De-thatching, also referred to as scarification, of lawns or turf is a mechanical process whereby the surface and subsurface of the lawn is rigorously abraded by penetrating metal blades, tines or prongs. The process is usually carried out by machines of a professional standard which are gasoline powered or attached to a lawnmower as an attachment.
The process of scarifying is designed to remove thatch from lawns. Thatch is a build-up of organic matter which can include dead grass, leaves, stems, stolons, rhizomes, overcrowded grass roots and lateral weed growth. Thatch can stifle the growth and health of grass or turf. Removing the thatch helps the grass by encouraging it to thicken up while making it stronger and less susceptible to disease. Reducing thatch levels increases the levels of water, air and nutrients that can get through to the root zone of the grass plants. Significant thatch problems in lawns can cause diseases.
Dethatching is normally carried out in autumn or spring. When de-thatching, not all thatch should be removed, as a small amount of thatch is beneficial to the lawn. A lawn that has excessive thatch may feel spongy when walked upon. After removing thatch, it will be physically removed with a rake or some sort of vacuum machine.
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