What to Do After Scarifying the Lawn to Make It Look Better Than Ever

Even the best scarifiers can make a mess of your lawn so it’s important to know what to do after scarifying the lawn to help it recover as quickly as possible.

This will be made easier if you’ve chosen the right time to scarify and the weather helps by providing some sun, warmth and rain.

But in order for it to recover quickly and look the best it ever has, you need to help it along.


What to Do After Scarifying

Your reason behind scarifying will dictate which of the following jobs you do to help your lawn recover.

If it’s as part of your annual maintenance regime then at the very least, you need to overseed with new grass seed and apply a lawn feed.

On the other hand, if you’re restoring or repairing your lawn, I’d advise you do everything, in the order in which each job is listed.

Aerate, Either By Spiking or Hollow Tining


In the interest of being thorough, you might want to aerate.

If your lawn is in good nick and you’ve scarified as part of your lawn calendar, then spike with a garden fork, aerator sandals or rolling aerator.

This will improve airflow and the penetration of water and nutrients into the soil and encourage deeper rooting.

However, if the soil is compacted and hard, use a hollow tine aerator. You can buy hollow tining forks or for areas, it makes more sense to hire a machine.

Hollow tining remove hundreds, even thousands of cores of turf from the sward which creates space for the rest of the soil to ‘relax’ into. This, in turn, creates all of the same benefits as spiking.

Add a Top Dressing (Optional)

lawn top dressing

For most lawns, top dressing is an optional extra which adds cost and time.

That said, if you scarified as part of a renovation you should really top dress to add nutrients and microbes to the existing soil.

Also, if you own an ornamental lawn which is your pride and joy, then top dressing will even it out and make it flatter. The micro-organisms in the top dressing will also control the build-up of thatch.


overseed a lawn

When you’ve scarified or raked, you’ll less grass in your lawn.

If you’ve had a moss or thatch problem then chances are you’ll have some bare patches. You might even have more soil than grass.

It’s really important to overseed to replace lost grass. If you don’t, not only will your lawn look unsightly, but the probability of a weed infestation will be much greater.

By overseeding, things will recover and look better sooner. Also, when your grass is thick and lush, there is less room for weeds to grow.

Choose the best grass seed for your lawn and the environment in which it resides.

Apply a Fertiliser

feed your lawn

In order to give the grass a boost of nutrients, apply a lawn feed.

This will encourage the germination of new grass seed and give the existing the chemical nutrients it needs to grow and repair itself.

The best lawn feed to use depends on the time of year.

If it’s spring, use a spring/summer feed. If it’s autumn, use an autumn/winter feed

Water (If Needed)

how much should I water my grass

In order to activate the fertiliser and encourage the germination of new grass seed, the soil needs moisture.

Spring and Autumn usually have plenty of rain to help your lawn recover but if not, you’ll need turn the sprinklers on.

Use a hose with a fine sprinkler setting as watering too heavily can wash the grass seed away.


In Conclusion

Knowing what to do after scarifying is really important if your lawn is to recover quickly.

And like I said, your reason for scarifying in the first place will dictate how much additional work you put into your lawn’s recovery.

With 4-6 weeks, it’ll look better than ever.

About Tim Stephens

I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. As if I was there doing it all for you!

3 thoughts on “What to Do After Scarifying the Lawn to Make It Look Better Than Ever”

  1. Tim I have scarified my lawn and ordered top dressing. I intend to overseed after top dressing. Can I put autumn feed (no moss killer in it) before top dressing and then immediately overseed.

  2. Hi, how quickly should I go through the process of reseeding, feeding & watering the lawn following the scarifying process to remove the moss etc.


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