GreenThumb Lawn Scarification

What is Lawn Scarification?

Collection of thatch from lawn scarification

Lawn Scarification (also known as Grass Scarification or Garden Scarification)  is the mechanical reduction of surface thatch from a lawn.  Thatch is organic matter that naturally forms on a lawn however, when it gets too thick it suffocates the roots of your lawn, inhibiting grass growth which weakens the lawn and encourages weeds, moss, and lawn diseases.

Our process involves taking core samples from your lawn and assessing the depth of thatch layers below and above the soil line; excess thatch above the soil line indicates a need to scarify a lawn.

When carrying out Lawn Scarification we use a professional lawn scarifying machine which slices the thatch and moss, extracting it from your lawn allowing space for necessary elements such as water, air, and fertilisers to reach the grass roots creating a healthier lawn.

Scarifying a lawn doesn’t remove all 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 a scarified lawn and we recognise that all lawns are different, and this is reflected in our Lawn Scarification process.

Lawn scarifying is an essential practice of good annual Lawn Care included in our Standard and Ultimate Treatment Programmes

lawn being professionally scarified by greenthumb


Benefits of Lawn Scarification

  • Reduces surface thatch from your lawn
  • Reduces moss build-up
  • Allows essential elements  such as water, fertilisers and air to reach the grass roots
  • Creates a healthy lawn, reducing the risks of lawn diseases
  • Improves the overall health of your lawn and aids grass growth


The best time to scarify a lawn

GreenThumb scarify lawns during the out-of-season growing period, which is usually Spring and Autumn. 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.

Watch our Rules of Thumb video on 'Scarification' here:

When can I start using GreenThumb?

You can adopt our services at any time of the year. There is never a ‘bad time’ to start improving your lawn.

Do I have to be at home when you come and treat my lawn?

The majority of our customers are not at home when we call. Since all our vehicles and Lawn Operatives are self-sufficient, we can carry out your treatments as long as we have access to the lawns.

If you would prefer to be in when we are treating your lawn, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

I have children and /or pets. What should I be aware of?

We recommend that you keep off the lawn until any liquid part of the treatment has dried (approx. 2 hours). This stops it being walked off. And this is especially true of our NutraGreen Autumn Long Treatment, we recommend that you keep off the lawn for more than 2 hours then as it could stain a carpet or wooden floor, if it were walked into the home.

Grazing pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs should be kept off the lawn for a minimum of two weeks or three cuts, whichever occurs latest, to avoid ingestion of Ragwort, in particular, which becomes poisonous to them as it dies back.

Do I have to sign a contract?

No, we want our customers to continue with GreenThumb based on our merits in creating a healthier, greener lawn for them - not because they are stuck in a contract. Of course, with our treatment programmes, you will need to sign a Direct Debit Mandate with the relevant T&C's which relate to this payment option.

Can you mow the lawn before scarification?

Before scarification we recommend mowing the lawn. If the grass is too long the scarification may not be as effective and your lawn may not fully benefit from this essential machine work.

What to do after lawn scarification?

If your lawn is dry it's a good idea to mow the grass to its normal height of about 25mm(1"), this process will collect debris left behind after the scarification. This will also ensure the application of fertiliser reaches into the sward, helping your lawn recover.

Is lawn raking the same as Lawn Scarification?

Definitely not! Lawn raking, whether using a spring-tine rake or a raking machine, is the removal of moss on the lawn. A Scarification machine uses heavy duty flails (like knives) to remove 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.

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 responsibly dispose of thatch waste, either by neatly bagging the waste up, putting it on your compost heap or in your waste bin. Your local GreenThumb branch will explain any other solutions they may have.

Find your local branch

With over 220 branches across the UK, you’re never too far from a GreenThumb lawn care specialist.

Locate your local branch for a free lawn analysis and estimate - simply enter your postcode in our branch finder.

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