What to do after Scarifying

What to do after Scarifying

After any invasive treatment such as scarifying, you should always assist the lawn to recover. This is easier if you’ve been wise with your timing and nature is helping by providing some warmth, sun and rain to speed things along.

As far as I’m concerned the lawn is there for my benefit and I want it to look respectable all year round. You should be able to achieve the same regardless of whether you’ve got a kiddies play lawn or a masterpiece. Just get your timing right!

Kill any Remaining Moss

Firstly, if you have or had moss in the lawn a dose of ferrous sulphate based moss killer, preferably by watering can or sprayer will kill any moss left in the lawn. It should penetrate deeply into the moss now that you’ve thinned it with your raking. This is one of the best ways of reducing moss infestation. Don't forget to do a final rake to clear this dead moss from the soil surface as any debris will reduce seed to soil contact and compromise germination.


This is always advisable and pretty much always neglected. Do this before the other procedures.

Top Dressing

This is quite onerous so only do this if you have other reasons to top dress. If you are top dressing we think it is best to level and smooth the top dressing before sowing the seed. If you seed first it may get moved about as you smooth the top dressing and therefore not end up where you want it.

Add a Wetting Agent

If you experience dry summers, have soil that is freely draining or have an older lawn then adding a wetting agent at this point is highly beneficial. It will help the soil capture and hold water more readily benefiting your lawn as it recovers. Our granular Satugran is ideal for this.

Speed Thickening and Improve Grass Density

Add lawn grass seed. If damage is patchy then a light sprinkling (10 to 20 seeds per square inch – no more) into those areas may be all that is needed. However, if you’ve done a thorough de-mossing or de-thatching then it’s risky to expect a full and uniform recovery so get some grass seed into the whole lawn. 

If you’re going to be using iron sulphate or an iron fertiliser AND over seeding put the seed in at least a couple of days afterwards. Other fertilisers can be applied at the time of seeding or within a few weeks of seeding.

Start Lawn Recovery

Get some fertiliser into the lawn. For simplicity apply this on the day of seeding though more reliable results are obtained by waiting until the seed has germinated before adding fertiliser. Both are good but whatever you do, don't apply before seeding!

I always use a fertiliser containing potassium and any of the Lawnsmith fertilisers will do as they all contain potassium. This helps the grass fight off the stress of the scarifying and will help protect against disease. As most of your scarifying activity is going to be in August or September you’ll find an autumn fertiliser like Lawnsmith® AUTUMN Lawn Feed is an ideal recovery fertiliser for existing grass and also new seedlings.

If you are raking or scarifying in spring you need one of these fertilisers even if you have clay soil as they contain the right balance of nutrients for new and old grass.

Finally, pray for gentle rain and be prepared to get the sprinkler out if you’re the unlucky sort!