Scarifying lawn services are essential part of any garden maintenance scheme. Without this, your lawn will be easily susceptible to disease caused by natural bacteria in the soil. Lawn and Weed Expert have 15 years of experience working with clients to gain the perfect lawn condition. By using the state of the art lawn scarifier equipment, we can ensure your grass stays in perfect condition during all seasons.
Thatch is a build up of dead organic matter laying on the soil surface. Thatch is a natural occurrence as old grass stems die and are replaced by new ones. Bacteria in the soil digest the thatch breaking it down into nutrients for other plants. In severe cases of heavy thatch the bacteria cannot digest all the organic matter and the thatch builds up and forms a fibrous layer on the soil surface. This layer acts like blotting paper preventing the flow of moisture, oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the grass roots.
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Thatch Build Up
It is vital that thatch is not allowed to build up as it can have a disastrous effect on any lawn weakening the grass, encouraging moss and diseases. Scarifying is the physical process of removing thatch from the soil surface. It used to be carried out by using a wire rake. The Lawn and Weed Expert have powered machines which scarify far more comprehensively and are far more efficient than raking. Several vertical metal blades revolve at high speed around a shaft and dig into the ground as the machine is pushed along the lawn. The blades can be set at various heights from the surface and consequently take out various amounts of thatch etc. As well as removing thatch and dead moss the blades also prune the shoots of the grass plant encouraging stronger growth.
Lawn Thatch Removal
Grass plants even in the healthiest and well maintained lawns die to be replaced by new grass plants. The dead stalks lie with other vegetable debris on the soil surface forming a layer of dead organic material called thatch.
A small amount of thatch on the soil surface is acceptable as it will gradually decompose; its nutrients will be digested and broken down by bacteria naturally present in the soil who return it to the soil where they will be taken in as nutrients(food) by the new grass plants.
If the bacteria in the soil cannot digest the thatch on the soil surface fast enough an excess builds up and acts like blotting paper blocking the flow of moisture and air to the soil and grass roots.
Seasonal Thatch Issues
In dry periods thatch holds much needed water near the surface preventing moisture getting to the roots. During Autumn and Winter in wetter periods the surface thatch remains damp and humid creating ideal conditions for moss and many grass & turf diseases to flourish.
If your lawn feels spongy when you walk across it you either have thatch or have been using fertilisers with excessive cheap nitrogen that have encouraged too much surge growth in the grass. Too much top growth is not desirable and will cause problems. If your lawn is thick and spongy your lawn should be scarified. Lawn and Weed Expert will check your lawns each time we visit to assess if scarifying is required.
Scarifying is much more vigorous and effective than raking, or using an electric lawn rake which tend to just take outy some of the thatch. Scarifying lawn techniques pull the dead moss and thatch out of the lawn and in the short term makes the lawn look far worse before it recovers. It is important to schedule scarifying so that it is followed by the appropriate weather conditions that assist the lawn with its recovery. Never scarify without previously applying some moss control 2/ 3 weeks in advance. If you scarify without applying moss control you are spreading moss spores across your lawn. Lawn and Weed Expert can advise you on scarifying lawn procedures, but most lawns benefit from scarifying at least every 2 – 3 years depending on soil and weather conditions.