7 Top Scarification Tips

Lawn scarification is an essential lawn maintenance task. It removes dead organic matter from your lawn, allowing your grass roots to get all the vital nutrients they need and prevent the spread of weeds. Check out our top 7 lawn scarifying tips.

When should I scarify my lawn?

Scarifying your lawn is best done in late March to early April or in late spring when environmental conditions are optimal for grass growth. Lawn scarification also often referred to as de-thatching can often leave your lawn looking like a mess; however by following our 7 lawn scarification tips will help ensure your lawn looks great all year round. 


1. Lay moss killer

Apply moss killer on your lawn 7-10 days before scarification and ensure the moss is dead. Because moss does not have roots if you scarify your lawn before killing it, you are likely to make any moss problem worse by spreading the moss spores around your garden enabling it to grow elsewhere in your lawn. 

2. Make sure your lawn is moist

Water your lawn a couple of days before scarification and avoid scarifying your lawn if it is wet. Scarifying your lawn when it is wet may result in your scarifier pulling the grass up by its roots instead of removing just the unwanted layer of thatch or moss. 

3. Over-seed your lawn after scarifying

By digging or scratching into the lawn when removing thatch you are not only allowing oxygen and water to reach the grass roots, but the weed roots too. Sowing additional grass seed after scarification will limit weed growth and help create a thicker, greener lawn which is the perfect defence against weeds and moss too. 

4. Dethatch when the conditions are right

Only detach your lawn when the conditions are suitable for promoting healthy grass growth. Ensure that the weather is going to be warm and the garden will have plenty of sunlight and water after scarifying. Because scarification is extremely stressful for grass, you need to provide ideal growing conditions to ensure it recovers quickly preventing moss, weeds other pests from growing. 

5. Avoid slopes

Avoid deep scarification on sloped areas of the lawn, as rain may wash away any grass seed you lay. Only use a medium scarifying height on these areas to keep the grass seed in place. 

6. Cut the grass

Cut the grass the week prior to scarification. This will help remove excess grass from the lawn and cut though any patches of thatch making it quicker and easier to dethatch your lawn. 

7. Tools to scarify your lawn

Owners of smaller gardens can scarify their lawns using a handheld lawn rake. Fanned rakes are generally the best to use. Manually removing thatch and moss from your lawn can be hard physical work and garden owners sometimes prefer to use electric lawn rakes.

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