What are scarifiers and lawn rakes and how do you use them?
Find out what a lawn scarifier is, learn about the best ways of scarifying or de-thatching your lawn and get advise on which type of scarifying machine would be most suitable for your garden.
What is a lawn scarifier?
A scarifier is a gardening tool designed to remove the build up of moss and thatch from the surface below the ground. They are powered by either manually pushing the device or alternatively, they are available with petrol engines, electric motors or high capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
How does a scarifier work?
The rotating metal blades cut into the surface of the ground removing the layer thatch which is a mixture of dead and living plant matter which builds up at the point where the grass stems meet the soil. Any moss or other organic material which is present on the ground will also be lifted by the steel blades.
What are the benefits of scarifying the lawn?
By removing the layer of moss and thatch from the lawn, you are enabling water, sunlight and nutrients easier access to the grass roots promoting the growth of healthier, stronger grass. If moss is left in the lawn, it can compete with the grass for space. During the warmer drier weather, the moss will die leaving behind large, unattractive bare patches on the lawn. Another benefit to removing the layer of thatch is the increased drainage efficiency which can prevent the growth of algae your lawn.
What is the difference between scarifying and lawn raking?
Both are very similar in that both processes are designed to remove the thatch and debris from within the lawn. The best way to determine the difference between the two is that scarifying is a more invasive and aggressive lawncare treatment as the blades cut into the surface of the ground. Lawn raking or dethatching is where metal tines comb through the lawn to remove the thatch.
Should you scarify the lawn before or after mowing the grass?
For best dethatching and moss removal results, the lawn should be cut to a length of between 30-40mm. This allows the blades of the scarifier to get through to the surface of the ground easier.
When is the best time to scarify the lawn in the UK?
The best time to dethatch or scarify the garden lawn is during the two main growth periods – Spring and Autumn.
Depending on the weather conditions, it is possible to scarify the lawn in March providing the ground is warm enough for new grass to grow. April is traditionally the ideal month as there is often plenty of moisture and warmer temperatures both of which promote optimum growing conditions. Alternatively, September or October are both good months with the ground still warm enough sufficient time to recover before the cold winter months.
What is the best type of scarifier for my garden?
If you have decided that you would prefer a powered lawn rake or scarifier, choosing the best scarifying machine really depends on the size of the lawns it will be used on.
AL-KO offer a range of suitable scarifiers for all types of gardens. For smaller garden lawns, we would recommend either a lightweight battery powered cordless scarifier or alternatively an electric lawn scarifier. If you need to scarify a large lawn, we would advise a powerful petrol lawn scarifier which have the benefit of being able to operate away from a power supply and for extended periods of time without the need to recharge the batteries.
Both our electric and petrol powered scarifiers are supplied with a steel bladed scarifying cartridge along with a spring tined lawnraking cassette which are easy to interchange without the need to use tools.