Lawn Care

When to Scarify Lawns in the UK? | Spring vs Autumn

When to Scarify Your Lawn for the Best Results

When surface thatch is left on a lawn it can cause a variety of issues, ultimately harming the health of your grass. Scarifying is therefore a necessary step to remove thatch buildup, keeping your lawn clean, healthy, and attractive. In this guide from Sims Garden Machinery we’ll look through the best times to scarify your lawn, the process to do so, and some of the benefits this can provide.

How Do You Scarify a Lawn?

When looking to scarify your lawn, you’ll have the option to use handheld tools or motor powered machinery. Before you begin you should spread moss killer over your lawn, to avoid distributing moss during the scarification process. You should also cut your grass to a low height, collecting the clippings if possible. 

To manually scarify a lawn, you can use a rake to gently remove thatch from the lawn, leaving a small amount behind. There are also options for mechanical scarifiers, which may be necessary for larger gardens, or for gardeners looking to avoid the backbreaking work of manual scarification. Powered scarifiers can be used in a similar manner to lawnmowers, though you should also do a second pass of scarifying at a right angle to the first to ensure you fully loosen the thatch. 

After you’ve finished you can use a rake to remove the loose thatch. You can also use a leaf blower to blow it off your lawn.

What Are the Benefits of Scarifying in the UK?

Too much thatch within a lawn leads to an undergrowth, which can prevent water and nutrients from getting to the base of your grass. Thoroughly scarifying your lawn can ensure that it is free of debris, grows evenly and attractively, and is getting the right levels of nutrients. You can also scarify and reseed your garden, allowing new grass seeds to receive adequate levels of moisture and nutrients.

The Best Times to Scarify Your Lawn in the UK

Lawns should typically be scarified once a year, with the best times either in spring or in autumn. You should seek to scarify at times when your grass is growing strongly, as scarifying in periods like winter or the height of summer can cause issues due to either excess cold or dry heat. You will need to prepare your lawn in advance, and ensure that it is suitable for scarification.

Preparing Your Lawn For Scarifying

As already specified, using a moss killer and mowing the lawn to a low height is important before you can begin scarifying. There are some other important things to consider. If you planted your grass seeds or laid out turf recently you should wait before scarifying, leaving at least a year for them to grow.

You should also ensure you only scarify your lawn when it is dry. This is especially important if your lawn is boggy, as scarifying a lawn with pooled water can cause damage to the foundations of your soil. 

When to Scarify a Lawn in Spring

Spring is perfect for the light scarifying of your lawns, with late March or April being the ideal time. You can either use a rake to thoroughly remove thatch, or do two coats with a motorised scarifier. If looking to scarify a shaded garden then spring can be the optimal choice, as your lawn will naturally thin over winter and thicken again during the spring, giving you a beautiful lawn through the summer. Similarly, trees are bare in spring, allowing more light to reach a garden in those months.

When to Scarify a Lawn in Autumn

For more serious issues with thatch and moss, you should look to do heavy-duty scarifying in the Autumn. This can leave soil exposed in your lawn, which is inadvisable in spring due to the higher chance of weeds growing in the summer. If looking to scarify and reseed your lawn, then Autumn would be a better option for you, planting fresh seeds after scarifying.

Our Range of Scarifiers

At Sims Garden Machinery we sell a wide variety of scarifiers within our comprehensive range of garden machines and accessories. We have sturdy rakes, both standalone and as attachments for Wolf Garten multi-change handles. We also sell high-quality mechanical scarifiers from brands like STIHL, Toro, and Cobra, with both electric and petrol models. All of our equipment can be delivered across the UK, with a member of our team assembling and demonstrating all products to you upon arrival. 

Browse our fantastic range of scarifiers today.

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