For an impressive looking lawn, you will need to scarify it to ensure it looks its best, but when is the best time to do this?
If you don’t know when the best time to scarify a lawn is, then these tips will help.
And if you don’t know what scarify means, this is when you remove all of the debris from the lawn using a special tool called a scarifier.
But you cannot scarify a lawn any time you think it might need doing – you run the risk of causing serious long-term damage if you do.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the best scarifiers available in the UK, with a quick rundown of when and how to scarify your lawn.
The best time to scarify a lawn
For those who need to, the best time to scarify your lawn is in the autumn.
The soil should, ideally, be moist and warm to help your grass recover quickly after you have used a scarifier.
These ideal conditions then make autumn the optimum time of the year to carry out this lawn improvement exercise.
What will scarification do?
With the scarification process, you will be removing a large volume of thatch, that is debris such as moss and grass cuttings, and you may find that afterwards the lawn may look very bare.
But don’t fear, it will look like that until it recovers, and this will happen very quickly.
The main aim of scarification is to get over the shock of how damaged your lawn looks, and then be patient as it recovers quickly to become an impressive lawn once again.
The scarification process explained
So, the scarification process is a mechanical one that will remove excessive thatch in an aggressive manner for the lawn to regrow stronger.
This process will remove dead grass, moss, and grass clippings that can accumulate over summer.
Also, you may find that some lawns are prone to a build-up of thatch so the lawn will need to be scarified every year.
This is an important point to remember: usually, you will not need to scarify your loan every year, some gardeners will leave their lawn five years between each scarification process.
Do I need to buy a scarify machine?
If yours is a relatively small lawn, then you can control thatch by aggressively raking it on a regular basis.
Also, you could buy a domestic scarifier rather than have a large mechanical machine doing it for you. The issues with a mechanical or powered scarifier are:
- These scarifying machines are expensive;
- You will need somewhere to store it;
- You may only use it once in five years.
And if you do decide to buy a smaller domestic version, you will need to appreciate:
- It can be hard work pushing one of these machines so you will need to be relatively fit;
- Be prepared for a challenge in dealing with your lawn;
- It is not a good idea to buy a small domestic scarifier for a large lawn.
The other issue is that a professional scarifier will be expensive to buy and/or hire and if you do hire one, then you should appreciate that this is a labour-intensive process to scarify a lawn effectively.
Why should I scarify my lawn?
If you want your lawn to be impressive, then scarifying it is the best way of achieving this. The reasons to scarify your lawn include:
- Lawn quality will deteriorate if there is too much thatch;
- Not removing thatch will choke the lawn because it forms a spongy surface that will prevent air and water from reaching the soil and the lawn’s sward;
- You will be encouraging strong and fresh grass growth with scarifying;
- Your efforts will lead to a healthier lawn as a result;
- Regularly scarifying your lawn will boost its eco-system.
Many owners will fertilise their lawns which means that there might be some excessive top growth that will need scarification.
Before you do scarify your lawn, you will need to check your lawnmower for low or incorrect grass-cutting settings.
This will lead to grass lying flat, which will lead to serious thatch problems.
Also, the scarifying process will not only remove moss, but make it more difficult for it to thrive in future.
Scarification will also make mowing much easier in the future because the lawn’s sward will be less spongy.
The process also removes dead weeds, particularly those that may have been treated with a herbicide.
Our guide to the best scarifiers in the UK
Now that you understand why you need to scarify your lawn every autumn, or most autumns, then this is the time to look at the potential of investing in a quality scarifier.
This is our scarifying guide to the best ones.
Einhell Petrol Scarifier
This petrol-powered scarifier offers a range of scarifying features. It is also:
- Ideal for large gardens;
- Offers an effective way to create a lush and healthy green lawn.
While the Einhell is the pick of the crop for a petrol-powered scarifier, it’s rather pricey for those who may be using it just once a year – but if you have a very large lawn, then it could be money well spent.
- The GC-SC 4240 P petrol scarifier is a very efficient and reliable tool for ambitious hobby gardeners who want to produce a healthy, lush green lawn through effective soil cultivation.
