Although it’s better for your grass in the long run, scarifying can leave your lawn in quite the state. Ideally, you want it to recover as quickly as possible. In order for this to happen, you need to make sure that you’re scarifying at the right time of year.
Heavy Scarifying in the Autumn
Many people believe that the bulk of their scarifying should be done in the spring – after all, this is when the grass has started growing for the year. However, it’s also when weeds start to emerge, and it won’t be long before weed seeds are flying all over the place.
Even if you sow more grass seed after scarifying, that beautiful new patch of lawn will quickly end up overrun with weeds. This is why scarifying is best done in the autumn, once most of the weeds have died back for the year.
That said, don’t leave it too late in the year either. Your grass will need warmth and sun to grow. It’ll still get this in the autumn, but it’ll struggle once winter starts to roll in, meaning that it’ll take so much longer to recover.
Light Scarifying in the Spring
If you’re only planning on removing small amounts of thatch, then go ahead and scarify in the spring. However, again, don’t wait too long – the excess heat and dry conditions of the summer could cause your grass to stop growing, which you definitely don’t want after it has been scarified.
Scarifying Shady Areas
There’s an exception to every rule, and in the case of scarifying, that exception would be shady areas. Whether due to trees, buildings, or anything else, grass that’s heavily shaded will usually thin out over the winter, before thickening again in the spring.
If you scarify a shaded area in the autumn, it’s unlikely to grow back until the following year. However, this leaves that area susceptible to winter damage, which is why shady spots should always be scarified in the spring.
Not Too Wet, Not Too Dry
Now that you know the perfect time of year to scarify your lawn, you just need to pick the perfect day. Try to scarify after your grass has had a little rain. If it’s dry to the touch, yet still moist beneath the surface, then these are perfect scarifying conditions!
The Right Timing
Scarifying is an important part of lawn maintenance, but get your timings wrong and you could end up doing more harm than good. Fortunately, it’s not complicated – always try to scarify in the autumn, but save shaded areas for the spring.