The process of scarifying is hard on turf, so the ideal time to tackle this chore is right before grass enters its period of strongest growth. 

Cool-Season Turf

Scarify cool-season turf types in early spring or early autumn. Timing is critical in both cases. In early spring, scarify after grass is actively growing – after you have mowed it once or twice. Time early autumn scarifying to allow grass plenty of time to grow and re-establish before frost arrives.

Timing Tips

  • Scarify when soil is moist, not dry. If soil is too wet, scarifying may remove turf in patches, which will allow the weeds to establish.
  • It’s best to scarify during cooler weather.
  • Mow the lawn to half its normal height right before scarifying.
  • Postpone scarifying– even if it’s needed – during times of drought, watering restrictions or intense heat waves.
  • Avoid heavy scarifying in mid- to late autumn for any kind of lawn. Late-season scarifying sends grass into winter weak and damaged, which can affect survival.