Scarify Lawn: When Is The Right Time

Whether English lawn or just a healthy lawn without moss or clover. To achieve this, it makes sense to scarify the lawn regularly.

When is the right time to scarify the lawn, you will learn in this article.

In particular, I explain at what time of year or in what month and in what weather you should scarify your lawn.

Rasen mit Klee

The right time to scarify the lawn is in spring, preferably in March or April after the spring fertilization and the first lawn mowing have taken place. In the case of heavy moss or weed growth, the lawn can be scarified a second time in the fall. In both cases, however, the lawn should be completely dry, otherwise the scarifying may cause damage to the turf.

Scarifying the lawn: why it makes sense

First of all, it should be mentioned that you do not necessarily have to scarify your lawn, because depending on the location, soil conditions, care and type of lawn seeds, some lawns thrive better or worse than others.

In most cases, however, it makes sense to dethatch the lawn regularly. Before we look at the right time to scarify , we should first look at why it makes sense to scarify the lawn in the first place.

Weeds or clover grow on normal lawns over time. Especially in shady places often grows a lot of moss, because this does not need direct sunlight and rather cool and damp ground.

In addition, it is possible that so-called lawn felt forms, which is composed of dead, organic material – such as lawn clippings or root or leaf residues – and lies like a layer over the lawn.

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This causes the overall lawn surface to become highly compacted, resulting in less nutrients, oxygen and water reaching the soil and grass roots.

The lack of nutrients and water weakens the lawn, reduces its durability and inhibits healthy growth.

Dethatching, on the other hand, i.e. breaking up the turf and removing the unwanted growth in the lawn (such as moss or weeds) ensures that sufficient nutrients, water and light reach the lawn again and it has enough space to grow again.

Scarifying the lawn: the right time

Theoretically, you can scarify your lawn all year round as long as the ground is not frozen.

Nevertheless, certain seasons or even months are more suitable than others. Here you can find out in detail what these are:

Dethatching the lawn in spring
Spring is the best season to scarify your lawn. More specifically, the best time to dethatch your lawn is between March and April.

Firstly, because in spring you can see the negative effects of winter on the lawn the most. So you should not only prepare the beds, patio or garden shed for the gardening season, but also get the lawn back in shape and properly maintained.

Secondly, because in these months there are optimal weather conditions for scarifying. There is no more ground frost, the time is dry enough, but also offers enough rain so that the lawn can also recover. In May, it is often already too warm and dry again.

Thirdly, if the lawn is scarified in March or April, it will have recovered optimally by the start of summer, i.e. in early June.

When exactly should the lawn be scarified in spring?

You can find out the right time as follows:

Watch the daffodils in your yard. As soon as they bloom, sufficient spring temperatures are reached and your lawn will grow again.

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At this time, start the lawn care program with spring fertilization.

Mow the lawn about two weeks after fertilizing for the first time in the year.

The second time you mow the lawn, it is time to mow the lawn again to normal height (2-4 cm) and then scarify it.

Scarifying lawn in summer

Theoretically, you can also scarify the lawn in summer, but I do not recommend it for various reasons.

On the one hand, because the lawn is usually most stressed in the summer. Not only because of the weather but also because of mowing the lawn, playing soccer or sunbathing, which makes an additional stress by dethatching not reasonable.

On the other hand, summer with high temperatures, less rain and therefore dryness does not provide ideal conditions in which the lawn could recover after dethatching.

Scarifying lawn in autumn

Besides spring, fall is also a good time of year to dethatch your lawn. Especially if you have heavy moss growth in your yard, for example, you can dethatch your lawn in the fall a second time after spring.

The best time for dethatching in autumn is approximately between mid-September and the end of October.

This is because by then the lawn is not as stressed by summer activities and there is also enough time after dethatching for the lawn to recover before the first frost.

Scarifying the lawn in winter

In winter, the lawn often should not or cannot be scarified, because it is usually frozen. Not only the frost, but also due to the cold and the lack of sun, it is absolutely not recommended to scarify lawn in winter.

The right weather for scarifying the lawn

In addition to the season or month, the weather for scarifying the lawn should also be right.

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The soil must be dry, but not completely dry, so it is best if it has not rained for a few days.

The soil should not be wet, because then the root systems are often connected over the wet, muddy soil and more of the lawn is loosened or removed than necessary.

However, the soil should not be completely dried out either. Because then it is more difficult for the blades of the scarifier to dig into the soil.

Scarifying the lawn: how often is useful

In general, it is recommended to scarify lawns once a year – preferably in spring.

However, if you have a lot of moss, clover or weeds in your garden, you can dethatch it a second time in the fall, but this is not a must.

However, you should not dethatch your lawn more than twice, as this would put too much strain on it.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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