Scarification is a very important part of keeping your lawn in good condition because it removes excessive thatch. Thatch is a build up layer of surface and sub-surface dead grass, grass clippings and moss that can accumulate over many years. Too much thatch will cause deterioration in the quality of your lawn because it chokes the lawn and prevents nutrient, air and water from being efficient in the sward and rootzone, as a result the grass becomes thin, patchy and is prone to dying off quickly in times of drought. Removing this layer encourages fresh, more resilient grass growth.
How often should I scarify my lawn?
Every lawn is different and many factors will dictate how often your lawn should be scarified. For example a fine fescue lawn is likely to build up thatch quicker than a coarse rye grass lawn therefore will require more regular scarification to keep it in good condition. Other factors such as bacterial activity in the soil and how the lawn is mowed can make a difference to how quickly thatch builds up. As a general rule we would advise scarification at least every other year.
What time of year should I scarify?
The optimum time of year to carry out scarification or general lawn renovation is during the autumn months from mid August to October. This is because the soil is warm and autumn moisture will assist natural recovery and seed germination as you go into the winter.
Spring can also be a good time for a light scarify or de-thatch but we advise against heavy scarification in the spring as cool soil temperatures and dry weather can hamper recovery as you go into the summer.
When should I not scarify?
Mid summer and mid winter (when the grass is not growing) are the wrong times to scarify your lawn. Some lawn care companies have been known to scarify lawns during the incorrect season simply because it’s their quiet time. Lawntech will never recommend scarification at the wrong time of the year.
If the lawn is too dry, too wet, frozen or covered in snow it is the wrong time.
What type of scarifying machines do Lawntech use?
As with all of our services Lawntech only use the very best professional turf care machines that are available on today’s market, with no expense spared. We have a wide selection of professional pedestrian scarifiers for small and medium size lawns and bigger ride-on scarifiers for large lawns, estates and sports grounds. View our videos to see us in action!
JIM: A really important factor when keeping a lawn in good condition is to control the thatch levels. Thatch is a build up of dead moss and tissue from the plants which build up over time. Some lawns are more prone to thatch than others, this could be due to the grass type or the soil type or many other underlying factors. What we do to control thatch is to Scarify. This is the process of raking out the dead material down to a level which is acceptable and will help the lawn to thrive in the future.
A spring time rake really isn’t the answer for scarifying out all of this thatch. What we really need to use is a professional machine which will do the job properly.
So now as you can see I’ve done one pass with the Scarifier and it’s produced an awful lot of thatch. All this was in the sward and was actually choking the lawn.
CHRIS: This is Lawntech’s heavy Scarifier, we use this for our larger lawns. It’s a very good efficient bit of kit. The beauty of it is we use these spinning flail blades which remove the thatch out of the lawn, transfer it up through the auger and into the hopper in the rear. In doing so as it’s all compacted away we can then take it from the lawn and put it anywhere we want and it leaves a clean job.
This lawn was in particularly bad condition with quite a lot of build up of thatch at the base of the plant. As you can see in some areas we’ve taken it right back hard with our heavy duty Scarifier. Now in the soiled areas that’s good that goes to show we have removed a significant amount of thatch. This lawn is now ready to be aerated with our large tractor aerator and then we’ll over seed it bringing the lawn back to perfect health.
JIM: We call it bringing a little bit of green keeping to the garden.