Scarify the lawn this week to help it breathe and give the grass enough space to thicken up for a lush green lawn next year.
Scarifying is just a fancy word for removing all the debris which has built up at the base of grass shoots during the year. It’s mostly just dead grass and moss, but it can form into a dense thatch up to 1-2cm thick which prevents air from circulating and chokes your grass.
Kill off any moss before you start using specially-formulated lawn moss killer – those which are blended with a lawn tonic help your grass bounce back in double-quick time. You’ll find a good range of brands on the shelves in our garden centre here in Youghal.
Apply two or three weeks before you scarify to get the best effect. While you’re at it, remove large weeds by hand or with a spot weed killer, too; and mow the lawn short so you can reach the thatch easily.
Choose a dry day (if the weather isn’t ideal, put the job off until it improves), and scarify in the afternoon so the dew has had time to evaporate off the grass. If you have a large area, you might prefer to use a mechanical scarifier like an electric lawn rake to make the job easier. For smaller lawns, a spring tined rake will work well.
Work your way methodically across the lawn, scraping out as much as you can of the old debris. You’ll be surprised what you can pull out! It’s quite a workout, so allow plenty of time and take regular rests. All the debris can go onto the compost heap; you’ll find after you’ve thoroughly scarified the lawn it looks quite a mess – but don’t worry, it will bounce back in no time with a beautiful sward of healthy, vigorous green.