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scarifying lawn

Scarifying your lawn

Scarifying your lawn is an important job and will promote healthy growth, but what is it and how do you do it?

What is Scarification?

Scarification is a way of removing organic matter from lawns including moss and thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead grass and moss. Thatch can build up over time, when the layer is thicker than 1cm it can prevent water and nutrients from fertilisers from accessing the roots of the lawn. By scarifying, it improves airflow and creates space for more healthy lawn growth.

If your lawn suffers with moss problems or feels spongy underfoot this can indicate there is too much thatch and scarification is required.


Kent & stowe stainless steel scarifying rake in use lawnHow to scarify your lawn?


Before scarifying its good practice to mow the lawn. The Kent & Stowe Scarifying Rake is an ideal tool to use when scarifying, using a pull motion to scrape the thatch or moss. Alternatively, a spring tined rake can be used, using a brisk action. For very large areas a powered scarifier can be hired or purchased for the job.

Scarification can produce a large pile of dead thatch and moss. This can be added to your compost heap or disposed of in green waste bins.

Then after scarifying applying lawn seed will help produce a healthy, thick, and revived lawn.


When to scarify?

Scarifying the lawn early season in spring can help create space for the grass to thicken up. It is better to treat moss before scarifying as living moss can spread spores when disturbed.

It can also be good to scarify lawns in autumn. Scarifying will help reduce competition and gives the grass more room to grow. It also helps to minimise moss growth over winter, making it less of a problem in spring.


Helpful Tip

Using Westland Moss Master can help to limit the amount of scarification your lawn requires. It is a no raking, no staining and no blackening formula that naturally removes moss whilst feeding your lawn. The bacteria in the product transforms dead moss and thatch into feed which in turn strengthens your lawn. After 7 days the lawn will become greener and dead moss will appear 2-3 weeks after application. The feed provides essential nutrients needed for a strong, thick and healthy lawn for up to 3 months.  The product is safe for children, pets and wildlife, making it an attractive product for many families.

moss master scarifying lawn


For more information on the removal of moss, read our how to remove lawn moss article


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