When is the best time to scarify your lawn?

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Scarifying, or scarification, is the mechanical removal of surface thatch from a lawn, which naturally forms on any lawn. However, when it becomes too thick, it prevents vital nutrients from reaching the grass roots, including water, fertiliser, and oxygen. The result is a mossy and spongy lawn, which looks much better. Scarification is so important because grass is like most plants, and needs as much maintenance as you can give it, with which you’ll be rewarded with a green and vibrant lawn.

When is the best time to scarify your lawn?

The best time to scarify your lawn is at a time of year when the grass is actively growing.

This will ensure is recovers quickly once you’ve managed to scarify it.

However, the weather conditions also need to be ideal which means you shouldn’t go for it whenever you like.

If it’s too hot, too cold, too dry or too warm, your lawn won’t properly recover.

You should also remember that scarifying your lawn will leave soil exposed, which will be a perfect breeding ground for weeds and other plants.

There are two times of the year that tend to offer the ideal conditions for scarifying a lawn.

The first comes during late March or early April, when spring is in the air and your grass will get the moisture and warmth it craves and needs.

You won’t want to wait too late to get started, though, as just after spring comes the heat and dry climate of summer.

Another important thing to note is not to scarify your lawn too heavily in the spring, as another symptom of the summer is weed seeds.

Scarifying too heavily at a time when your grass can’t recover properly will see weeds move in soon enough.

The time to scarify your lawn more heavily and intensely is in September and October, during the autumn.

At this time of year, the grass is growing healthily, and most of summer’s weed seeds will have gone, which creates ideal conditions for scarification.

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There are, however, a few conditions which can change and alter these rules.

If your grass is growing under the cover of a tree, the shade combined with falling autumn leaves will reduce the health of your grass and make it more difficult to recover.

Shaded areas can also cause somewhat of an issue or concern.

This is partly because the lack of light will encourage the growth of moss and provide a breeding ground for the green.

Eventually, these areas will thin out over winter anyway before thickening up in the spring, but scarifying could prevent this.

For areas that are covered with shade, wait until the spring to scarify them.

Planning ahead is really important during scarification as you’ll need short, dry grass for the process.

So bring the grass height down gradually over a week or two before you plan to carry out the scarification, as this won’t shock the grass but allows air deeper into the turf, helping dry the grass out.

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