What is scarifying?
Scarification is the mechanical process of removing thatch and moss from the base of the grass plants (just above the surface of the soil). In times gone by It was carried out using a wire rake, Lawn Therapy have powered machines which scarify far more comprehensively and are far more efficiently than raking. Several vertical metal blades revolve at high speed around a shaft and lift out thatch and moss as the machine is pushed along the lawn. The blades can be set at various heights from the surface and consequently take out various amounts of thatch etc. As well as removing thatch and dead moss the blades also prune the shoots of the grass plant encouraging strong new growth. As this process is very invasive it can sometimes leave the lawn looking temporarily thin so it is important to schedule a scarification so that it is followed by the appropriate weather conditions that assist the lawn with its recovery. If a lawn has a high percentage of moss and thatch over-seeding after scarification can also be very beneficial. We can advise you on all the benefits of scarification and over-seeding but most lawns will benefit from at least an annual scarification.
Why scarify a lawn?
Lawns need regular scarification to remove the build up of thatch and moss. Thatch is a build up of dead organic matter lying on the soil surface. Thatch is a natural occurrence as old grass stems die they are replaced by new ones. Bacteria in the soil will usually digest the thatch breaking it down into nutrients for other plants but in severe cases of heavy thatch the bacteria cannot digest it and the thatch builds up and forms a fibrous layer on the soil surface. This thatch layer acts like a barrier preventing the free flow of moisture, oxygen, carbon dioxide to and from the grass roots and preventing light reaching the base of the grass shoots. It is vital that thatch is not allowed to build up as it can have a disastrous effect on any lawn weakening the grass, encouraging moss and diseases.
We recommend lawns are scarified on an annual basis – this process is part of our standard lawn care program.
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