1. Treatments
  2. Scarification


Lawn Treatment

Lawn Treatment

Watch our Rules of Thumb video on Scarification here:

What is Scarification?

Scarification is the mechanical removal of surface thatch from a lawn. Surface thatch naturally forms on a lawn. However, when it gets too thick it prevents important nutrients such as water, fertiliser and oxygen from getting to the grass roots. The result is a mossy and spongy lawn. Scarification removes most of the surface thatch and is an essential practice of good annual Lawn Care included in our Standard and Ultimate Treatment Programmes.If your lawn is suffering with moss in Autumn and Winter or is spongy underfoot, it’s likely that it needs to be scarified. Our process involves taking core samples from your lawn and assessing the depth or thatch below and above the soil line; excess thatch above the soil line indicates a need for Scarification.


How can GreenThumb tell if my lawn needs Scarification?

Do you find your lawn suffers with moss in the autumn and winter time? Is the lawn spongy under foot? These are often signs that the lawn needs to be scarified. We also take core samples from the lawn and look at the depth of thatch below and above the soil line. Excess thatch above the soil line indicates a need for Scarification.

Read more information about thatch by clicking here. Scarification is included in our Standard and Ultimate Programmes.


Is lawn raking the same as Scarification?

Definitely not. Lawn raking, whether using a spring-tine rake or a raking machine, is the removal of moss on the lawn. Scarification using heavy duty flails (like knives) removes the cause of the moss, surface thatch. Moss is removed during this intrusive machine work, but its purpose is thatch removal.

Raking moss off a lawn is like using a handkerchief when you have the flu. Scarification is like having a flu vaccine; one addresses the effect, the other the cause.


When does GreenThumb carry out Scarification?

We carry out Scarification during the out-of-season growing period. Since lawns can look very untidy after Scarification, we avoid doing it when you want your lawn looking its best, even if it has surface thatch issues.

Scarification doesn’t remove all of the surface thatch in one go. Doing this would significantly reduce the amount of grass left on a lawn and this would be harmful. There is an art to scarifying a lawn and we recognise that all lawns are different, and this is reflected in our Scarification process.


What does GreenThumb do with all the thatch waste?

Since customers gardens and local authority garden waste collection policies vary throughout the country we don’t have one solution that fits everybody. We will always neatly bag the waste up, put it on your compost heap or in your waste bin. Your local GreenThumb branch will explain any other solutions they may have.

Scarification Rear
Scarification Rear
Raking Scarification Waste
Raking Scarification Waste


What is the difference between lawn raking and Scarification?

Lawn-raking, carried out using a leaf rake or a small raking machine, is a good way of removing moss from a lawn. The Scarification is the use of heavy-duty flails (knives) on a motorised machine. It is a very intrusive treatment into the lawn's surface. It is designed to reduce the levels of thatch which the moss loves and thrives on. In short, lawn-raking reduces the effect – moss. Scarification reduces the cause – surface thatch.

When does Greenthumb carry out Scarification?

GreenThumb carries out this work during the out-of-season period. By doing it then, we are able to keep your lawn looking its best during the periods when you want the lawn to look great. Scarification is a rigorous operation. However, carried out correctly, it reduces thatch, so the lawn can benefit the most from our treatments. It does not remove all the thatch in one operation as this would be harmful to the lawn.

What happens to the thatch after Scarification?

Scarification produces a large amount of thatch deposits. It is it then collected, bagged and cleared off the lawn. If requested, it can be put onto your compost heap. If this is not requested or available, we will put it into either the green waste bin or bag it up and place neatly for you to dispose of. Alternatively, some branches are able to provide a service where they will take away the bags at a charge; please check with your local branch.

Which programme is this treatment included in?

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