Properly scarify a lawn

If you don’t maintain your lawn regularly, you’ll soon find a thick, matted layer of withered plant debris and weeds in your yard. This lawn thatch prevents light, water and vital nutrients from penetrating to the grass roots. The death of the grass plants and an unsightly discoloration of the lawn are the consequences. Now you need to act quickly – with the help of a scarifier. We explain how to scarify your lawn properly.

Procedure for dethatching

First, the lawn is shortened to a length of about 3 centimeters with the help of a lawn mower. It now makes sense to reach for the scarifier. With its blade-like hooks, the scarifier or a lawn mower with a scarifying function plucks the unloved felt carpet from the lawn to give it back the air it needs.

By cutting up the surface of the soil, the water and nutrients can now get back to the grass roots unhindered. An additional portion of lime regulates the pH value in the soil and thus has a supporting effect against the formation of moss.

Scarifying: Step by step instructions

  • You should only scarify when your lawn is dry and you have previously mowed it down to about 3 to 5 cm.
  • The dethatching depth must be set correctly: first drive a short path with a working depth of 2 mm.
  • Check the result: if not all the lawn felt has been combed out, set the working depth one step lower. In most cases, a dethatching depth of 3 to 4 mm is sufficient.
  • You should drive the scarifier over the area to be worked on as quickly as possible so that your lawn is not overly stressed.
  • While scarifying, create a pattern similar to that of a checkerboard. To do this, first drive down the lawn in longitudinal paths and then again crosswise. This will give you the best result.
  • When changing the working direction, it is advisable that you push the guide bar down so that the blades are not on the ground. This would otherwise put too much strain on the lawn.
  • After dethatching, you should remove the dry dethatching material from the lawn. Provided there are no weeds in it, you can dispose of the lawn felt on the composter, for example. Weed seeds would otherwise spread across the fresh humus in the garden.
  • Finally, new lawn seeds are sown on thin and bare patches so that you get a full carpet of lawn again.

Most manufacturers of lawn mowers also have very good scarifiers on offer. There are, among others, scarifiers from Bosch, Einhell, AL-KO, Hecht and WOLF, whether as a simple roller or motor-driven.

Other options for lawn care

In our guide Liming the lawn: correct timing and instructions, you will learn how to improve the pH of the soil. As an alternative to lawn lime, garden enthusiasts recommend spreading a mixture of rock dust and compost. Which method is right for your lawn is up to you and your lawn to figure out. A so-called soil test can help you decide.



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