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Is it too late to scarifying this year?


I'm new to the forum as I'm looking for some help saving my lawn. After working away from home for a year, it has been pretty neglected and not cut often, although the kids have still played football on it and it has suffered.

I have 3 typical problems which is making it worse- the soil is heavy and clay, lots of use by kids, and a large Euycalyptus tree overgrown and shading a lot. So a lot of the grass has died off and the moss has taken hold of at least half the lawn. I'm getting the tree cut back hard next week and I want to see if I can work on the lawn now. What do people think?

I've read the bits on lawn treatment and definitely need to scarify to get the moss and dead grass out, then aerate and treat the grass. I'm going to look for a cheap scarifier/aerator, does anyone have any suggestions?

But what I'd like to know is, do you think it is too late to start this now? I'm in Cheshire, it's not desperately cold, or do I have to wait several months?

Do I need to try and kill the moss off first as well? It's a big area to treat and I don't really want to wait another two weeks.

Thanks for the advice!


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,420

    It is a bit late for scarifying a lawn it wont recover and will be bare over winter,  and its to late for seeding a lawn it wont germinate, you need a shade mix grass seed for under the tree. 

    You can aerate with fork or use a hollow tine and top dress with sharp sand / top soil or buy a bag of top dressing , this will help with the moss and compaction.

    Moss killer only kills the top inch, so if you have a lot of moss scarifying first and moss killing later would be better. You would need a autumn feed which normally has moss killer or just a moss killer if you were to do it now. Spring and Summer feed are high in nitrogen which stimulate lush green growth, lush green growth and Winter do go together to well. 

    Personally I would hold back for Spring  March - April unless its freezing still. If you cant do it in spring do it now but the lawn won't thank you for it and will look very sad. 

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    I'd aerate it now but hold back 

  • Thanks, I thought it might be a bit late to scarify. Would March be about right?

    I'll aerate now and rake out the thatch by hand. If I put a top dressing down now, will this be enough until next year?

  • Yes lack of light is as big a problem as temperature at this time of year. Do the minimum now as suggested & then go for it in spring.

    AB Still learning

  • I think that will be better. Any recommendations for a scarifier/ aerator? 

  • You could always just let the moss grow it would be nice & soft for your children to play on no mowing just a little sweep now & then!

    Just a thought.image

    AB Still learning

  • dave125dave125 Posts: 178

    I'm in Cheshire too, Delamere. I thought I'd use my scarifier to rake up some leaves from my lawn but forgot to change the setting and subsequently scarified it to death. Basically once I started I thought I'd carry on to even it up. So to sum up I'd leave any "on purpose" scarifying until April. Still at least there's nothing left for the rabiits to eat!

    Luv Dave

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