Tips and tricks for scarifying and aerating your lawn
Regular, long-term care is critical to maintaining an attractive lawn. But mowing alone isn’t always enough. To keep your grass looking lush and verdant, you will need to scarify and aerate on a regular basis. But what does that mean, how is it done and when is the right time to do it? We’ll explain everything you need to know about scarifying and aerating your lawn and provide an array of useful tips and tricks to help you grow the lawn of your dreams.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount at every stage of the project. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find everything you need to know about the protective clothing required for each type of task in our guide.
Garden knowledge: Scarifying your lawn. Aerating your lawn.
Regular, long-term care is critical to maintaining an attractive lawn. But mowing alone isn’t always enough. By scarifying and aerating your lawn, you can help improve the uptake of water, oxygen and nutrients. We recommend doing both several times a year. We’ll explain what tools work best and show you exactly how to get the job done.
Preparation and basics
You need: Lawnmowers
The prospect of scarifying and aerating your lawn may sound complex and daunting at first – but in reality, it’s not hard at all. It is important to scarify and aerate your lawn in the fall, as this loosens up the turf, allowing the grass to breathe better and regenerate. This process improves the uptake of water, oxygen and nutrients. What’s the difference between aerating and scarifying?
A lawn aerator is equipped with minute steel tines attached to a drum (image 1). These tines poke small holes in the earth which help to loosen the turf. Aeration can prevent the grass from becoming thick and tangled. For that reason, we recommend aerating your lawn several times a year.
Scarification is a more intensive type of aeration. A lawn scarifier (image 2) is used to score the turf by means of tiny steel blades. This process also removes weeds, moss and thatch. However, it does not damage the roots of the grass. Scarification should be carried out twice a year.
But before you begin aerating and scarifying your lawn, make sure to mow it to a length of about 4 cm. You can review everything you need to know about mowing your lawn here.
Aerating your lawn
You need: Lawnmowers, bin or bag for clippings, grass and moss
If you want a lush, verdant lawn, you’ll need to roll out that lawn aerator now and then during the spring, summer and autumn months. Aeration is the key to keeping your grass greener for longer.
The process is similar to mowing the lawn: To loosen up thatch and mossy patches, run the aerator in straight lines over your freshly mown lawn (image 1) Continue until you have treated the entire lawn. Was that all? Then make another pass at right angles to the first set of lines, again continuing until you have treated the entire lawn. Finally, you can empty the collection box – which, by now, is probably fairly full – into the bin or another bag (image 2). If you have a compost heap, you can simply pile the contents on top.
The bigger your lawn, the longer the aeration process will take. As a rule of thumb, it takes about as long to aerate your lawn as it does to mow it.
Scarifying your lawn
You need: Universal Verticut 1100, bin or bag for clippings, grass and moss
Scarification does not need to be done as frequently as aeration. We recommend scarifying your lawn for the first time each year in spring after the last frost. This will freshen up your grass after the cold winter months. Repeat the process a second time in autumn. This gives the grass another chance to absorb critical nutrients that will keep it healthy in spite of the cold winter temperatures. Make sure that your grass is fairly dry before you begin the scarification process.
You can scarify your lawn the same way you aerated it: Run the lawn scarifier in straight lines over the entire lawn, then make another pass at right angles to the first (image 1). It is important to be very consistent in order to remove moss, weeds and thatch. The scoring depth of the tiny steel blades – between 2 and 3 cm – is sufficient to do the job.
Once you are finished, you can empty the contents of the collection box into the bin or directly onto your compost heap (image 2).
You will need about the same amount of time to scarify your lawn as you needed to aerate it.
You need: rake, Lawn fertilizer, Water
After aerating and/or scarifying your lawn, we recommend raking it clean using an ordinary lawn rake. If you notice any large gaps in the grass, you might want to seed these areas again.
To achieve an even lusher shade of green and keep your lawn healthy, apply fertilizer and water it generously and regularly – your grass will thank you.
Have fun caring for your lawn!