (How To Scarify Your Lawn Effectively)

    In order to control the build-up or remove lawn thatch, you need to scarify.

    Either by raking or de-thatching.

    However, understanding when to scarify is even more important than knowing how to do it.


    Scarify at the right time, in the right conditions and your lawn will recover quickly and look beautiful in no time at all.

    However, do it at the wrong time and youll create more problems than you solve.

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    Lawn Raking Vs Scarifying

    Technically, you can use a spring tine rake to scarify your lawn. This causes confusion when people talk about raking and scarifying as lawn care separate activities. There are also electric lawn rakes, which are slightly different to electric scarifiers, but are often described as the same type of machine.

    In most cases, lawn raking implies a lighter, less intensive process of clearing debris from the surface of your lawn. On the other hand, scarification refers to clearing thatch buildup, which is the source of issues such as moss. Scarification is a more intensive process, and often involves digging into the soil slightly to really claw out the thatch from around the base of the grass plants.


    How Short Should Grass Be Before Scarifying

    Preparation for scarifying To avoid unnecessary damage, you should only scarify when the lawn is dry. If the soil is too wet, the scarifier may also tear out healthy lawn plants. Mow the lawn to a height of two centimeters just before scarifying – this is usually the lowest setting of the lawnmower.

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    Start Looking After Your Lawn

    Our grass can need a helping hand from time to time. It might be growing unevenly, struggling to grow, or is simply not as attractive as it could be. Dethatching is an excellent place to start, and its achievable in just three easy steps.

    However, if youre worried about the health of your lawn, or you simply dont have time to make sure its at its best, consult the lawn care experts who understand grass the best. You may be surprised at how quickly your grass becomes the picture of perfection.

    How Often Should I Scarify My Lawn

    How Often Should You Scarify Your Lawn?

    It depends on how much thatch or moss your particular lawn produces. Shady lawns are more prone to moss, for example so they need more regular scarifying. Most lawns benefit from annual scarifying. A lawn that hasnt been scarified for a long time is likely to need some intensive work, so making scarification part of your annual routine means that the job is easier each time.


    If the thatch layer reaches 2cm deep , you should scarify annually. If its under 1cm in depth, you can scarify every other year.

    TOP TIP: grass cuttings left on the lawn after mowing mulch down into thatch much more quickly, making more regular scarification necessary. Avoid extra work by clear cuttings after mowing.

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    A Note About Scarifying Tools

    Depending on the size of your lawn, you might choose to scarify manually or with a powered machine.

    At the end of the day, the type of tool you use is up to. However, in my opinion, good rated lawn scarifiers are powered machines which have changeable cassettes one for raking and another for de-thatching.

    Not only do they make the job easier on your back and hands, but you can do both jobs with the same machine.

    How To Scarify Your Lawn In March

    If your lawn has a slightly yellow tinge or is looking worse for wear after winter, its a good time to break out the scarifier.

    While scarifying your lawn in March, it is best to use a manual tool or a springbok rake to give the grass a more gentle treatment as the new growth continues to emerge.

    To manually scarify your lawn, you should:

    • Remove weeds first
    • Vigorously rake/ roll the tool over the top of your lawn in long strips to lift the surface thatch
    • Change direction and work the opposite way to where you started
    • Add the thatch to your compost heap to enrich your garden soil
    • Leave your lawn for a few days to settle before adding a fertiliser

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    When To Scarify Your Lawn In Spring

    Perform light scarifying of your lawn during late spring, sometime in April. This is usually when the weather begins to warm up, which in turn increases the growth and recovery rate of thatch and moss. Avoid scarifying and de-thatching in summer as the heat and dryness during this season slow growth substantially.

    When Is Raking An Alternative To Scarification

    How to scarify and aerate your own lawn (explained)

    While scarifying is the best procedure for removing thatch from beneath the lawn surface, raking is best for removing moss. Moss doesnt lay as deep in the lawn, so can simply be raked by a manual or powered model to pull the moss out of the grass. If theres both moss and thatch in your lawn, its best to rake out the moss before carrying out scarification.

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    Final Thoughts On When To Scarify And Reseed Lawn

    Scarifying your lawn the right way is important to have healthy and lush looking grass. Its hard work, however, and you need to have the right tools for the job.

    Make sure you wear old shoes not flip flops as youre working with spikey machinery, so you need to protect your feet. Also, wear a pair of suitable water-resistant garden gloves with a decent grip.

    You might also need to wear a face mask not to inhale earth dust that the air will blow towards you. But then, everyone wears a face mask these days, so youre bound to have one available.

    Remember, this is not a job of destruction but more of enabling.

    Youre simply breaking up the larger clumps of the earth, so they are less compacted and will allow more untroublesome growth for the roots of the grass.

    Youre also cleaning up the surface of the grass so that nothing stops that grass from growing.

    A few days later, when things have settled down, is a great time to reseed with the soil all prepped from the scarification, reseeding will enable regrowth, and your lawn will be young and lush again.

    My preference for irrigation was only to the point where the soil was damp. Once you get started, youll see what I mean.

    I hope you take as much pride in your work as I did. There is something so satisfying in watching the rebirth of your luscious lawn and knowing you made it happen.

