There are a few things to consider before you make your purchase. A scarifier is most commonly used during the spring and autumn periods to remove moss and thatch from the lawn.
The most common models are typically powered by electric or petrol. Scarifiers or lawn rakes remove moss and thatch from turf, with a series of vertically mounted spinning knives, blades or tines.
These tines penetrate into the turf with a slashing action, thus debris from the base of the turf.
Electric or Petrol?
Electric powered scarifier – Ideal for smaller lawns where an electic power source is available. They are cheaper to purchase than their petrol counterparts.
They are great for moss removal as many models have wire tines, which are very effective in removing dead moss. Although they do an adequate job of preventing and removing thatch, severe problems may prove too much for an electric machine.
Petrol powered scarifiers – Petrol powered machines are perfect for larger lawns. The main drawback is the cost of these machines as they can be quite pricey. Petrol scarifiers are better suited for serious thatch problems as they are able to penetrate deeper as power is plentiful. They are capable of removing much more thatch and debris than electric models.
Prices start at around £350 and go up to several thousand pounds for the more expensive professional machines, used by turf professionals, such as groundsmen and greenkeepers. In most cases hiring a machine or enlisting the services of a lawn care specialist is the way to go. This will prove to be more cost effective and save you money which would be best spent elsewhere.
Various manufactures produce cylinder mowers that have interchangeable cassettes. For example, the cutting cylinder can be taken out and a scarifying cassette can be fitted. They are excellent for general purpose scarification and moss removal, but are in no way a replacement for the more expensive petrol powered machines required for serious thatch removal.
A few of the numerous benefits of scarification are:
- Removal of dead moss following treatment, during the spring time.
- Thatch prevention and removal.
- Creating a seedbed prior to overseeding and / or topdressing
- Opens up the surface of the lawn to aid the absorption of top dressing.
- Helps reduce the amount coarser grasses and promotes finer grasses in the lawn.
- Encourages a deeper root system and overall lawn health.