Scarification is a process that pulls and lifts dead moss and thatch out of your garden lawn.
Some people still use a garden wire rake, but thanks to modern equipment, we now use powered machines that get the job done far quicker and efficiently.
Initially, scarifying a lawn can make it look worse than it was. This is because the machine rakes out all the moss and thatch, often making it look a little bare, but within a few weeks, it should start to look far better than before.
Lawn scarification should be strategically scheduled to ensure that it is followed by favourable weather conditions that assist with the lawn’s recovery. Moss control should be carried out 2-3 weeks in advance, as lawn scarification could end up spreading moss spores across the lawn and making things worse.
It’s a good idea to scarify your lawn every spring and/or autumn.
Scarifying a lawn removes dead grass or thatch as well as moss that builds up, often not seen unless you get up close. During the winter months, this environment, if left untreated, prevents water drainage and thus allows more moss to build up. The soil surface can become suffocated, so it’s beneficial to get rid of this organic matter to keep your lawn looking at its best.
Autumn or late spring are good times to scarify lawns. Scarifying a lawn too early in spring can cause issues as the grass may still be in a dormant state. Ideally, you want to scarify just before the grass begins to start growing.
Absolutely. However, if you have a large area of lawn this may take some time and provide you with a very good workout!
We use machines unless the area is very small or inaccessible for our machine, which is the size of a mower. The use of machines allows us to be more efficient and keep your costs down.
Aerating is a process that spikes the soil or lifts cores of soil from the lawn to allow it to breathe.
Lawns can become compacted over time especially heavily used areas and family lawns. Eventually, the soil becomes so compacted (especially heavy clay soils) that the roots struggle to push their way through the soil hindering their growth and development. It is also one of the main causes of standing water on lawns, areas that flood where the water doesn’t seem to want to drain away.
Spiking a lawn uses a machine fitted with tines and punctures the soil hundreds and thousands of times to a depth of approx. 2 – 4″ to provide drainage and aeration to the soil beneath the grassroots. Whereas the other method uses hollow tines, that puncture the soil and remove a core. These create larger holes which are slightly bigger than a crayon, again, this allows water drainage, oxygen penetration and for roots to expand through the soil.
Yes, you can. Rather than stab the fork into the ground, insert it into the soil as deep as you can then lean back on the fork to “lift” the soil slightly. By doing this you create an air gap which helps drainage and provide oxygen for beneficial microorganisms.
When using machines to aerate a lawn as opposed to a manual rake, the method using hollow tines will deposit cores of soil onto the lawn, which will wash into the soil after a period of rain. Whereas the other method using needle-like tines simply makes a narrow hole often barely noticeable.
The best method by far is using hollow tines to remove a core of soil, as this provides the optimum drainage and aeration.
You should ALWAYS mow the lawn before aerating it and avoid mowing for a week or two. Another good tip is to water the lawn well before aerating, this loosens the soil, especially where it is heavily compacted.