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    When To Scarify A Lawn

    Ideally, the best indication of whether or not to scarify your lawn is if its appearance displays a yellow tinge. If so, prep up the scarifier because its time to start scarifying your lawn. However, you might find it best to scarify your lawn during late spring and early fall. During this time, the condition of the ground and the weather is perfect for scarification.

    You dont want to scarify during the summer season under the scorching heat.

    There is perfect timing to everything including lawn scarification!

    Aside from developing a yellow tinge appearance, most garden experts suggest that it is best to scarify the lawn when the grass is growing fast.

    If you scarify the grass during the early stage of its growing period, then you are risking your entire lawn.

    The secret is to be patient.

    Do not scarify during winter because it will expose the roots of the grass to cold temperatures making it difficult for the grass to recover.

    Most importantly, scarification is an extreme and literally ground breaking process for the grass, hence observing good weather conditions to help them recover fast. revolutionary

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    Why Moss Removal Is Good For Your Lawn

    When you have lots of moss growing on your lawn it will act as competition for the water and nutrients the grass on your lawn requires to grow healthily.

    If you have moss growing on your lawn removing it is only the first stage as the moss wont directly kill your grass but the conditions moss requires for growing in is bad for grass and that will eventually kill it.

    This means after you have removed them off you will have to start to treat your one better by making sure that is sufficient drainage and feed it fertilizer to help it grow healthy and green.

    Moss does like to grow in the shade so if you have any large overhanging trees that cause shade on your lawn and you want to stop moss growing back you may have to thin out the tree to allow more light and less shade on your lawn.

    Scarifying your lawn will rip out most of the moss but it is a waste of time if you dont take action to change the condition of the soil to one that is more suitable for growing grass and less suitable for the moss to continue growing and thriving in.

    Read my article on a scarified lawn that looks like a disaster by

    Why Should You Scarify Your Lawn

    Professional Lawn Scarification Service  Mow and Go

    Scarification should be carried out at least once a year to remove any organic matter such as thatch and moss formed around the base of your lawn. It also helps tidy up any straggly lateral growth.

    For those of you out there who dont know, thatch is your lawns upper layer that consists of decaying leaves and other plant materials. If it is not tended to in a timely manner, thatch dries out, thickens and creates a barrier through which moisture and nutrients have a hard time passing. And this leads to your grassroots suffocating.

    Thus, scarification needs to be performed in order to remove such thick thatch layers.

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    Why Scarify Your Lawn

    Scarifying helps to improve the health of your lawn in a few different ways.

    Firstly, by removing thatch, youre making it easier for sunlight and warmth to reach the stems and roots of your grass, helping to facilitate photosynthesis.

    And secondly, by removing dead organic matter, youre improving airflow to the roots of the grass, allowing it to breath. The amount of aeration will depend on how deep you make the incisions into the soil as you scarify. But even if you just rake away the thatch, this will still help your lawn get more air amongst the grass blades, helping with aeration.

    With a proper lawn scarifier, youll also be able to cut the stolons, which are lateral shoots of grass that your lawn mower cant reach, encouraging healthier grass growth.

    Learn How To Revive A Lawn After Scarifying

    Its only natural to feel a bit shocked when you see how thin and unhealthy your lawn looks after dethatching. But dont worry, this is only temporary!

    Purchase lawn seed and over sow the lawn where you notice extreme patchiness. Fertilising the lawn with high potassium fertiliser may also be helpful. Fertiliser helps to protect against disease and give your grass a quick health boost.

    Finally, dont underestimate the value of watering. An irrigation system can help provide a consistent amount of water, but regular watering while your grass grows can be all it takes to have your lawn looking beautiful once more.

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    When To Use A Lawn Scarifier

    The ideal time to scarify your lawn can vary depending on your location and the weather, but as a guide the best time is when the turf growth is at its most prolific. This growing season is normally in the autumn or late spring. As far as frequency goes, once a year is normally sufficient, or more often if your lawn is in bad condition with a lot of moss growth. Scarifying your lawn can take its toll on the grass and roots so you should always err on the side of caution.

    How Can You Prevent Thatch Development

    Why, When and How to Scarify your Lawn

    Thatch is often caused by environmental consequences, but it can accumulate excessively when lawns are neglected. Natural factors that cause thatch include soils with a low pH or a high sand content, as they have less microorganisms to decompose thatch. Fertilising a lawn with too much nitrogen causes rapid growth of shoots in thatch, and overwatering prevents decomposition as it hinders microorganism health. Oxygen flow can also be prevented by over-watering or soil compaction, which creates poor conditions for microorganisms.

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    When Should You Mow Your Lawn After Scarifying

    Regular mowing will encourage strong regrowth, and a flat, healthy lawn. However, after scarifying, you’ll want to give the turf time to recover. According to the UK Lawn Care Association , it’s best to wait until the regrowth has reached about 60mm in height before you start mowing again.

    Keep the blades relatively high to start with, and as always, avoid mowing in wet or frosty weather, or straight after rain. You can find out how to mow a lawn in our guide, whilst our buying guide to the best lawn mower will come in handy if you need an update.


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