What you need to know about Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers
If your lawn is discoloured, feels spongy or is visibly damp, it is likely that it contains too much thatch. You will need a Lawn Raker or a Lawn Scarifier to remove it. Operated much like a Lawnmower, Lawn Scarifiers are rolled over the surface of the lawn, preferably at right angles. A cylinder of revolving blades or prongs penetrates slightly below the surface of the soil, pulling out thatch & usually depositing it in an attached collection bag. Thatch refers to a substrate of organic matter composed primarily of dead plant material, moss & stolons (interlacing grass roots which grow laterally beneath the soil). These substances hinder healthy lawn growth by impeding drainage. Scarifying restores drainage, & allows air, water & nutrients to permeate through to your lawn's roots. Severing grass stolons has the added benefit of encouraging the development of a greater number of individual plants, resulting in a thicker, healthier lawn. Many Lawn Scarifiers include a second interchangeable cylinder, in which case they double as Lawn Rakers. The raking cylinder is fitted with sprung tines, which also can remove thatch, but can be used for the collection of fallen leaves or other garden debris too. Most Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers are corded and electric
, but more powerful Petrol Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers
are recommended for lawns of an area in excess of 300 meters squared.
Before & after using Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers
A fortnight before scarification, treat your garden with moss killer, or moss will be redistributed & will regrow. Scattering grass seed over the lawn after scarification, known as 'over seeding', will help fill any holes with new growth. Following over seeding by top dressing with a mixture of sifted compost, soil & sharp sand is also recommended, as it aids the new seeds in taking root. Scarifying should be undertaken in autumn & spring, when lawns do the most growing.
Safety when using Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers
Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers are generally quite safe to use. Sturdy shoes or Work Boots
must be worn during operation, to protect your feet. Avoid running over the power cable with Corded Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers, & use an RCD adaptor
to safeguard yourself against electrocution. RCD adaptors will cut off power from the mains in the event of an earth current fault. Never reach into the cylinder housing when Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers are switched on, or connected to a power source.
Maintaining Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers
Lawn Rakers & Scarifiers do not require much maintenance. The cylinder housing will need cleaning after use to remove fragments & prevent rusting. Treating metal blades with GT85
will also protect them from rust, by repelling moisture. When wear begins to affect performance, blades and tines will need to be substituted for replacements