The Ultimate Guide On How To Scarify Your Lawn

  • 12
  • 8
  • 2

Do you have any idea about what scarification is? Or do you have any idea on how to scarify your lawn? Well, the process of scarifying lawn should be considered and must be done every 2 to 3 years to achieve well-manicured lawn. If you have a problem or neglected lawns, moss build up might happen if scarification isn’t observed. Good to know that the process of scarifying your lawn could be done through using a lawn scarifier and the process will be further discussed below.

What Is Scarification?

But before learning the process of scarifying, being familiar with what scarification is must be considered. Well, scarification is referred to be a very crucial operation once you have a lawn. This operation could be best combined with some other operations during spring such as top dressing, applying fertilizer and overseeding. But take note that scarification must be completed first before the other operations.

how to scarify your lawn

Indeed, scarification will improve the quality of your lawn. Along with that, it will also enhance the effectiveness of those other operations which you are to do after. In simpler terms, scarification is a process of removing material that is possible in the form of moss or thatch which would otherwise stop good dense grass growth.

Once into the process of scarifying lawns, two important things must be considered. These are:

  • Do not scarify too early in the spring since it is crucial that the grass is growing reasonably well and also any space made would be filled by the desirable lawn grasses.
  • You should encourage the growth of grass after the process of scarification. And this is where some other operations such as fertilization are considered to be beneficial. Too much fertilization will cause burnt grass and how do you treat burnt grass? Just apply lots of water!

What is a lawn scarifier?

Also known as a dethatcher, a lawn scarifier is the main tool in scarifying a lawn.

What does a scarifier do?

This garden tool works by cutting through the soil. Also, it helps to get rid of dead grass and debris such as grass cuttings. The layer of dead grass plants found on the lawn is called a thatch, thus the dethatcher term in scarifying lawns.

When should you scarify your lawn?

But don’t just scarify because you want to. There is a need for you to know the right time to scarify. You must schedule scarification based on the ability of the lawn to recover. And this would mean sun, rain, and warmth while avoiding drought, heat or cold.

how to scarify your lawn

Or in other words, there is a need for a good growing condition, and once the lawn is not growing well before scarifying, then it will not grow well afterward that would leave you with a disfigure lawn. You actually wouldn’t want that.

Here’s when to scarify your lawn:

Spring – Raking and Light Scarifying

Light scarifying along with moss removal could be done in spring or autumn. Spring would be sometime in April since things warm up, therefore, increasing the growth as well as the recovery rate. And the autumn would be during late August or September once the rain begins but prior the cold to set.

Autumn – Heavy Scarifying

If the case calls for heavy scarifying then doing it during the autumn period is excellent. But why? Heavy scarifying would seriously thin the lawn, therefore, leaving the soil be exposed in many places. This could be an ideal seedbed not just for overseeding but also for almost all the weed and the weed grass seeds that float around.

Heavy scarifying during autumn will also avoid the bulk of the years weed seeds. Weed problem will be experienced if you are to consider doing this during the spring season.

But if you want to scarify during spring period then few exceptions should be considered, and these are as follow:

  • It would be a lot better to scarify in spring once you haven’t been able to do it last autumn due to bad weather. You will have a bigger problem compared to a few weeks if you keep putting it off from autumn to autumn.
  • Once the area is under trees, their shades and the autumn fall of leaves might reduce the health of the grass and vigor. However, during spring, these trees are bare that would allow maximum light to the lawn enabling good growth as well as a maximum opportunity for the new grass seed to grow.
  • On the other hand, if the lawn is shady, it will thin over winter as well as would thicken up from spring and onwards. So, if you will scarify during autumn, then you will make the case worse.

It’s best to know the right time to scarify for best results as well.

Reasons For Scarifying Your Lawn

how to scarify your lawn

But why do you need to how to scarify your lawn? Well, some benefits that you might gain out of scarifying your lawn include the following:

  • The scarifying lawn would remove the organic matter right from the surface of the lawn, therefore, helping it breathe.
  • The moss levels in the lawn will be reduced.
  • It also refreshes the lawn, therefore, helping it to absorb nutrient and water a lot easier.
  • Scarification of the lawn will stop it from becoming spongy as well.
  • And finally, it is considered one of the most beneficial treatments that the lawn could ever receive.

For these reasons, you might be encouraged to scarify your lawn now! But again, beware of the right time for you to do the said operation.

How To Scarify Your Lawn? Item Needed, Prep Time And Steps To Follow

Item Needed: All You Need Is A Lawn Scarifier

Knowing the fact that hand scarification is hard work, it is ideal that you opt to use a machine to do the job. A lawn scarifier is indeed the right choice. Once planning to scarify your lawn, all you need is a lawn scarifier to make the process a lot faster and easier, therefore, leading to better lawn.

how to scarify your lawn

A lawn scarifier also referred as dethatcher is considered as a garden tool which is designed to cut through the soil, therefore, helping to remove the dead moss as well as other debris such as grass cuttings. It has a cutting action that is either powered by electricity or through a manual push action. This helps to aerate the soil then making it a lot healthier, longer lasting and free from any weeds.

