Lawn care: scarifying the lawn correctly - why this is so important in spring

It is the showpiece of many plots and a figurehead for many of the almost one million hobby gardeners in Germany: the lawn.

Lawn care: scarifying the lawn correctly - why this is so important in spring

It is the showpiece of many plots and a figurehead for many of the almost one million hobby gardeners in Germany: the lawn. And if you want to shine with an accurate and hard-wearing green in summer, you should invest a lot of time and sweat in spring. The magic word is "scarify". This comes from English and means nothing more than "vertical cut". Read here why the holy lawn - or rather the turf - should be scarified in the spring, which devices make the work easier and what is important.

Experienced allotment gardeners prefer early spring to scarify their lawn. Families in particular should heed this advice. Because the lawn needs a few days to recover from the cuts in the turf. He doesn't get that time in the summer, when the kids and cones are romping around in the meadow. In addition, soil and lawn are particularly capable of regeneration in spring. Depending on the temperatures, the months of March and April are ideal for scarifying the lawn. The culms do best at temperatures between eight and 20 degrees. If you don't have time in spring, you can switch to the summer months of May and June - but you should give your lawn a little more time to relax. In this case, the morning or evening hours are ideal. Here's a scarifier with a working width of 35 centimeters. Important: If the soil is damp, it should not be scarified if possible. In the days after scarifying, however, regular watering helps the lawn to regenerate optimally.

As is so often the case when scarifying a lawn, preparation is everything. Because before you tackle the meadow with the scarifier, the grass should be heavily fertilized in March. It strengthens the green, which should then be trimmed to a length of about four centimeters with the lawnmower. Two weeks later, when the stalks have grown for the first time in the garden year, mowing the lawn is on the calendar again - this time to about three centimeters - the lowest cutting height for most mowers. As soon as the cropped area is completely dry, you can start scarifying.

Like us humans, the many billions of blades of grass in allotment gardens need enough air to breathe. Moss and lawn thatch, which primarily form on aerated loamy soil, inhibit the aeration of the lawn and thus growth. Weeds are also a sure indicator that the lawn roots are not being supplied with sufficient oxygen. And this is where the scarifier comes into play.

Scarifying your own lawn isn't a big deal in itself - even allotment garden newcomers can do it with a little practice. But regardless of whether the lawn is treated with an electric scarifier or a cordless scarifier: the soil should not be slashed, i.e. it should not be scratched too deeply. This has two disadvantages. First, it damages the roots of the lawn. Secondly, the scarifier wears out much faster. It should therefore be ensured that the scarifier blades cut the turf no more than two to three millimeters deep. How deep the blades should penetrate the ground can be set on the devices. In addition, when scarifying, you should drive evenly once lengthwise and once across the lawn - and not stay in one spot on the lawn for too long in order to stress the turf as little as possible.

Like many other gardening tasks, sweat flows when scarifying. Especially if you use it for a little outdoor training and leave the electric scarifier from Scheppach in the shed for a change. Basically, the same rules apply to manually combing the lawn. Temperatures of at least ten degrees and a surface that is as dry as possible – then you can start. Instead of rotating blade rollers, the lawn is worked on with manual or pendulum scarifiers with steel blades that are installed on an axle so that they swing slightly. On some models, wheels make the somewhat tedious work easier (here's a rolling model from Gardena). Depending on how much pressure is exerted on the device, the blades penetrate the turf at different depths and loosen the thatch. The same applies here: the more moss has spread on the lawn, the more pressure the scarifier needs. In contrast to the motorized scarifier, the manual devices are pulled through the turf. Also, don't forget to take breaks from time to time. Not only to breathe deeply, but above all to remove the clippings. In addition, you should plan significantly more time for scarifying by hand. So-called spiked shoes require a little less physical condition. They are strapped with straps under work shoes that are as sturdy as possible. The nails push holes in the lawn, ensuring even aeration.

At least as important as the scarifying itself is the care of the lawn afterwards. If the motorized scarifier does not have a collection container, the loosened moss and lawn thatch must first be collected thoroughly with a rake or fan broom. Bare areas are generously sprinkled with fresh grass seed so that the green can grow back densely and vigorously.

Sources: Federal Association of German Garden Friends; ""; ""

You can read a current scarifier test here.

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