When is the Best Time to Scarify a Lawn?
Timing is everything when it comes to keeping your lawn healthy, which is why you should only scarify it at certain times of the year. The best time to scarify your lawn is during the spring and autumn months. This is because these are the two times of the year that your grass will be actively growing, a key phase for the scarification to help rather than hinder progress.
To be clear, we’re talking about April as the earliest month to scarify and September/October as the latest time (before it starts to get cold!).
If scarifying your lawn sounds more like a Halloween prank than something related to gardening, then don’t worry, as this month at Royce Turf & Irrigation, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about the process, including how it benefits your lawn and how often to do it.
What is scarifying?
Let’s start with the basics for those who don’t know what scarification is (if you already know, feel free to jump ahead to find out the benefits).
Scarifying is the process of cutting into the surface of your lawn. This helps to remove moss, thatch and dead grass but also cuts into the grass roots to encourage more growth. Your lawn will essentially go into a state of panic when cut, making more effort to grow – something that is easier for it to do without moss and thatch suffocating the surface.
You can carry our scarifying with a rake, but it takes a lot of effort. It’s recommended that you use an electric scarifier to make life easier and ensure a thorough job is done on larger gardens. You can find both lighter scarification tools as well as heavier ones, depending on what state your garden is in.
What are the benefits of scarifying a lawn?
So what benefits will you reap for the effort put into scarifying your lawn? Well, there are plenty, but here are just a few of the reasons it’s a good idea:
- It removes thatch – this spongy layer can cover your lawn and soak up all the air, water and nutrients, which eventually starves your lawn
- Pruning the roots of your grass – this is the part that encourages new growth to give you a full, lush lawn
- It removes moss – another blight on a lawn, moss can also be removed with scarification
- You can add seed – by scarifying and then spreading seed at the right time, you can restore any patches areas of the lawn, something more difficult when thatch and moss gets in the way
How often should you scarify your lawn?
We’ve established when to scarify your lawn and the benefits, but how often should you do it? This ultimately comes down to how badly your lawn needs it.
Many people only scarify their lawn once a year at most, but if you have a heavy moss or thatch problem because you’ve never scarified it, you might look to do it once in spring and once in autumn.
Be careful not to over-scarify or perform heavy scarification when it isn’t needed, as you’ll make it difficult for your lawn to recover.
Remember: Make sure you weed your lawn before scarifying or you’ll be pruning – and potentially spreading – the roots of weeds, making your weed problem worse in future.
Now that you know when to scarify a lawn, you should be able to maintain a perfectly green and healthy garden. However, if you need more lawn care tips, you can take a look at our other articles for everything from weed removal guides to watering advice.
If your lawn has seen better days and you need replacement turf, new topsoil or you simply want better irrigation, look no further than the experts at Royce Turf & Irrigation. We’re natural turf specialists for the South East of England – including Cobham, Guildford and Kingston – and our team will be happy to help with whatever you need for your garden or property.