- With 18 high-grade steel blades, the ball-bearing cutting unit tackles weeds, moss and surface root systems extremely effectively. The petrol scarifier is recommended for use on lawns of up to 1,200 m².
- The powerful four-stroke petrol engine delivers ample torque for continuous progress with consistently good results. For economy in operation there is a speed controller
VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier
The VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier offers a reasonably priced alternative to the heavy duty, petrol powered Einhell with a two-in-one function. This scarifier is:
- Easy to use;
- Maintains a healthy lawn;
- Remove moss, thatch, and leaves easily.
The two in one feature includes interchangeable rollers for scarifying and then raking your lawn.
The downside to the VonHaus 2-in-1 Lawn Scarifier is that you need to put it together, but the instructions are fairly straightforward.
With this scarifier it is also recommend that you thoroughly clean it after use.
Also, some buyers say that the thatch collection box is too small for its purpose – though for smaller lawns it should be ideal.
- Easy, convenient and efficient, this powerful 1500W 2 in 1 scarifier offers a quick and simple way to maintain a healthy, tidy lawn
- Made from durable plastic with a metal frame and distinctive grey, black and orange colourways, this handy tool effortlessly removes thatch, moss, leaves and other debris from your lawn
- Two tools in one - the dual purpose drum features easily interchangeable aerating and scarifying rollers as well as a collection box, height adjustable handle and long 10m power lead
Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover
We mentioned earlier that there are manual moss removers available and the best is the Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover. It is recommended because:
- It’s much cheaper than its powered counterparts;
- Is easy-to-use;
- Remover glides seamlessly over the lawn collecting moss and thatch.
The obvious downside is that you’ll need upper body strength, and your lawn should be relatively small. You will also need to remove the thatch manually because there’s no collecting box.
- Quality roller moss removal rake-10 year guarantee
- Clears thatch and moss from the lawn
- Blades glide over the lawn when pushed and bite into the turf when pulled
Wolf Garten UGM multi-change moss removal rake
An effective way to carry out scarification is to use a rake designed for the job. This is an easy way to remove moss and thatch and is ideal for smaller lawns.
The Wolf Garten UGM multi-change moss removal rake is purely manual, and you may need to go over the lawn several times to ensure that you have collected the dead grass, moss and thatch.
- Part of the Multi-Change Range
- Efficient Moss Clearing
- 30cm Width
VOLADOR Lawn Aerator Sandals
Our selection of scarifiers includes those that are aerators. This is an effective way to help bring your lawn to life. The sandals are easy add-ons so you can use the aerator where the work is necessary.
While the lawn aerator sandals are effective, you may find that having a large lawn means lots of time and effort.
Other than that, you will be having a fitness workout and breathing life into your lawn at the same time!
- 🌿【Super Effortless with Heel】 The latest Lawn Aerator Sandals. We have added extra heel straps (the effect is better than elastic straps), which can fix the shoes on the heels to maximize stability and save you more energy.
- 🌿【High Quality Lawn Aerator Scarifier】 Durable PP sheet and 26pcs ultra sharp long stainless steel nails (5cm / 2 inch), strong metal buckle and 3 adjustable nylon straps (the nylon strap can be cut as needed) Durable PP board with anti corrosive metal nails, lightweight.
- 🌿【Universal Adjustable size】3 adjustable nylon straps are adaptable to any size of shoes. The powerful metal buckle is more durable than Velcro.
When is the best time to scarify a lawn?
The bottom line when it comes to knowing when to scarify a lawn is that weather conditions need to be right so the grass will grow strong enough to recover after the scarifying has been carried out.
And while your lawn has two main growth periods, in Spring and Autumn, there will be those who believe that you can scarify a lawn in both the seasons.
While this is possible, it’s not recommended that you carry out scarifying in summer or in the winter months of December, January and February.
Scarifying in March will be dependent on the weather, and the best time is usually in April and possibly in May.
However, according to the gardening experts, the best time for scarifying a lawn is in September or October because the soil will be warm to help give the grass a second growth spurt – so you can really tackle problem issues with thatch and moss safe in the knowledge that your work will be rewarded with a better-looking lawn before winter sets in.