A material known as thatch can build up over time in lawns. Scarifying a lawn is the best way to remove this deal plant material. Find our how to scarify a lawn with tips from Essex turf grower, Paynes Turf.

The process of scarifying a lawn can be a long, labour-intensive job, but is a necessary part of maintaining a healthy lawn. Scarifying will also encourage stronger root growth and tidy up lateral grass growth, resulting in a denser lawn.

That said, immediately after scarification has been carried out, be prepared for a very unruly looking lawn; the grass will take a little time to recover from the immediate effects of the harsh process of scarification. Just hang in there and be patient!

How to scarify a lawn

  1. Use a spring-tined rake to remove the dead plant material from the lawn; gently pull the rake toward you, using small sharp movements to remove the thatch.
  2. Repeat this action at a slightly different angle (but not at a right angle as this could cause damage).
  3. Remove the thatch or moss from the lawn using a large rake.

It’s always advisable to top-dress, fertilise, and overseed (if necessary), after scarifying a lawn. Applying a good quality top dressing and fertiliser will help the grass to recover from the stress of the scarification process. Find out how to fertilise a lawn here.

If the lawn is very patchy after scarifying then you may want to consider overseeding at this point to encourage new growth and to thicken up the lawn. Find out how to overseed a lawn here.

Autumn is the ideal time to scarify the lawn, as there will be plenty of time for the grass to recover from the process before the following spring.