Watch your garden grow: However big or small your garden, our electric and petrol scarifiers can revitalise your lawn and transform it to a picture of health. Your lawn should be at least three years old before the first scarification. Always mow the grass as short as possible before you begin; an average height of 4 cm is ideal. If possible, work when the soil is thoroughly dry; this will prevent damage to the machine and keep the resulting grooves open
WHAT IS SCARIFYING?
With scarifying the turf is slightly cut and mulch (old grass clippings) and moss are thus removed. The soil can then absorb more oxygen and the lawn growth will be accelerated. The original English term ‘verticutting’ is a combination of the words ‘vertical’ and ‘to cut’. The optimal time for scarifying the lawn is in spring between mid-April and the beginning of May. The lawn is then best able to regenerate. The sharp and spiral-mounted slicing blade on the John Deere scarifier cuts millimetre-deep into the turf. The soil area is then free of dead grass and unwanted thatch.
The scarifier with collection bag collects the material whilst scarifying.
When scarifying, grasses that do not have sufficient roots will be pulled out. Freshly laid lawns are therefore not suitable for scarifying; after a few months of growth the roots have taken hold. A rule of thumb is that the lawn should be at least three years old before it is scarified for the first time.
After scarifying the lawn should be fertilised. Depending on the soil the surface can also be sanded. If the turf is too thinned out then a subsequent seeding is recommended where appropriate.
Thatch – what is it and how is it formed?
During the course of the year plant remains and grass cuttings accumulate. These make the soil surface more dense and sealed. Rain water, air and nutrients are no longer able to reach the roots of the grass. The lawn looks sickly and uneven as the grass plants are no longer able to form an unbroken surface.
Regular scarifying, mowing and fertilising will keep your lawn healthy and attractive. When the ground temperature reaches 8°C the grass will start to grow. This gives the best conditions for the first operation with the scarifier. Depending on the weather conditions the scarifier can be used in Europe from April until September. Autumn is also an optimal time for scarifying as your lawn will once again receive valuable care and any moss that has grown in the summer will be removed.
The following steps should be observed:
The lawn should already have been mown once or twice in the spring.
Mow the lawn before scarifying with the lowest possible blade height – four centimetres cutting height is ideal.
The soil should be well dry. All stages of the work will then be easier and the device will be protected.
DETERMINE THE CORRECT WORKING DEPTH:
Please adjust the working depth correctly. This depends on the degree of thatch and the soil compaction. The age of the lawn is crucial. Place the unit on the lawn – the blade should just touch the ground. With motor running move the scarifier a short distance on the lawn back and forth.
Correct the working depth so that the blade just cuts the surface.
Now place the scarifier blade in the starting position so that the working depth is set. In this starting position the measurement of the desired depth of cut can be set and adjusted accordingly.
The cutting depth of a manicured lawn is about 3mm and for an unmanaged lawn about 5mm.
The principle is that it is better to scarify every three weeks at about 3mm deep.
Now you can start. With manicured lawns use the scarifier in one direction. With more matted areas move first in one direction and then across the lawn again. Make sure when changing direction that the blade is not in the ground (handle downwards). Work quickly. If you stop at any point then turn the machine off.
Thoroughly rake the thatch that is now lying on the surface. The lawn can now be fertilised or sanded. If it is dry then don’t forget to water the area sufficiently.
After the scarifying the lawn should be protected for a few days. The turf then has the optimal conditions to regenerate after the stresses of the scarifying.
Important: In very dry conditions the lawn must be watered after scarifying.
Please note in autumn: In dry weather rake together fallen leaves first. These give precious leaf humus which is ideal for soil improvement and fertilisation.
THE DIFFERENCE: SCARIFYING AND AERATION
By ‘aeration’ the aeration of a lawn is meant. This uses a machine to make 5 to 9cm-deep finger-sized holes in the lawn which are subsequently filled with sand. The spike with which the holes are generated can be hollow or solid.
Through this process turf compaction is broken and gas exchange takes place and the life of aerobic bacteria in the soil and grass growth are promoted. Following aeration and overseeding the lawn is then fertilised. On golf greens the total area is sanded after aeration and levelled (towed).
Aeration is usually performed prior to the lawn’s seasonal growth spurt, at the start of May or the middle of August. This varies depending on soil and climate conditions so that surfaces are often aerified. When using small spikes a sanding is not necessarily performed (for example to ventilate a wet spot).
Why use scarifiers?, are available in the Co. Down, Belfast, Co. Down, Northern Ireland of dealer Johnston Gilpin & Co. Ltd.