Scarification is a thatch control and pruning technique which helps to keep the lawn healthy and promotes a stronger, more health plant and lawn, reducing the risk of disease, weeds and moss issues.
Over time your lawn develops thatch – a fibrous matter made up of dead parts of the grass plant including the crown, stolons and rhizomes. Without removing this dead matter your lawn will quickly deteriorate, making it especially vulnerable to moss, disease, weeds and stress in periods of drought.
If your lawn has too much thatch not only will it suffer from disease, weeds and poor water and nutrient penetration, left to its own devices thatch will start to build in your lawn where the grass starts rooting to it.
A lawn with a lot of thatch might feel spongey under foot, it could also be difficult to cut as the mower will sink into the lawn potentially causing scalping issues.
Once this happens your lawn is at a critical situation as the grass grows roots into the thatch to survive because this is where the water a nutrients are stored, not in the soil which will be dry and nutrient deficient.
Regular scarification will strengthen your lawn against moss and weeds, encouraging thicker growth.
The best time to scarify your lawn partly depends on the time of year. This will ensure that the process works as effectively as possible.
A light scarification can be beneficial during good growing conditions in the summer. However some lawns, particularly fine fescue grass lawns may need scarifying twice within a twelve month period, to allow the lawn to recover back to full heath.
Spring time onwards is the best time to have your lawn scarified as the lawn will recover much more quickly when it starts to grow. Autumn is also acceptable as the lawn will still grow at a quick enough rate to fully recover.
You should not have your lawn scarified in the winter season as grass almost completely stops growing at this time of year, meaning it can take months to recover back to good health. Lawns can take longer to recover when the temperature suddenly plummets. Due to the slow recovery process in winter months, your lawn could also become very muddy. Any frost that is likely due will also have a significant impact on your lawn’s recovery.
Similarly, lawn scarification should not be completed in drought conditions either as grass can become very stressed during these periods.