Some things are harder to explain than others, like quantum physics, contemporary art and how Trump managed to avoid impeachment. Thankfully, lawn scarification is easy to describe: imagine Robocop was a rake, but instead of fighting bad guys, he’s dealing with your thatch and moss build up (which is probably worse than most bad guys) and it’s all done to help water, air and nutrients get through to the soil.
Basically, it’s one of the most important parts of lawn care. Period. And to help you understand it better, we’ve pulled together your complete guide to lawn scarification:
What is this scarification thingy?
Like we quickly explained above, scarification is where you we remove the organic matter from the surface of your lawn to ensure your grass has the healthiest, happiest, cleanest environment to do it’s thang (read: grow) — and by “organic matter” we mean things like dead grass clippings, fallen leaves and every lawn-lover’s nemesis, Monsieur Moss.
It’s sort of like grooming your dog during the moulting season. It’s not the most enjoyable of tasks, but it’s absolutely necessary because it gets rid of all that dull, lifeless, untidy looking hair so the skin beneath has a chance to breathe and get that new coat looking proper lully.
How does one scarify a lawn?
Answer No.1: with a sturdy rake, after a large mug of coffee and regular sized can of Red Bull.
Answer No.2: with a high quality, professional scarifying machine that consists of sharp, tungsten blades that rotate at a ridiculously high speed to make vertical slices in your lawn
One thing’s for sure, the machine we’re talking about above — which is the machine we use — definitely shouldn’t be confused with the sort of machine that’s available on the random aisle of Aldi, which is more of a lawn rake and won’t affect your surface thatch.
When should I scarify my lawn?
Some people will tell you late-winter, others will say early-spring, but ask any of our lawn care legends technicians and they’ll tell you autumn is the best time for a lawn renovation — and that starts with a scarification job. Here’s why: people with lawns tend to like using their lawns, and that is usually in spring and summer. Of course, it’s not just about your convenience because autumn also creates the most suitable conditions for your lawn to recover.
How often should I scarify?
The secret to effective lawn care is to remember that little and often works best, which is why we advise you get your lawn scarified once a year. That’s how to grow the kind of thick sward that will fight off weeds, survive harsh winters and feel like a seventies shag pile rug underfoot.
The other thing worth popping on a post-it note stuck to your fridge is that lawn care treatments tend to work best when combined, so after your lawn has been scarified, we recommend a seeding treatment tol repair any damaged areas of your lawn, and to boost your chances of growing thick and luscious grass. This is because the best overseeding results happen when your soil is so well ventilated it encourages the best seed germination, which is exactly what a scarification treatment achieves.
Why is scarification so important?
Between all that mowing, playing, walking and just general existing, your lawn is definitely gonna develop some serious thatch and moss build up, and if that matted material isn’t scarified as possible, your grass won’t have the space or room to grow. Something about the combination of grass clippings, dead leaves, grass stems and compacted soil is just too tough for water and nutrients to penetrate it on their own.
Now, don’t get us wrong, a little bit of thatch can be pretty healthy for your lawn. But if that thatch layer is allowed to become too thick, your lawn’s health and greenness could be in trouble. We’re talking about a layer of thatch thicker than 2cm, which will be like Peter Schmeichel, keeping out air, water, fertiliser and other much-needed materials, almost suffocating your grass of the essentials it needs to grow.
What can you expect from a Joe’s scarification treatment?
If this is your lawn’s first time being scarified, here’s what you can expect:
- Your lawn care hero will arrive at the agreed time to crack on with your treatment.
- They will then kick things off by manoeuvring “Big Bessy” (the name we just made up for our scarifying machine) across your lawn, diagonally, in a methodical process.
- They’ll then repeat this move in the opposite direction until the whole lawn has been treated.
- Because all lawn’s are different, the time it will take to finish your treatment will totally depend on the size and condition of your lawn, but our cultural team will discuss this with you over a cup of tea (milk and two please).
You can also guarantee a large amount of debris will be on show at the end of the treatment, but don’t you worry because we clear and remove all the mess we make so that you’re left with nothing but a tidy lawn that’s ready to make next spring the best one yet.
Scarifying is as important to a lawn as wheels are to a car, water is to a fish and suncream is to a nude sunbather, which is because nothing encourages your lawn to grow come spring quite as much as a scarification treatment. It gets rid of unwanted thatch, controls moss and slices through both your Stolons and Rhizomes to produce new plants, a denser sward and a lawn that will make your neighbours oh-so-jealous.
What our lawn care legends say:
“I’ve been making lawns great again for over 15 years, battling moss and fighting thatch, and I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that of all the lawns we care for, you can tell which ones are annually scarified. They outperform the others by a thousand percent.”