Getting Ready

Planning is an important thing to consider. So preparation is a must. Here are some important things to bear in mind before you get going:

  • You would need short and dry grass for scarifying, so you have to gradually bring the grass height down for a week or two first. This will not shock the grass at the same time it would allow air deeper into the turf that helps to dry the grass.
  • Once you have any weeds in the lawn, then it’s best to get them a week before scarifying. Some creeping weeds could be controlled by scarifying the lawn, but nothing is more permanent compared to a little correctly-timed as well as the placed weed killer.
  • There is also a need for you to have good soil moisture for the lawn to recover a lot faster. Once there is too much of soft soil or too little of the dry hard soil there is a need for you to either wait up until the condition improves or assist them in developing or you might choose not to scarify the lawn at all.
  • Mow the lawn without scalping a day before scarifying as much as possible. Long grass would create resistance to the lawn scarifier.

It’s better to be prepared than to go get scarifying the lawn without knowing anything at all about the process. So these preparation tips will help you be prepared as you consider how to scarify your lawn.

Steps To Follow

how to scarify your lawn

And for the step by step procedure on how to scarify your lawn, consider the following:

Step 1. Choosing the right blade.

Once there is a severe thatch problem then the spring type tines that are freely mounted on the axle must be used. But if your target is vertical cutting as well as seedbed preparation, then the more robust kind of blades must be considered.

Step 2. Machine and blade set up.

To set the depth of the blades, consider an inconspicuous area in your lawn and begin the blades by just flicking the tips of the grass. And now, set the machine a bit lower and go over the said small area again. There is a need to dethatch to go as deep as possible having not to disturb the soil’s surface.

And the aim for vertical cutting is that to go deep enough as to root prune the grass so make sure not to enter the soil. The soil should only be disturbed once preparing a seedbed, but the lawn scarifier is not a rotovator. Keep that in mind!

Step 3. Start scarifying by going around the perimeter of your lawn.

Once the desired depth has already been determined through adjusting the front roller, you now go around the perimeter of the lawn for a couple of times since this would save throwing debris into borders at the same time will allow a turning circle at the end of the pass.

You start by going up and down the lawn in straight lines. You must never turn with the blades in the ground. Some machines are being supplied with a grass collection box, so there is a need for a little hand raking to clear up.

If you are working on lawns which have never been scarified would require in many empties of the box making it a lot easier to leave it off as well as clear the debris right after the second pass.

how to scarify your lawn

Step 4. Clear up debris from the first pass.

Once the removed debris still lays on the surface, clear it up using a back-pack blower through blowing it off to a place wherein it could be picked up. But this debris must be reasonably dry. You might use the large plastic scarifying rake for removing the bulk of the debris. It might be a lot easier to rake in the direction of the last machine pass compared to across direction.

Step 5. Proceed to the second pass.

And after the first pass has been cleared up, you can now proceed to a second pass however it should not be at right angles to the first set should be on a diagonal one. You might leave the debris from the first pass on your lawn once there is not too much bulk as for saving a raking process and only have your serious clearing up right after.

Step 6. Clearing up.

The last thing that you want to happen is to clear up debris that has become wet due to light rainfall so always keep an eye on the weather. And this is the reason why it is recommended that you clear as you go in case the weather turns bad or against you.

If you are clearing up, like you are sweeping or blowing, you must work in the same direction as to how you scarified the lawn. Once you clear up at right angles as scarification, you might miss some debris. After scarifying your lawn, you must always mow the lawn again in different directions to the scarification.

There you have it! These are the steps on how to scarify your lawn. Just be guided by these steps, and you will definitely scarify your lawn successfully, and a beautiful lawn will be achieved as well. For more help, watch this.

Final Thoughts on How to Scarify your Lawn

So, are you now planning to scarify your lawn? If yes then you could follow the steps provided above. It is essential that you are equipped with the process of scarification before doing the actual job. Indeed, scarifying must never be neglected as it allows you to give grass on the lawn a real good clean. And do it once, twice or even thrice a year! You want to reap the benefits of scarification. So, what are you waiting for? Scarify your lawn too!

how to scarify your lawn

Did you find the article helpful? I hope so you did! We want to hear your thoughts so please leave your comments below! Share this article and hit like as well!


© Raymond Alexander Kukkee

Raymond is a freelance author and writer who practices traditional and experimental gardening using natural, sustainable methods in the challenging Zone 3 environs of Northwestern Ontario. Read more articles by Raymond.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Pin It on Pinterest