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What is Scarifying? What it is and How to Do it?

When you’re taking care of your lawn and garden there are many different things you have to consider doing in different seasons. For your lawn, one of those things is scarifying. So, what is scarifying and how does it work? Who needs to scarify their yard?

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​What is Scarifying?

​Your yard is made up of much more than just grass. Over time, organic materials can build up around the roots and bottoms of grass stems. If these materials are left for too long, the grass won’t grow as thickly and will be less resistant to drought and tough conditions. The method for removing the organic matter build-up is scarifying.

​Most often, scarifying involves dragging blades or wires through the grass in your yard to either cutaway thatch that’s wedged under the grass or remove loose matter from beneath the surface of the grass. It’s a great thing to do at least twice a year when your grass is growing well and you want to encourage that growth to continue in a healthy way.

​How Does It Affect Your Lawn or Garden?

When you scarify your lawn, you’re essentially clearing space around the roots to allow nutrients to get to the roots more easily. Any materials around the roots will be blocking nutrients from reaching the roots and will also be preventing thick growth of grass.

Scarifying opens up your yard to receive new growth more easily. It doesn’t work as well if you aren’t doing other yard treatments as well, although it can still be beneficial. Most lawn care experts would recommend doing scarifying before you fertilize or over-seed.

If you don’t scarify your lawn, you are risking a few problems with your grass. You might not be able to grow grass as thickly as you want, because there will be no room for the roots of the new growth.Thatch, moss, excess dead grass, and other organic material can clog up the ground and cover any exposed ground beneath your plants that would normally be useful for growing more grass.

Over time, any buildup under your grass will start to make it less healthy and thinner. By clearing away the debris, you are keeping unwanted weeds from growing around the thin grass roots. You are also pruning away some of the growth to speed up new growing.

What Equipment Do You Need to Scarify?

Scarifying is not a complex task, though it can be a bit difficult. There are two main ways to scarify:manually or with a machine. For manual scarifying you probably won’t need a new tool as long as you have a good rake in your shed. Using a scarifying machine requires a new tool for most people.

Manual scarifying can be done with a rake or a twisting scarification device. Even normal leaf rakes are appropriate for many cases. However, if you need to dig deeper in to get rid of moss or thatch, you will want bladed tools like scarifying rakes or twisting rakes instead.

Here 's an example of a bladed scarifying rake that would work really well for many yards :

This is a twisting scarification rake tool :

Via Amazon.com

Manual scarification is done by simply dragging the rake around the yard in all areas until you have removed most of the undergrowth. You will see piles of it coming up, which you should then put into a plastic bag for collection and removal. The process is the same no matter what kind of rake you have.

Machine scarifying is closer to mowing the lawn than raking. A scarification machine will operate much in the same way as a lawn mower but without cutting your grass as you go along. Instead, it will use blades to scarify as you’re pushing it. Many of these machines have collection bags that will pick up or catch whatever thatch and debris you remove so that you skip the step of going back and picking it up yourself.

This is what a scarifying machine looks like :

Check out this helpful video about how to scarify your yard :

Conclusion

Hopefully I have been able to answer the question “what is scarifying” for you in a good way. The process of scarifying is basically just pruning your grass and removing dead materials from around the base. It’s like a deep cleaning process for your lawn.

What do you think of this guide? Do you understand what scarifying is now? Feel free to leave any helpful tips or anything I might have missed in the comments below!

Amelia
 

Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants