What is a scarifier?
A scarifier is a garden tool used to break-up compacted soil, to remove dead grass and moss, and to aerate the turf. All this helps to promote healthier growth, reduces waterlogging and improves nutrient uptake.
6 steps to follow when scarifying:
- Step 1: Choose the Right Time
Scarifying is best done in spring or autumn, when the grass is actively growing.
- Step 2: Mow the Lawn First
Cut the grass short before you start scarifying.
- Step 3: Adjust the Scarifying Depth
Adjust the blades’ working-depth to suit the grass-conditions and the level of compaction.
- Step 4: Start Scarifying
Start from one corner of the lawn and move in straight lines, slightly overlapping each pass.
- Step 5: Collect Debris
Once the job’s done, collect any debris and dispose of it properly. A garden blower, wheeled vacuum or leaf-sweeper will make this job a breeze!
- Step 6: Rake the Lawn
Finally, use a garden rake to gently level the soil and restore the lawn’s appearance.
Over-scarifying can damage the lawn, so it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines for the frequency of scarifying, the blade-depth and the lawn size.
When do I need to use a scarifier?
You need to use a scarifier when your lawn is showing signs of compacted soil, excessive thatch – that’s a layer of dead grass, moss and roots that accumulates on the lawn surface – and/or poor grass growth. Some indicators that suggest your lawn needs attention include:
– Water pooling on the surface after heavy rain
– A spongy feeling when walking on the turf
– A build-up of moss and laterally-growing rhizomes
– Discolouration and bare patches
What types of scarifier are available?
There are 3 main types of lawn scarifier:
These are hand-held tools with tines that are manually dragged across the lawn in order to tease-out any moss and thatch. Manual scarifiers are best suited to smaller areas.
More efficient and more effective than manual units, powered scarifiers employ a series of rotating blades, which not only remove moss and thatch, but also – with the working-depth set lower – dig into and break-up the surface soil to relieve compaction. These scarifiers can be either petrol driven, mains-electric or battery-powered, and have working-widths ranging from 36 to 60cm.
If you’re maintaining a large lawn and are running a garden tractor, a fast-working towed scarifier – or ‘dethatcher’ – is recommended.
When choosing a lawn scarifier, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of your lawn, the state of the grass and the amount of soil compaction. Contact our knowledgeable sales team on 020 3026 8712 for recommendations on the best type of scarifier for your particular needs.
5 Steps you need to take after scarifying
After scarifying your lawn, you should follow these steps to help your lawn recover and to maintain its health over the longer-term:
- Step 1: Aerate the Soil
Scarifying helps to break up compacted soil, but you may need to aerate the soil further to allow water, air, and nutrients to reach the roots more easily. This can be done either with a garden fork, or with a dedicated handheld soil-plug remover.
- Step 2: Reseed Bare Patches
If you’re faced bare patches on the lawn, you can reseed them after scarifying. Choose grass seed that’s suitable for your area, and follow the recommended application rate.
- Step 3: Fertilise
If the grass is looking thin or patchy post scarifying, a lawn fertiliser will help encourage healthy, vigorous growth.
- Step 4: Water
It’s important to water the lawn thoroughly after scarifying, especially during prolonged periods of hot and/or dry weather. This will encourage the soil to settle, while also promoting strong root growth.
- Step 5: Mow the Lawn
After a few days, you can mow the lawn with your mower’s cutting-height back in its usual position. Avoid mowing too low, as this can damage the grass at a stage when it’s too delicate to recover.
Take a look at our extensive range of scarifiers and aerators here!