LJN Blog Posts

moss control (3)


In the first of a several part blog that we are writing, we will explain some of the terms that are often used in lawncare service leaflets and by contractors but many of you out there may not actually understand what they mean!

Lets start with a term you will very commonly see called - SCARIFYING.

So what does this word mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary helps us by explaining the term thus: Scarifying is to cut and remove debris from (a lawn) with a scarifier.

So basically scarifying is the process of removing debris (be this moss, thatch (more on that in another post) or dead grass) from the lawn using a tool, be this manual or powered.


Okay, you say, so now I understand what the word means, but WHY would this be done?

Quite simply in our opinion, scarifying regularly is the cornerstone of a good lawncare regime.

The vast majority of lawns will suffer from a buildup of either moss or thatch or both.

As with all plants, grass needs air, water and nutrients to grow. 

Thatch and moss can choke the grass off ALL of these as well as making you lawn look sickly, feel spongy or be difficult to mow.

Removing this buildup helps light, nutrients and water reach the roots of the grass, where it is needed for optimum, healthy growth.


Again, you say, now I understand WHY this would be done, HOW is it done?

Generally speaking, scarifying is carried out with a powered machine, be it electrically or fuel powered. These will generally have a reel of steel blades (in the case of some domestic 'lawnrakers' springs are used intead - nowhere near as effective though!), these literally slice through the buildup in the lawn and throw it out of the front or rear of the machine, either onto the floor or into a collection box. Smaller parts of lawns or more awkward areas may require a springtine rake or hand scarifer to get to the bits that the machine can't, especially near the edges of the lawn or around obstacles such as paving slabs or trees.

There will be a LOT of waste removed, far, far more than you are likely to think!


How do I obtain a scarifying machine?

These machines are available to hire or buy from most good garden machinery stores - however - it is very, very easy to completely destroy a lawn with a scarifier if you are not familiar with all its adjustments, operating characteristics etc.

A good machine can involve outlay of hundreds of pounds on a machine that may only be used anually and will likely not start when needed after a winter in the garage!

Perhaps this is one situation when its best to employ a grass care professional instead of purchasing your own machine.

Do I need to do anything before or after I scarify my lawn and when is best to do it?

If you are scarifying your lawn to remove thatch only, cut the lawn quite short before scarifying as this will help minise the 'tugging' action of the scarifier machine at the grass plant roots and help only remove the rubbish that you are trying to target.

If you are scarifying to remove moss, then it is strongly recommended to apply a moss killer such as lawn sand or sulphate of iron approx 14 days before scarifying to kill off the moss before you try to remove it with the scarifier machine. In more severe cases, it may be necessary and indeed desirable to remove the bulk of the moss with the machine before using these products to treat anything remaining.

It must be noted that all moss killer products should be used with extreme care as they will leave stains on paving etc that cannot be easily removed.

We strongly recommend fertilizer application following scarifying to help the grass recover faster.

Overseeding may be necessary to rebuild any particularly bare patches of the lawn.

The best time to scarify is Spring or Autumn - but don't do it in the depths of winter, or when there is frost or snow forecast (no matter what certain franchised lawn care businesses may tell you about this being acceptable practise!) and certainly don't carry it out in the middle of summer as your lawn will likely turn brown and die due to heat stress.

After reading all this, you don't feel like scarifying your own lawn is a task that you can confidently undertake yourself?

Here at South Lincs Grass Care, we service a wide area from our base near Spalding, Lincs and have a selection of different scarifying machines to suit all requirements from small models for domestic lawns upto a 1.2 metre wide, tractor mounted model for large lawns, pitches and amenity areas.

Being licensed waste carriers, we can dispose of all of the thatch, moss and rubbish that our powerful machines and trained operators will remove from your lawn and advise of the best ways our service can enhance and maintain your revitalised lawn using products not available to the general public - we can also advise on and provide solutions to any drainage issues, weed problems or other lawn issues too.

Dont delay:

Call us today on 07745 247488 or 01775 830250, email us at info@lawncarespalding.co.uk or see our website www.anpservicesspalding.com

'South Lincs Grass Care - for all aspects of professional grasscare'

South Lincs Grass Care is a trading name of ANP Services Spalding Limited.

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Even in our local area, not many people know the true scale of the works that we can offer - basically if its grass (of virtually any description), we can offer services to help you maintain it, improve it, or even prepare the ground and reseed it.

As well as the usual pedestrian equipment expected of a business of our type, we also have a range of compact tractors and implements dedicated to grass care and the preparation and maintenance of grass areas.

Services we offer include:

To domestic properties:

This service operates to domestic properties within an approx 10 miles radius of Spalding, Lincs and can include (as well as the grass cutting) fertilizer applications through the year, moss control, scarifying and weed control as necessary to most sized lawns on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Generally on each visit these lawns will be cut with a pedestrian roller mower, lawns edges maintained and all grass cuttings taken away as part of the service. Additional treatments undertaken as seasonally necessary and at appropriate times.

