What is the best way to scarify my lawn?

What is the best way to scarify my lawn?

Are you a green-fingered garden enthusiast, keen to brush up on your seasonal gardening preparation and techniques?

If you’re looking for tips to make your lawn look its best, scarifying is a technique that could help.

Here we discuss what a lawn scarifier can do for your lawn and the best way to scarify your lawn.

What does a scarifier do to a lawn?

If you’re new to gardening, have taken on a large lawn recently, or are looking for ways to repair your grass after a hot summer – using a lawn scarifier could help.

A scarifier, sometimes referred to as a dethatcher, is a garden power tool that is designed to cut through the soil, helping to remove dead moss and thatch as well as other debris.  This will also help to aerate the soil, allowing moisture and nutrients to penetrate the soil and feed the grassroots.

What is the best way to scarify your lawn?

Knowing how to use a scarifier is key to getting the best out of your power tool and results for your grass.

There are two methods for scarifying your lawn, using a rake or using an electric or petrol scarifier.

Using a rake can be back-breaking work, especially if you have a large lawn to cover so a powered scarifier will save you effort and time while delivering consistent results. 

How to use a lawn scarifier?

  1. First, it is best to cut your lawn down to a short length of around 2cm, collecting the clippings for disposal. 
  2. Next, use a scarifier on a gentle height setting to go over the lawn in straight lines.  This will start to remove thatch from your lawn and loosen thicker areas. 
  3. Now slightly lower the height of the scarifier and go over your lawn again but this time at right angles to the first pass.  This will remove most of the loose thatch still left.  It is best not to remove all of the thatch during one scarification session as a small amount can protect the roots allowing your lawn time to recover. 
  4. If doing this in the autumn, two passes with a scarifier are usually sufficient.  Ensure this is done well in advance of any frosts.  If you want to scarify during the spring, several passes will be fine as your lawn will have started to dry out from winter moisture.

Is it worth buying a lawn scarifier?

If you’re wondering if your lawn needs scarifying and if it is worth buying a lawn scarifier power tool, we have some pointers to help you decide.

If you have a large lawn area to scarify then a lawn scarifier will be extremely useful, as it will save you time if carrying out all the work manually with a rake. If you struggle to do such large jobs manually and wish to protect your back then a power tool can be very helpful too.

When to scarify your lawn?

Timing is key to scarifying and planning for the best time to scarify your lawn is important.

Ideally, you should scarify your lawn in the spring as the ground has less moisture and the grass has recovered from any excess rain, snow and frost over the winter period. 

However, if you scarify during spring, you could potentially have a patchy lawn over the summer months so to prevent this you can also scarify in the autumn, well ahead of any frosts, snow or heavy rainfall.  If scarifying in the autumn, two passes are usually sufficient as a little bit of leftover thatch will help protect your lawn over winter.

What month should you scarify a lawn?

  • Specifically, September and October are the best months to scarify during Autumn. 
  • March to May is best during spring providing the ground isn't too wet.

NB: If you are not sure how many times a year you should scarify your lawn, we would recommend no more than twice per year.  Once in spring then once in autumn will be sufficient.

What is the difference between raking and scarifying a lawn?

Knowing if you need a lawn scarifier will depend on the job you need to do.

A rake will remove thatch and moss from your lawn's surface and is an easy way to clean up your lawn.  However, when you scarify your lawn, you penetrate and pull up thatch and moss that is more deeply rooted into your lawn.  A scarifier won't fully aerate your lawn but it will help with aeration, unlike raking.

Does a scarifier remove grass?

A scarifier won't cut or remove grass like a traditional lawn mower but instead cuts through the soil and removes any dead grass and moss.  This leaves the healthy grass behind and by penetrating the soil, it allows for moisture, nutrients and sunlight to feed the grass roots helping to make your lawn healthier.

Finally, is it worth scarifying your lawn…

Scarifying your lawn is a job worth doing and is a great technique for improving the condition and regrowth of your grass.

A scarifier will remove any thatch and moss covering the base of the lawn which can stop water, nutrients and sunlight from penetrating the ground to feed your lawn and make it healthy.  If left untreated, thatchy or mossy lawns also aren't too attractive and can be a little patchy.

Take a look at our cordless lawn scarifier power tools and accessories.