Autumn and spring are the best times of year to remove moss, thatch and dead organic matter from the surface of your lawn.  This is
called scarification or scarifying and is an essential part of cultured turf or lawn management.  The aim of scarifying is to remove these organic matters from your lawn surface giving the grasses in your lawn more space thus letting in air and encouraging new growth.

Does my lawn need scarifying? What to look out for.

A healthy lawn will have healthy, green grass plants and very little organic matter (ie.moss and thatch) on the surface of the soil.  If your lawn looks like this then you don’t need to scarify this year.  But if the surface of the soil is covered with several centimeters of organic matter and the grass feels generally spongy then you will need to prepare your lawn to scarify it.
If you are unsure what to look for please have a look at my other articles regarding lawn thatch and moss.
Nearly time to scarify your lawn
Prior to scarifying your lawn you will need to apply a moss control treatment. This will take 1-2 weeks to work before you can scarify. Before you start make sure the scarifyer blades are at the correct height. If your machine has height adjustment (most do) then set it up on a hard surface so that the blades just touch the ground. Move the machine onto the lawn then start it up and test it out by doing a few metres on your lawn and make minor adjustments so that debris is removed without great chunks coming up.  Now you are ready to start. Go from one end of the lawn to the other and back again until you have completed one full pass.  Now you can rake up the debris and have a look how your lawn has fared.  If you can still see moss and thatch in the lawn you will need to make another pass but this time start at a 45 degree
angle to the last and complete the process again.  If your lawn has quite a thick layer of moss and thatch then you may need to complete a few more passes until you are happy with the results. When you have finished and raked up as much of the debris up then you can use a rotary mower to remove any fine debris that has been left.
If you have had to make quite a few passes with the scarifyer then your lawn might look a bit worse for wear but you can be sure that it will recover and lead to a much healthier lawn. Job Done.

 

Now is the perfect time to consider over-seeding your lawn if required.  I will cover this in another blog post.