What is Scarification, What Does a Lawn Scarifier Do?
If you look at your lawn and see a sorry patch of mossy tired and yellow grass, it probably means that the grass is in pretty poor shape, and in need of a bit of TLC. Moss and thatch overgrowth tends to set in after a period of neglect, perhaps over the course of a year or more. One of the first things you might like to consider doing is scarifying the lawn, this basically means getting rid of all the moss and dead undergrowth (thatch) that is quite literally starving the life out of the grass, hense it is also known as ‘dethatching’. It’s important to note at this point that going through this process will probably make your lawn look even worse than when you started! But be assured that this is a long term process and will ultimately lead to making the lawn look healthy again, you just need to be patient and have a little faith.
When Should I Scarify?
A common mistake many novices (and indeed professionals) make when scarifying lawns is to do it at completely the wrong time of year. The truth is there is only a narrow window of opportunity every year when you can scarify your lawn without causing more harm than good. Although your lawn may look mossy and sorry for itself, it’s important to realise that the grass still needs to have some life in it, or else it won’t cope with the somewhat harsh process of being raked intensely, which is effectively what scarification does. With this in mind, you should ensure that you only scarify your lawn in the late Spring and early Autumn, or in other words, either side of summer.
Should I Prepare The Lawn Before I Scarify?
There are a few things you should to do before scarifying to ensure you get the best results:
- Apply moss killer a few weeks beforehand to kill off the worst of the moss, and to ensure that it comes away more easily when scarifying
- Mow the lawn to ensure that the scarifier doesn’t have to work through layers of grass, which will ultimately reduce it’s effectiveness
- Feed the lawn to kick start the recover process after scarification
The Best Scarifier
There are many varieties of scarifier (often known as ‘lawn rakers’) on the market, and their operation from a user point of view is similar to most push lawn mowers. The same advantages and disadvantages exist with regards to whether you choose an electric or petrol model, and here we’ve selected a few of the best examples on the market and checked out what they have to offer. There are also a few examples on the market of a scarifier attachment for lawn mowers, although how effective they are compared to a dedicated scarifier is open for debate.