How To Use A Lawn Scarifier

Using a scarifier to improving quality of the lawn

How to use a lawn scarifier

If youre keen to improve the look and health of your lawn, theres one nifty tool that can really help. You may not have heard of a lawn scarifier, but its an essential bit of gardeners kit. Want to know how to use one and how it works? Then read on.

Whats a lawn scarifier?

So, first of all, lets take a look at exactly what a lawn scarifier is. A lawn scarifier is a garden tool that consists of a roller with narrow metal blades. This is designed to run over your lawn, removing moss, thatch and weeds as it turns.

There are different types of lawn scarifier on the market. These range from a basic roller mechanism to much more professional and powerful devices. However, for the amateur gardener, theyre often hand-powered but more sophisticated machines using electric or petrol are also available from online retailers and garden centres. But whatever type of lawn scarifier you use, it still needs pushing to work.

When and why should I use a scarifier?

You dont need to use a lawn scarifier often. Once in the spring and once in the autumn is usually enough. However, water-logged and mossy lawns may benefit from slightly more frequent scarifying.

But why should you use a lawn scarifier at all? Well, lawns need a bit of attention to keep them looking good. And two of the most common issues are poor drainage and moss. Poor drainage leads to water logging, which not only makes a lawn hard to use but can also kill the grass. If the ground absorbs water well, it means the roots should get the right amount of moisture and any fertiliser you add can be absorbed properly.

In addition, moss, weeds and thatch can overtake lawns quickly. It smothers the grass and prevents new shoots from growing. So, removing this pesky growth helps your lawn to stay healthy.

Which lawn scarifier is best for me?

Now you understand the benefits of using a scarifier, how do you pick the right one for your lawn? Generally speaking, the best lawn scarifiers for large lawns are those powered by petrol. These are bigger machines that make light work of big areas of lawn and dont rely on a nearby electricity supply.

For average-sized lawns, an electric machine should work well as its slightly less bulky but still wields enough power to do an effective job. You should check that the power cable is long enough though. For smaller lawns, a hand operated device should be perfectly sufficient for your needs.

There are one or two other features you should look out for, to make the best choice. If youre choosing a petrol scarifier, its likely you have a large lawn to look after. So, a large collection bag is essential to avoid frequent emptying. And if youre going electric, youll want one with decent power thats both adjustable and easy to use. While hand-operated tools need to be easy to push, comfortable to use and robustly built. With any type of scarifier, you want to check the blades are of good quality and are corrosion resistant.

The best way to use a lawn scarifier

So, how should you use a lawn scarifier? Firstly, before you start running it over your lawn, you need to make sure that conditions are right. The grass should be relatively short and dry, to get the best results. After your first and last cuts of the year are ideal.

If youre using a hand-operated tool for the job, you may find it easier to rake the lawn first. So its free from stones, leaves and other debris.

The best way to use your scarifier is to run it in straight, parallel lines along the length of your lawn. Then, repeat this process along the width. This method will ensure youve run your scarifier evenly over the entire lawn area. So, moss and thatch are effectively removed, and the ground is sufficiently aerated. Once youve done this, its worth giving your lawn a light watering and a feed if necessary.