Turf requirements range from a bit of grass for football and picnics to the immaculate display of the crown green bowling greens. The majority of us want a reasonably level, healthy sward on which to gaze and offset the labour of love which is our garden. There will always be specifics like worn walking areas or patches to replace entirely due to pet damage but on the whole just follow these three simple practices to add a bounce to the spring lawn.
Scarifying basically means raking dead and congested material from the level where the turf grows, using a specific tool called a spring tine rake, which effectively pulls out congested material from the soil level like a fine tooth comb along a scalp. This allows the space to breathe and regenerate at a crucial area for turf where the plants grow. Unlike broad leaved plants, the single plants that amass to create a sward, have their meristems (areas of dividing and multiplying cells) at the base of the blade. This accounts for why some broad leaved plants are destroyed by regular mowing whereas grass will benefit and remain healthy.
The accumulation of condensed debris at the base of the sward is called ‘thatch’. We remove it to increase drainage and air flow and to assist regeneration of the sward from the base. However, it is not necessarily an annual task. Check first to see how congested your lawn is and whether it is suffering from an accumulation of moss or dampness. As in life, overdoing it will conversely create weakness. You can try a test area first to see wh