Lawn after scarifying

The key to maintaining a healthy lawn is understanding how it grows and what can damage it. One of the most important things you should know about your lawn is how often you need to scarify it.

This will help get rid of any thatch and allow for new growth. It is also important to understand why your grass might be turning brown or yellowing in certain areas. Scarifying your lawn every year or so will ensure healthy, green grass all summer long!

In this blog post, we will talk about how to revive a lawn after scarifying.

What is Lawn Scarification?

Lawn scarification is the practice of mechanically removing deep-rooted turfgrass and weeds and then fertilising and aerating the soil to promote healthy grass coverage.

Mechanical removal of weeds, both shallow-rooted and deep-rooted types is a necessary step in preserving the look and health of any lawn.

To accomplish this, we use one or more techniques that allow for penetration to remove these pesky weeds without having to get down on their hands and knees with a small hand trowel or hoe.

Scarifying is just one method that uses a sharp blade, usually power-driven by a petrol engine mounted on wheels with a rotary disk, drum-type tiller cutter, and a rotating circular vertical blade exactly like what you see used at a farm for ploughing the soil and prepping it before seeding.

The blades are set at a shallow depth of cut to slice down to the root structure, aerating those roots as they go by. Scarifying can also be accomplished with petrol-powered lawnmowers that have sharp hinged blades on them or tilling attachments.

Lawn Scarifier
Lawn Scarifier

How to Revive a Lawn After Scarifying?

If you have been thinking about how to revive a lawn after scarifying, then we are here to help. The grass is one of the most important parts of landscaping and caring for it properly will be critical in maintaining its health and beauty.

The following steps should give you all the tips that you need in order to have a lush green lawn again in no time.

Step 1 – Clear Debris

Right after scarifying your lawn, you will need to rake it over and collect all of the loosened debris and dry thatch.

This can be done with a garden rake or by using your hands to remove any large clumps that are left behind.

All of this green garden waste can be recycled and go straight into the compost bin.

Step 2 – Mow

Once all of the debris has been cleared, we recommend that you give your lawn a good mowing with your lawnmower.

We do this to remove any unsightly tufty bits but also to give us an idea of how level the ground is as scarification can occasionally leave low spots here and there and you will need to know where they are in order to repair them later.

Step 3 – Top-dress

Next up, you will want to top-dress your lawn. You may find that there are bare patches where a lot of thatch has been removed and even low spots as we mentioned earlier after removing moss etc.

Topdressing is not as difficult as it sounds, and you can just add a little topsoil here and there to make sure your lawn is nice and level.

Step 4 – Overseed

Overseeding a lawn is the process of introducing new greenery to an existing lawn.

To do this you will want to broadcast your seed all over the lawn, covering any bare patches where you may have dressed and any areas where the grass is particularly thin.

When buying the seed, it is a good idea to try and get a seed that is as close a match as possible to what you already have. Many people do not know that there are loads of different types of varying shades.

Step 5 – Fertilise

Again, another thing that many people are unaware of is that in order to have a healthy and lush lawn, it will also need to be fertilised periodically.

There are products available specifically for grass (amazon link – opens in a new tab) so you should not have a hard time finding the right one.

If you want to get something a little more multi-purpose, you will want to ensure that the fertiliser is high in nitrogen and phosphate.

Be aware that if you are using any kind of herbicide, be careful with store-bought fertiliser as the chemicals in both products may not be compatible and do more harm than good.

Step 6 – Water

Yes, this may seem obvious, but the final step is to water your lawn well. We recommend that you give your lawn a good soaking at least once, maybe even twice a day for the next 2 weeks.

If your lawn is quite a sunny area, the best time of day to water your lawn is late in the evening when the sun is no longer beating down as the water could magnify the sun’s rays and scorch your nice new grass.

If your lawn is not particularly sunny, you can water it daily as and when you can.

What is the Best Time of Year to Scarify a Lawn?

There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to scarification. Some people prefer to scarify their lawn in mid-spring and others prefer to wait until the autumn in preparation for the next growing season.

I am firmly in the mid-spring camp, and I am going to tell you why.

Scarification affects the top layers of soil, so in order for it to be effective, scarification needs to be done during wet weather. Sufficient drying time between rains should also be allowed.

Fresh, uniform scarification will restore your lawn to better health. It is important to note that timing is crucial. You do not want to do this too early in the spring because you will remove a lot of roots and all the active growth energy for the grass would be expended further recreating new roots.

Nor should you wait too long in the season before scarifying either because as they say, “The best time to heal an injury is right after it happens” and that is especially true when it comes time to repair or regrow damaged grass roots.

By the middle of the spring, we are still getting the occasional rains which will keep the soil moist and workable, and any new growth will be well-rooted and growing at its strongest.

Mid-spring is the perfect time for scarification as this is also the best time of year for overseeding. This means that your young grass will have the right conditions for natural growth making your lawn lush and green in no time.


Scarifying a lawn is an important step to take before the arrival of summer. Keep your garden looking good with these 6 steps and you will be ready for all those BBQs in no time! 1) Clear debris, 2) Mow, 3) Top-dress, 4) Overseed, 5) Fertilise 6) Water.

Now that you know the six steps to revive a lawn, it is time to get started. If your garden is in need of some TLC and there are weeds popping up here and there, do not worry; with these tips on hand, you should be able to revitalise your grass within weeks.

If you liked this, you should check out our other article about lawns!!!

Garden Doctor Tips

Garden Doctor Trev

“When scarifying, it is important that the soil is moist and loose, not compacted, or clumpy because it will make your machine more difficult to pull across the surface of the grass!”

“If there has been an extended period without rain, then watering every day for about 15 minutes is advised!”

“For best results and a healthier looking lawn in no time, scarify in mid-spring!”

“You will also want to fertilise at least twice per year. We recommend doing this once during early spring before new growth starts up again in addition to after the summer’s heat dies down.!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is scarifying the same as aerating?

No. Scarifying and aerating are two different techniques. Scarifying is a more aggressive way to get rid of thatch, while aerating does so with gentler tines or blades, injecting holes into the soil to allow air circulation and moisture absorption.

The distinction between scarification and aeration is an important one for gardeners because it will determine which tool you should use in your yard.

While scarification and aeration have disparate effects on soil, they are both important steps in maintaining a healthy lawn that is able to withstand the rigours of wear and tear and compaction from foot traffic, animals and inclement weather like heat waves.

Is scarifying worth it?

Many studies have demonstrated that the practice of “scarification” —intentionally damaging the surface of the soil with a rake or other implement – helps promote healthy growth in lawns.

As surfaces on top are damaged, moisture stays near the grass roots and stimulates rooting depth, leading to better root development.

Will my lawn recover after scarifying?

Of course, scarifying your lawn will actually improve overall health and promote better, stronger growth.

You will need to follow our guidelines above to ensure that your lawn grows back exactly how you want it.

About Me

Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.

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