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Letting Your Lawn Breathe

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Letting Your Lawn Breathe Aerating Your

The title of this article might be something to make people smile but it has a serious reason behind it. Your lawn needs to breathe just like any other living thing and in doing so allows for your grass leaves - taking nutrients from the soil beneath it - to grow and look and stay healthy.The most popular way of doing this is 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.


Thatch is one of those problems that the gardener has to cope with year in and year out. It is something that if left untreated can cause your lawn to struggle with new growth and indeed as a result of Thatch your lawn is prone to fungi and other lawn diseases, which can eventually - if not dealt with - kill the grass off altogether.

Thatch is a build up of dead grass that has been missed during the mowing process. As your mow your lawn the clippings fall into the grass beneath and it can form a straw-like covering, which - if left un-raked - will dry out and form a blanket covering under the grass stems and above the soil.

This layer of dead and decomposing grass then forms a barrier keeping in moisture and humidity and allowing airborne spores for such things as Toadstools and Puffballs to take hold and germinate.

Tips and Advice

Regularly mowing your lawn in the summer is of course a must as is scarifying it. Once the lawn has been mowed you should follow behind with a rake and gather together all the cut grass, bagging it up or collecting it in a compost box.

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.

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 is free to provide your grass with all the growth it should have.

Allowing your lawn the opportunity to breathe using this method is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that you have healthy, deep green grass throughout the growing seasons and also it goes a long way to ensuring that during the autumn and winter months your lawn can sustain itself and continue to look attractive and problem free until spring comes round again.

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