Home > Lawn Care > Lawn Scarification

Lawn Scarification

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Lawn Scarification Annual Lawn Chores

What is Lawn Scarification?

Lawn scarification is the process of raking your lawn to help prevent the build up of Thatch and decaying organic materials that can build up and in turn provide humid moist conditions for fungal lawn diseases to take hold.

Scarification can be carried out either manually - using a rake that will allow you to pull Thatch free from your grass - or mechanically - using a machine with tungsten blades that rotate at high speed and cut into the grass or turf vertically.

Does My Lawn Need To Be Scarified?

You may think that your lawn is growing as it should be but all the time there is the danger of Thatch building up and paving the way for diseases such as Mushroom Fairy Ring, Red Thread or fungal infections like Toadstools or Puffballs. Thatch builds up without you actually knowing it and comes about principally after you have cut your lawn.

It is easy to rake up the grass cuttings but there is always a modicum of cuttings that go trodden under foot or do not catch hold on the rake which then sink to a level at the base of the grass stems. Once they have sunk to this depth they provide a covering between the grass stem and the soil, which leads to humidity and moisture; the prime sources of development for the aforementioned diseases. (For more information on these diseases and their treatments look at our article Common Lawn Diseases).

Scarifying your lawn helps reduce the build up of Thatch and therefore helps reduce the risks of your lawn being infected with one of these diseases. Scarifying is not the most fun of gardening jobs it has to be said but it is among one of the most important.

At certain times of the year - and indeed throughout the gardener's calendar - scarification is vital to sustaining a healthy lawn especially in periods when new growth potential is at a high. The spring months are among the most important in the gardener's calendar and as such it is in these months and also in the autumn when growth is slowing down that scarifying should be carried out.

How Often Should I Scarify My Lawn?

Even veteran gardeners ask this question and it is a question that varies from lawn to lawn. Depending on whether or not your lawn is susceptible to disease or fungal infection - the likes of which we have already covered - scarification should be carried out on as and when required basis. If you feed your lawn or fertilise it then you should consider scarifying rigorously before you carry out this task. Scarifying your lawn prior to a feeding or fertilising or indeed planting of new grass seed goes a long way to ensuring a faster recovery.

Also different grass types tend to produce more Thatch build up than others and so require scarifying more often. Likewise, if there is a heavy build up of moss that requires treatment with chemicals then scarifying becomes something that has to be carried out more often to try and reduce the amount of moss and therefore the number of chemical treatments.

If you can reduce the amount of Thatch or moss by scarifying this will obviously reduce the number of chemical treatments required and therefore reduce the amount of chemicals introduced into your soil, thus helping to keep the soil nutrient endowed and therefore free to provide your grass with all the growth it should have.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Ren
    Re: Problems With a New Lawn
    Hi moved into a new build last June, they turfed our garden but the lawn was dead when layed so was turfed again in October but by…
    5 March 2019
  • MacO
    Re: Above Ground & Underground Lawn Pests
    @Cherry Court - it sounds very strange. Are there any drainage pipes in that area which could be causing the…
    21 September 2018
  • Cherry Court
    Re: Above Ground & Underground Lawn Pests
    Hello We have had a problem with a corner of the lawn, which was developed about 14 months ago using compost and…
    20 September 2018
  • arthur
    Re: Problems With a New Lawn
    AS bove i had a new turfed lawn put down early june, before it was laid the ground was rotavated,raked, leveled,heeled in,good quality…
    3 March 2018
  • Ady
    Re: Types of Grass
    @Freshman - You need a drought-tolerant grass. Buffalograss is native to the midwest-America and is very hardy - but still needs 1/4" of water per…
    18 December 2017
  • Freshman
    Re: Types of Grass
    Hi Can you please advise me for the best grass seed to grow in Africa Ghana Thanks
    15 December 2017
  • Molly
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Clued-up on Common Lawn Problems?
    Previous neighbours have emptied there water butts into our garden through a hidden pile, then…
    5 October 2017
  • David in Devon
    Re: Adjusting Your Soil's PH
    On the ph advice on lawns, you state that rhododendrons flourish in alkaline soil. Really? If so, you need to inform RHS that they are…
    26 September 2017
  • Col455
    Re: FAQ: Lawn Mowers
    @graham - Have you thought of getting someone like Green Thumb in to treat your lawn. They can spot all the diseases etc and give you the best…
    19 September 2017
  • graham
    Re: FAQ: Lawn Mowers
    I have a lawn that was 1st laid down some 22 years ago and it is on 2 levels with a slope between. It covers approximately 25m x 15m and consists…
    18 September 2017