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It is often useful to remove thatch from the lawn, as this will sooner or later spread on most lawns. But when is the best time to scarify the lawn?

In a nutshell

  • Scarify the lawn only in regeneration phases
  • Measure depending on temperature, humidity and usage
  • then fertilize

cause and necessity

Thatch often forms and is a significant problem for grass plants. It usually consists of:

moss in the lawn
  • dead stems and roots
  • Leaves from plants in the area
  • moss

In the long run, these influences can cause the plants to die off. You will be suffocated. In addition, the nutrients in the soil are used up as well as the water. As a result, the grass becomes blotchy, grows poorly and looks unkempt. At the latest when these factors apply, you should scarify the area. This makes it possible to remove disturbing growth and the so-called lawn thatch.
The earth becomes more receptive again and both fertilizer and water can penetrate faster and better. In the long term, this makes it possible to simplify overall care and reduce the effort involved. The plants are strengthened and are more resistant to pests and diseases. Scarifying is one of the prerequisites that make the lawn appear greener.

lawn scarifying

For scarifying, of course, the relevant requirements must be met. This includes the right work material. Available are among others:

  • electric scarifiers
  • hand harrows
  • manual lawn aerator
  • Lawn Aerator Shoes
scarify the lawn

Whatever the decision, the procedure is always the same:

  1. Larger objects and dirt should be removed from the grass surface. Twigs and branches, but also leaves and stones could damage the scarifier or accidentally get into the ground.
  2. In order to be able to work on the lawn more easily, you should ideally mow it beforehand. The shorter grass offers less resistance, making your work easier.
  3. Depending on the selected device, the scarifier is now driven over the area like a lawnmower or walked over in your shoes.
  4. Any plant parts that are pulled out are removed with a rake or rake and discarded.

Tip: Lawn aerators are particularly suitable for smaller and narrower sections, as they can also get into corners and can be used wonderfully on the edge. For very large lawns, however, electric scarifiers are the better choice.


Spring and autumn are ideal for scarifying the lawn. April to May or September to October are usually optimal. This is because the temperature and humidity are mild during these periods. High temperatures, drought and growth lead to greater stress in summer. Added to this is the stress caused by more frequent use. As a result, the grass does not have enough time to regenerate.
You should also pay attention to the following points:

  • Soil should not be damp or even wet
  • Avoid days with strong sunlight
  • Temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius are ideal

Subsequent care

After the lawn has been scarified, you need to maintain it appropriately. Water and nutrients are important. Immediately following the moss and dead grass removal operation, it is crucial to apply fertilizer and water the area.

A spreader helps with even fertilization.

After loosening the soil, the nutrients can penetrate the substrate better. To avoid chemical burns on the roots, the lawn should be blown up afterwards. Alternatively, you can also choose a day on which prolonged rain is expected. The water helps distribute the nutrients optimally and allow them to penetrate deeper into the soil.

Tip: A spreader helps distribute the fertilizer evenly. Damage caused by selective over-fertilization can also be avoided in this way.

frequently asked Questions

How often is scarifying required?

Annual removal of thatch ensures that moss and weeds cannot spread far. This protects the grass plants. There are also other advantages:
- better supply of nutrients
- faster drainage of water
- Microorganisms can spread faster and easier in the soil

Which fertilizer should be used after scarifying?

There is no general answer to this. It is best to test a sample of the soil. This procedure ensures that the necessary nutrients can be replaced and there is no risk of over-fertilization.

How deep should the turf be cut?

Regardless of the time, deeper than three millimeters are neither useful nor beneficial. The setting of the scarifier should therefore be adjusted accordingly. Experience has shown that it is also beneficial to drive or walk in different directions if the felt on the lawn is particularly thick. This makes it easier and more efficient to loosen the disturbing parts of the plant.

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