Scarifying Moss from Your Lawn

Scarification is the mechanical process of removing moss and thatch from your lawn. Thatch is a build up over time of grass roots, stolons, rhizomes and grass crowns. Moss can become a problem in waterlogged or poorly drained lawns where conditions are ideal for its growth.

Poor growing conditions favour the growth of moss in lawns. These might include:

  • Sparse grass cover
  • Worn areas of turf, especially along walkways and where children play
  • Shady areas, especially beneath trees
  • Compacted soil
  • Wet weather and waterlogged conditions
  • Drought-stressed grass
  • Mowing too close
  • Impoverished lawns or infertile soil
  • Poorly prepared or poorly maintained lawns

Mowing too close is one of the most common things done. We look at golf courses, cricket pitches or bowling greens and think that our lawns can look like that if we cut our grass shorter. These types of pitches are generally a different variety of grass and so can be mown closer than your average lawn. Bald patches appear where the ground is a little undulating and this leaves the soil bare for moss to take hold.

Waterlogged or poorly drained lawns can be another common problem. Moss loves damp conditions and so will thrive where there is lying water or the ground is saturated.

Shady areas, under trees, bushes, fencelines in fact anywhere where light is a problem.

All of the above are common problems that can help moss to grow and by removing them we can help to control the amount of moss in our lawns.

Scarification is the easiest way of removing moss from your lawn. Raking with a spring tine rake is another alternative but back breaking and time consuming for lawns over 50m2. The severity of the moss will depend on how heavily we have to scarify. If your lawn is really thick with moss then it will probably need over seeding afterwards.

Moss killers are generally applied a few weeks prior to scarifying to blacken the moss. Unlike a weed moss does not decompose hence the need to rake or scarify it out.

Be aware that it can take a number of weeks for your lawn to recover from scarification, the more severe the scarification the longer the recovery time.

For more info on scarification, lawn treatment service or to book a free lawn quote then call 07798718569 or email

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