Scarifying is a lawn treatment that you should do at least once a year. It helps to remove organic matter that may be limiting airflow into the soil, will get rid of moss, make it less spongy, and allow more nutrients and water to penetrate deeper into the soil.
All of this is highly beneficial for lawn health, so it’s recommended that you scarify about once every year or so depending on the lawn condition.
Various tools can be used for this job. A rake is great for light scarifying on smaller lawns, as won’t require much effort and can remove unwanted debris on the surface.
For larger lawns or lawns with lots of moss and spongy thatch, an electric lawn scarifier may be necessary. These can be rented for a good price, saving you the cost of buying the equipment outright.
While it will improve your lawn, scarifying is an extremely invasive that require appropriate aftercare to help the lawn recover.
Thankfully, this doesn’t require much work and the time and effort you put into lawn care post scarification will make the results even better. Let’s take a look at what do to after scarifying the lawn:
Remove Any Leftover Moss
Removing moss is one of the main reasons to scarify a lawn. Moss looks horrible and will increase lawn thatch to the point where it starts to do more harm than good, restricting the amount of air and water that reaches the roots, which is why you want to remove it when scarifying.
However, even after scarifying the lawn there may be some leftover moss, especially on lawns that weren’t the greatest condition. You won’t need to scarify again, instead consider using a lawn moss killer, which kills off residual moss while also adding fertiliser to the lawn.
Because you have already removed thatch when you scarified the lawn, the moss treatment reaches deeper into the ground so is more efficient at killing the leftover moss. This is probably the best way to deal with a severe moss infestation on the lawn.
Add New Grass Seed
After scarifying there will be some patches around the lawn where the moss and debris were located. If the area is small then add around 10-20 quality grass seeds per square inch to the problem areas – you won’t need more than this for minor patches.
When the patches are more extensive and found throughout the lawn, you may want to apply a healthy rate of seeds across the entire surface are, as just a few handfuls won’t be enough to fully regrow and prevent from developing.
Also, when using any iron sulphate or iron fertiliser products, leave it a few days before seeding.
Fertilise the Lawn
With new seeds in place and plenty of regrowth required, you will want to give your lawn all the help it needs to recover from the scarification. This means adding fertiliser to the lawn shortly after, preferably the same day you are adding new grass seeds.
Many people prefer to wait a week or so to let seeds germinate, you can do this or the day you seeded, while you should always avoid fertilising before seeding.
In terms of fertilisers to use, look for products with high potassium. This nutrient is very effective at helping lawns recover from the stress of being scarified and it will help stave off disease, which tends to occur post scarifying because the grass as undergone so much stress.
Regardless of what you use, make sure to follow the manufacturer recommendations, feeding throughout the remainder of the season. It’s generally advised that you scarify in early autumn, so an autumn-based lawn fertiliser may be the most suitable for the job.
Also, if the weather on the drier side then you may need to water the lawn with your garden hose. This can be done with a sprinkler, as you won’t get enough moisture into the soil if only using a watering can.