Mad About Lawns

Scarifying Your Lawn – All You Need To Know

Scarifying a lawn is an important step in maintaining a healthy and lush lawn. This process involves removing the buildup of dead grass, moss, and other debris from the surface of the lawn. The benefits of scarifying a lawn are numerous and include improved drainage, increased air circulation, and a thicker, greener lawn.

Benefits to Scarifying

One of the main benefits of scarifying a lawn is improved drainage. A buildup of dead grass, moss, and other debris can cause water to accumulate on the surface of the lawn, leading to poor drainage and waterlogged soil. Scarifying the lawn removes this buildup, allowing water to penetrate the soil more easily and reducing the risk of waterlogging.

Another benefit of scarifying a lawn is increased air circulation. A buildup of dead grass, moss, and other debris can suffocate the roots of the grass, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the soil. This can lead to a weaker and less healthy lawn. Scarifying the lawn removes this buildup, allowing more air to circulate around the roots of the grass, promoting stronger and healthier growth.

Another benefit of scarifying a lawn is that it helps to create a thicker, greener lawn. A buildup of dead grass, moss, and other debris can prevent new grass from growing, leading to thin and patchy areas on the lawn. Scarifying the lawn removes this buildup, allowing new grass to grow more easily and creating a thicker, greener lawn.

In addition, scarifying also helps to control weeds, moss and thatch. Weeds grow best in compacted soil, and scarifying helps to loosen the soil and create a better-growing environment for your grass. Moss is a common problem in shaded and damp areas, and scarifying helps to reduce the moss by removing the thatch that moss thrives on. Thatch is a layer of dead grass and other organic matter that can build up on the surface of a lawn, preventing water, air and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass.


In conclusion, scarifying a lawn is an important step in maintaining a healthy and lush lawn. It improves drainage, increases air circulation, creates a thicker, greener lawn, and controls weeds, moss and thatch. It is important to have a regular schedule of scarifying your lawn to ensure that it remains in top condition all year round. For best results, it is recommended to scarify your lawn once or twice a year.

The best time to scarify your lawn.
We are the most recommended company to scarify your lawn or lawns.
Scarifying to us is an art form, we have been scarifying lawns for many years and we always get the best results.
When we scarify your lawn or lawns, we always hollow-tine aerate them afterwards as well as re-seed or over-seed the lawn or lawns.
We do this as part of our moss and thatch removal and repair to your lawn.
Raking or scarifying your lawn, whether it be for thatch or moss, is in the long term an extremely beneficial procedure but in the short term, it can make a right old mess of it. Though it will recover and be better than ever, getting there in the shortest possible time is our ultimate objective.

Seasonal Timing

So many times I see people doing a thoroughly good job with their scarifying but at the wrong time of year or in the wrong conditions. This means the lawn is an eye sore for weeks if not months afterwards. You may also cause damage to your otherwise healthy grass plants thereby worsening the problem. Makes me shudder!

Time your programme according to the ability of the lawn to recover. This means warmth, sun and rain whilst avoiding cold, heat or drought. In other words, you need good growing conditions and if your lawn isn’t growing well before scarifying then it won’t grow well afterwards leaving you with a much-disfigured lawn!

Spring: Raking & Light Scarifying

Light de-thatching or scarifying and moss removal can be done in spring and or autumn. Spring generally means sometime in April just as things warm up thereby increasing the growth and recovery rate but before the heat and dryness of summer slow things down. Autumn would generally be late August or September as the rains start but before the cold sets in.

Autumn: Heavy Scarifying

For heavy thatch or moss infestations requiring deeper scarifying or raking then try to stick to the autumn period. Why?

Heavy raking or scarifying is going to seriously thin the lawn leaving soil exposed in many places. This makes an ideal seedbed not only for overseeding with new and improved grass seed but also for all the weed and weed grass seeds floating around. By confining this intensive treatment to August or September you will avoid the bulk of the year’s weed seeds. If you do this in spring you’ll just replace your moss or thatch problem with a weed problem! Having said that, there are a few exceptions when spring is the best time:

It is better to rake or scarify in spring if you were unable to do it the previous autumn perhaps due to bad weather rather than put it off. Keep putting it off from autumn to autumn could mean you’ll have a bigger problem than a few weeds!
If the area to be scarified is shady. Shady areas will thin over winter and thicken up from spring onwards. Therefore if you scarify in autumn you’ll just make things worse.
If the area is under trees. The shade from trees plus the autumn fall of leaves will reduce grass health and vigour but in spring – late March through April – the trees are barely allowing maximum light to your lawn enabling good growth and maximum opportunity for new grass seed to get growing.
Ready the Lawn for Scarifying or Raking
Planning ahead is important. You need short dry grass for raking or scarifying so bring the grass height down gradually over a week or two beforehand. This doesn’t shock the grass whilst also allowing air deeper into the turf helping dry the grass.


If you have any weeds in your lawn then you can manually remove them but don’t use any weed killer. Scarifying within a few weeks of weed killer application disrupts the weed-killing process and in addition, may cause seed germination issues if you are going to overseed after scarifying. Scarifying can help control some creeping weeds though.

The final bit of preparation is to have good soil moisture so that the lawn recovers as quickly as possible afterwards. If there is too much (soft ground) or too little (dry hard soil) you need to either wait until the conditions improve, assist them to improve or not rake or scarify at all.

The day before attacking the lawn mow it as close as possible without scalping. Long grass just creates resistance to the scarifier with ultimately more rubbish to collect. Dry grass and moss make life a lot easier as well. Plan to rake on a dry day with no dew around. The afternoons are often best. If the weather doesn’t play ball, keep the grass short until you get another raking opportunity.