Why do we scarify lawns?

Lawn scarification is an important part of lawn care but did you know all the reasons for doing it? Understanding why you are scarifying will not only help you sell your services better but also help you to achieve the lovely lawn that your customer is looking for.

Removing thatch and moss from a lawn


Photo was taken by Twitter user @_LawnKing_

Thatch and moss removal is one of the most popular reasons to scarify a lawn. The natural decomposition process which would normally break down these materials is just not fast enough for domestic and amenity lawns. Thatch is best removed with blades as they will cut the material and lift it out of the lawn. Moss removal can be done with wire tines instead as it will be pulled out quite easily and will not disturb the lawn too much. Removing the buildup of dead organic matter from the lawn ensures better air flow into the soil for healthier roots and helps prevent turf diseases.

Encouraging new growth

Scarification Sharpes Lawncare

Photo was taken by Twitter user @SharpesLawnCare

Scarification has the added benefit of encouraging new grass growth as the process prunes the existing grass plants and creates more space and light for new shoots to grow. Followed by an application of a high nitrogen fertiliser such as Ultimate 22-5-10 +2.5%MgO 50%XCU, the existing grass plants can be encouraged to tiller (produce side shoots) and thicken the lawn without the requirement for overseeding and extra watering.

Lawn renovation and overseeding

Usually, you would set the scarifier to only just touch the soil surface, but if you are carrying out renovation on a neglected lawn and plan to overseed it is possible to set the tines a little lower and disturb the soil surface a little. This will prepare the ground so that the seed can be raked in and stand a much better chance of germinating. Top dressing can also be applied and will be incorporated into the existing soil much easier.

Deter some weeds

Scarification will help deter some creeping lawn weeds, especially trefoils and speedwells. It can also help damage and deter some weed grasses that would otherwise cause uneven colour and texture in a lawn. In the long-term scarified lawns will thicken up and prevent further weed colonisation later in the year.


Photo was taken by Twitter user @GroundsMunkey

Regardless of your reason for scarifying a lawn, it’s always a good idea to apply a fertiliser feed afterwards to encourage speedy repair. If you have any questions about lawn fertilisers please give us a call… 01963 364788

2 thoughts on “Why do we scarify lawns?

  1. Junie Stampka says:

    Fantastic blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!


    • Daisy Lacey BSc (Hons) says:

      Hi Junie, there are various open and private groups on Facebook that are centred around lawn care discussion. If you run a professional treatment business I highly recommend joining the UK Lawn Care Association.


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