Scarification is a mechanical treatment that removes the layer of thatch and dead moss from your lawn that has built up over the year. The process enables airflow, nutrients and moisture to reach the root zone. Scarification results in a healthier lawn, less prone to moss, weed, and fungal attack.
What Is Thatch?
Thatch is a natural build-up of dead leaves, dead and living grass, moss and root stems between the base of the grass and the soil bed.
Your lawn will feel ‘spongy’ underfoot if there is too much thatch; typically anything over 12 mm. As well as feeling like a sponge it acts like a sponge withholding valuable water, air, and nutrients from the grassroots. Conversely, a little thatch is beneficial;
- It does not hold valuable nutrients away from the soil and grass roots.
- Is sufficient to cushion and protect the valuable crowns of the grass plant
- Insulate the soil from the drying effects of wind and sun.
Why Do We Scarify?
Scarification removes organic matter from around the base of the grass plants. Scarification removes this material, in the form of thatch or moss that will otherwise prevent good dense grass growth. If you do not scarify, debris will build up and lead to other problems. Thatchy and mossy lawns are not very tolerant of either drought or wear.
Scarification should be carried only when the grass has a chance to recover quickly. It is important that the grass is growing fairly well. Any space created should be filled by desirable lawn grasses. This is where other operations like fertilization and overseeding will be beneficial.
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Blue Iris Lawn Care use Professional Scarifying equipment. The machine has a series of sharp tungsten blades that rotate at high speed and cut vertically into the turf. The blade depth on the machine can be adjusted so that as much or as little thatch and moss can be removed. As part of an annual lawn care programme, only a light scarification may be required and may only have a minor effect on the immediate appearance of your lawn. As part of a lawn renovation programme, scarification is a labour intensive job where that will start to undo the thatch build-up and decline of your lawn. Scarification is an essential part of a lawn care treatment plan.
How Often Should You Scarify Your Lawn
All lawns are different in their characteristics and it is therefore very difficult to predict how often to scarify a lawn. There are a number of factors that will affect the frequency required. If a lawn contains large amounts of thatch and moss it may need a number of treatments to reduce the level to a manageable one. Different grass types tend to produce more thatch than others and therefore need scarifying more frequently.
Blue Iris Lawn Care recommend scarifying healthy lawns every year when the grass is actively growing. This allows the lawn to recover quickly especially as the process on a healthy lawn is not as drastic compared with that undertaken on a severely neglected lawn. We carry out the majority of lawn scarifications during early autumn and early spring – September/October and March/April.