How to scarify your lawn and when to do it

A healthy lawn will have thatch but having too much of the thatch can damage your garden which will in turn encourage diseases and moss that will affect your lawn. Therefore, in order to maintain a great lawn, you need to scarify your lawn once or twice in a year. Read through to understand how to scarify your lawn quickly.

What is thatch?

This is the layer that forms between the grass and the soil and is formed by the build-up of dead and the living grass. As already mentioned, having a thin layer of thatch is important to your lawn. It will protect the soil and grass from the harsh weather conditions and diseases that could easily affect them.

What does too much thatch do?

A thick layer of thatch will prevent the sunlight, water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots. In addition, the layer will form a habitat that’s suitable for pests and diseases. That is why you will find it difficult trying to maintain a lawn with more thatch in terms of disease and pest control.

What is to scarify your lawn?

Before getting to how to scarify your lawn, first its good to understand what is scarification. This is a process used to remove excess thatch from your lawn. Moss that is likely to develop as a result of too much thatch uses spores to breed. Therefore, removing thatch will eliminate the spores and inhibit the growth of the moss. In other terms, it’s the removal of organic matter just below the stem of the plant in order to maintain a healthy growing environment for the grass above and below the surface.

When to scarify your lawn?

You can do it once or twice in a year. If you are going to do it twice in a year do it at the beginning of the mowing season and again before the winter season. Avoid doing the process in the summer or winter months. It is important to note that shady areas would require you to scarify only once in a year.

How to prepare your lawn for scarification?

Before you can scarify your lawn, make sure that the grass is short. Longer grass will require a lot of time to achieve the required results. Use a lawn mower to cut the grass a few weeks before you intend to scarify your lawn. Utilize the sun after scarifying to enable the grass to grow and redevelop again. This is the exact reason why you need to observe the weather before you can scarify your lawn.

What you will need to scarify your lawn?

Now that you have decided to scarify your lawn, what are some of the tools that you will require? The process can either be done using a manual scarifier or a powered scarifier.

After scarifying, what next?

Add fertilizer to encourage growth of the grass and water lightly to help the grass grow quicker and thicker. For the bald areas in your lawn, use grass seed that is specifically for this purpose. This will fill in the areas that didn’t have grass.

Lawn scarification tips: – how to scarify your lawn the right way

Let’s now look at some of the lawn scarification tips that you need to follow

  • Scarify when the lawn is moist. If there has been a rain shower, then it presents a perfect time for you to perform the process. Avoid scarifying your lawn when wet, as this would result to pulling the grass together with the roots using the scarifier. This would lead to more compaction as opposed to removing the thatch.
  • Use moss killer. Before you can do the scarification, apply moss killer 7-10 days prior. If you do not kill the moss before scarification, you risk having the moss spores spread over the lawn and by this, you won’t have solved the problem of excess thatch. Remember, the moss can easily be transferred from one point to another.
  • Avoid the sloppy parts of your lawn. Rain water might wash away the grass that you lay after scarification.
  • Over seed your lawn after scarifying. By opening up the soil when removing the thatch, you will be allowing oxygen, water and nutrients to reach the roots; therefore you could promote the growth of weeds. In addition, by over-seeding, you will be limiting the growth of weed roots as well.
  • Cut the grass. Before you can scarify your lawn, cut the grass to the recommended height. This need to be done a week before.
  • Only scarify when the conditions are right. Wait until the conditions are right and favorable. Perform when the weather is warm and the garden has a lot of sunlight and water. You need to have the conditions right for the grass to redevelop after scarification.

Having a thick layer of thatch on your lawn will do more harm than good. For the best practice, lawn scarification needs to be done once or twice in a year depending on several factors. Improve the soil aeration and boost the growth of a healthy lawn. Use the tips discussed above to understand how to scarify your lawn.

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