Does your lawn feel soft or spongy when you step on it? Does it look dead and brown? If yes, then you need to scarify your lawn.
The process is quite simple. It’s all about getting rid of the brown, dead-looking grass at the top of the soil by using a rake or scarifying machine.
What is scarifying?
Scarification is the manual removal of surface thatch from a lawn. Surface thatch naturally forms on a lawn to make a mossy and spongy lawn. A little thatch is useful in retaining moisture for grass however, if it’s too thick it can prevent nutrients such as water, oxygen, and fertilizer from getting to the grassroots.
Thatch is simply a mixture of dead grass, decomposed roots, leaves, debris, and some living stems which accumulate on the lawn. When it grows thicker, it decays to cause moss and leaves the lawn feeling spongy underfoot. Moss loves cool, moist growing conditions and shelter of surrounding grass plants, all of which are generously provided by thatch.
How to clear mosses from the lawn
To clear moss from your lawn, you must firstly get rid of the thatch by scarifying, which involves using heavy-duty flails (like knives). You cannot just slice the thatch layer of the lawn, instead you have to thin it out by removing vertical cores.
A good tip is to first start by applying a moss killer before raking off the remnants. This method prevents the moss from spreading and becoming a continuous problem. Moss spreads by spores and quickly grows back therefore, raking alone can spread the spores which will bring back moss to your lawn. Moowy’s moss killer produces fantastic results.
It is better to rake with a metal spring line lawn rake or use a mechanical lawn scarifier before and after applying the moss killer. Be careful not to damage the grass by over-scarifying. You may notice some bare patches after scarifying but they should clear up shortly after aeration. Alternatively, you could aerate the soil manually using a simple garden fork to loosen the soil.
It is easy to find out if your lawn needs scarification. Take a few samples from your lawn and assess the thatch below and above the soil line. If there is excess thatch above the soil line, your lawn needs to be scarified. You can use the waste accumulated after scarification in a compost heap.