If you just want your grass cutting and no lawn care services - we can offer that too!

Commercial and amenity grass cutting:

Commercial and amenity grass cutting services are generally offered with 25 miles of Spalding, Lincs and can be caaried out on a one off or regular (generally) fortnightly basis - for other options please contact us.

Pedestrian mowing using roller or wheeled machines, collection, discharge and mulch options available - we have a waste carriers licence in force enabling us to legally remove grass cuttings from your site for off site disposal via an approved composting facility.

Using our compact tractors we can offer mowing services including flail mowing without collection with our Sovema flail mower or with collection facility with our Amazone flail mower (we can flail mow and collect cuttings from wildflower areas using this machine if necessary).

We also have Teagle rotary finishing mowers with rear discharge or mulch options  and Huxley cylinder gang mowers for cutting finer turf areas.

With a quick blade swap, the Amazone machine also converts into a flail scarifier, again with or without collection option. Ideal for sports pitches, large lawns etc where pedestrian scarifying would be uneconomic.

Equestrian paddock maintenance:

Wide range of services available throughout the year!

We also have available in house a full selection of equipment for maintaining and improving equestrian paddocks, we can offer chain harrowing (both mounted frame types and trailed fully floating types), we also have a Sisis Deep Slitting machine which we find ideal for aeration of horse and pony paddocks. With a working width of four feet and tines that can penetrate over 6" into the ground this tool quickly makes thousands of thin 'slots' in the ground helping alleviate the inevitable compaction caused by horses hooves vastly improving grass health and surface drainage.

We also have heavy harrows and a tractor mounted roller for smoothing out heavily poached or damaged areas of grass.

If you have a severe waterlogging or compaction issue or are on heavy clay land, then we can also offer mole draining services. This consists of a specially constructed mole 'plough' that creates a cylindrical passage through the earth and through the compaction layer above allowing water free passage from the surface into the lower layers of soil.

If your paddock needs fertilizing or weed control - we offer that too. In conjunction with our agronomists, we can analyse your soil, find out what fertilizer would be most appropriate and correct most mineral and trace element deficiencies to give your grass a much needed boost.

We can also offer weed control services to deal with most common paddock weeds including the dreaded Ragwort. 

Preparation of ground and seeding of new grass:

We can also carry out preparation of ground and carry out seeding of new grass or repairing of existing areas wheter you just need a light chain harrowing and overseeding to thicken the grass in your paddock or need an area of ground preparing and transforming into lawn, we have the equipment to do so.

We can plough and/or rotovate, level out, consolidate and then seed most areas that it is possible to get a compact tractor into.

We have access to seed mixtures for all occasions be it sports turf, paddock grazing, general purpose or formal lawn.

Got a question?

Need some more information?

Think we can help?

For all your grass care needs, don't hesitate to contact us:

By phone to the office 01775 830250, by phone to Adam's mobile 07745 247488,

or by email southlincsgrasscare@yahoo.co.uk or info@lawncaresspalding.co.uk

South Lincs Grass Care is a trading name of ANP Services Spalding Limited.


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PRO Supplier

Sherriff Amenity’s Ferromex - a high performance liquid moss killer, has been given a new license approval.

Spring is upon us, and the new license for Ferromex arrives at the perfect time to tackle outbreaks of moss and algae. Most groundsmen and greenkeepers have trouble with moss at some stage; and this unsightly nuisance can be caused by a number of factors including poor vigour, acidic soil conditions, insufficient aeration, poor drainage, shade, close mowing, over-use and a lack of feed.

Although there are many products on the market which claim to eradicate moss, license approved moss control products are few and far between due to the tough registration process and the rigorous health and safety measures required. It is also an expensive commitment from any manufacturers who want to prove that the product is of the highest quality.

License approved moss control products provide those who purchase them with a greater confidence knowing that the product will do the exact job it is required to do. Designed for all-year round use, Sherriff Amenity’s Ferromex controls mosses in a wide range of professional sports turf and amenity situations from fine turf golf and bowling greens to outfield sports pitches and ornamental lawns.

Ferromex is a unique, liquid moss killer containing stabilised concentrated iron salts and removes even the heaviest of moss within 7-10 days. It contains 16.4% ferrous sulphate as well as the added bonus of 4.6% nitrogen which helps give the grass some recovery growth.

With low scorch potential, Ferromex can be applied through any type of sprayer. The super concentrated liquid is easy to mix and users have peace of mind knowing that the product is extremely safe to use. For maximum effect, it is advised that Ferromex is applied within the active growing period of grasses from spring to autumn.

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

For more news and insightful views, you can follow Sherriff Amenity on Twitter @SherriffAmenity

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