March: Time for scarification

Finally, March has arrived! Despite the inevitably inclement weather, there’s a part of the psyche of the British gardener that tells us instinctively it’s time to get to work! There might not be a huge amount to do, but this period is the time to prepare your lawn in order to help it thrive through the growing-season. Take steps early, and in a few months, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Scarification – grass pruning:

Reinvigorating your lawn following its winter dormancy is something you can – and should – be getting on with right now. Even if you don’t have a moss problem, the way to do this is through scarifying. Scarifying isn’t just about getting rid of moss – it’s perhaps more appropriate to think of it as a form of pruning. Mowing trims the tops of the leaf blades and promotes improved growth, but it contributes nothing to solving the problems that lurk closer to the turf. It’s at this level where a stifling accumulation of dead organic material and lateral rhizomes can occur, which is known as ‘thatch’. A small amount of thatch is vital, but an excess can be catastrophic for lawn health. A pass with a scarifier will tease-out any debris build-up, at the same time pruning the grass in order to enable air and light to better access the root network and encouraging vigorous new growth – that’s two birds with one stone!

STIGA electric scarifier helps you prepare the grass and soil for spring and summer

Even the most thorough scarification is a relatively light intervention. It can certainly make a bit of a mess, but that’s for a limited time – the grass will rapidly re-grow, a good deal lusher and thicker than it was previously. Don’t reseed; scarify instead!

Scarifying should be carried out at an angle diagonal to that of your primary mowing direction. You should start with the working-depth set to the highest position, then, if necessary, you can perform a second pass with it set lower – there’s no point cutting corners and attempting to remove a 20-year accumulation in one go!

Mid-Scarifying

Once your lawn has been scarified and you’ve bagged-up and disposed of the surface-debris, you should apply moss control, followed by a good-quality lawn feed. Helped by that other form of pruning – otherwise known as ‘mowing’ – this will help the grass to thicken-up. There’s no need to alter your mowing regime for a scarified lawn; keep your mower’s cutting-height the same as – or a fraction higher than – its normal position, so as to avoid damaging young shoots of regrowth.

Green grass growing during Spring needs to be aerated before

Aeration – breathing new life into your lawn:

Post-Scarifying

At this point, it’s still not too late for hollow-tine aeration, although if you do this prior to scarifying, you won’t have to spend time filling-in the holes created. Users of cylinder-mowers will need to apply some top-dressing to restore the smooth surface that’s essential for those machines to do their job effectively. So, seize the day and make March the time for putting all the hard work behind you! The rest of your horticultural year will go a lot more smoothly and you’ll be left with a far happier lawn.

Products in this article
SV 213 E
Electric scarifier
Electric scarifier with 1300 W motor and operating system with 16 blades or 36 spring tines.
Related Articles on The expert says
A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Terrace Garden!

More of a pleasure than a chore, terrace gardening can be highly therapeutic and is a great way to lose yourself and clear your mind of the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Read more
How to get the most from your garden through lockdown

Now the weather’s improving and you’ve got more time on your hands than you know what to do with, seize the day and get to work on the garden!

Read more
5 things to do in the garden during Coronavirus quarantine

It’s a difficult time, one in which we all have to follow the guidelines in order to keep ourselves and others safe: the Coronavirus, which has been spreading pan-globally, has caused restrictions to be placed on our personal space and day-to-day freedom of movement. But for those of us fortunate enough to have a private garden, no matter how big or small, there’s still the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in total safety!

Read more
Gardening: the ultimate workout!

Gardening is a great workout for the whole body, which is excellent news if the thought of daily gym sessions and frequent pavement-pounding doesn’t appeal.

Read more
Take care of the vegetables garden during winter

If you've ever wondered what to do with your vegetable patch in winter, this article is definitely worth a read!

Read more
See your garden blossom by taking action in January!

In midwinter there’s not much for gardeners to do in their horticultural kingdom. However, if you like the idea of exercising your green fingers during the fallow period, there are jobs to be getting on with.

Read more
Protect your favourite plants from cold and snow

Whether they’re pot-plants, flowerbed roses or evergreens, you can protect your favourite plants from the harsh winter conditions by following these simple instructions.

Read more
Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin