When is the best time to professionally scarify?

When is the best time to professionally scarify?

What actually is the definition of scarifying?

The term 'scarifying' comes from England, the motherland of the perfect lawn. It is a combination of the words 'vertical' for vertical and 'to cut' for cutting. This describes a fundamental maintenance measure in which moss, clover, weeds and felt are combed out of the lawn. The aim of scarifying is so that the grass roots can 'breathe' better, for which they thank you with a lush growth.

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Skillfully scarify at the right time of year - this is how it works

During the cold season, snow pressure, frost and permanent wetness affect the lawn. The dilemma is revealed after the first mowing in March or April. Instead of a lush green, velvety lawn carpet, a matted, moss-covered stubble meadow emerges. Now is the ideal time to scarify. This work is carried out either with electrical or gasoline-powered devices or a manually operated rake.

On a motorized scarifier (€ 76.01 at Amazon *), several knives rotate about 3 cm apart in order to score the sward 3 to a maximum of 10 mm deep. All the greenery that has no place in a perfectly manicured lawn is plucked out. The scarifying rake works in a similar way, but with a noticeable trim effect. How to do it right:

  • Mow the lawn for the first time when the stalks are 6-8 cm high
  • Trim the grass surface to 2-4 cm
  • Now switch from the lawn mower to the scarifier
  • Start with a comb depth of 3 mm
  • Only increase the device setting if not all tangles are recorded
  • Work the lawn once lengthways and once across the lawn

Walk the lawn quickly without stopping. If a stop is unavoidable, switch off the scarifier immediately. If you choose the manual technique, the rake must not penetrate too deeply into the sod. Otherwise the roots will be damaged. At the end, the area is carefully cleaned of the combed out weeds to prevent mold and rot.

Tips: If the scarifier only combs out moss without weeds, you are holding a first-class mulch material for the kitchen garden. In addition, lawn moss is ideal as an aggregate for airy, loose potting soil.

This is how you recognize the ideal time

Spring is therefore the best time of year to give the lawn the vitalising start-up aid for the new season. That said, the timeframe is only roughly outlined. In order to determine the ideal time for this central maintenance measure, experienced hobby gardeners focus on the following requirements:

  • The bottom is completely thawed
  • Hard frost periods are no longer to be expected
  • The lawn is not dried out, but slightly damp
  • The weather is dry, with temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius

The early bloomers give a visual indication of the ideal time to treat the lawn. When daffodils and other bulb flowers are in full bloom, the lawn begins to grow more rapidly. Scarifying should be done by May at the latest if the lawn is used intensively. The area needs a few weeks to regenerate, before the children's birthday party or the first summer barbecue.

What should you watch out for for the maximum care effect?

If the lawn is scarified in spring, this is also the right season for the supply of nutrients. For the experienced hobby gardener, scarifying and fertilizing are inextricably linked. How to properly handle the aspects of care:

  • The lawn is fertilized every 1-2 weeks for scarifying
  • Either apply a slow release fertilizer or fertilize organically
  • In the following, water repeatedly so that the fertilizer completely rains in

Prudent gardeners carry out a pH value test in advance. If a value below 6 is revealed, the lawn is first limed. After a waiting period of about 3 weeks, fertilizer is given, as both preparations cancel each other out.

When does autumn scarifying make sense?

A lawn that is used intensively can definitely be scarified again at the beginning of September. At this point garden life is nearing its end. In addition, a lawn free of weeds and moss goes into the cold season. The wetness of winter can run off better, so that the risk of compaction is minimized. Ideally, the grass area then receives a potassium-emphasized winter fertilization to strengthen the resistance.

Tips: Investing in a scarifier for one-time use per year is not worthwhile. On the other hand, the loan devices are difficult to get hold of in the hardware store, given the tight time window for this maintenance measure. In well-functioning neighborhoods, hobby gardeners therefore purchase a joint device that makes the rounds.