Scarification is the mechanical removal of surface thatch from a lawn. Scarification allows oxygen, nutrients and moisture to get to the necessary part of the lawn root zone, which the thatch was preventing. With less thatch you get improved air movement, less moss and improved lawn treatment take-up. This results in a healthier lawn.
Surface Thatch is a matted layer that can build up over a season or years consisting of: living and dead organic matter. It is found between the grass plant leaf and the top of the soil surface. Excessive surface thatch will create ideal conditions for disease and particularly moss to thrive. It prevents nutrients from reaching to the root system. For example, water is prevented from getting to the grass roots, it stays in the thatch layer and moss grows.
When GreenThumb analyses a lawn, we take core samples. This allows us to see what is happening in the root system and on the surface. When we examine the thatch levels we will look to see whether it is an open thatch or a matted thatch. Depending on where the thatch is and its make up, we may well offer a Scarification treatment to alleviate it. Generally speaking, Scarification should be part of a regular lawn treatment programme, such as in our Enhanced and Complete programmes.
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 lawns 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.
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.
Scarification produces a large amout 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 in 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.