A lawn scarifier or lawn rake is an implement or machine that is used to remove moss and thatch from turf. Although a simple spring tine rake can be used for scarifying a lawn, when we think of a dedicated scarifier we think of a powered machine.
These lawn scarifiers are capable of removing large quantities of debris from the lawn. Some rakes or scarifiers are electric powered, however the high end machines are petrol powered. A petrol powered machine has a higher level of performance than other types of scarifier.
Aside from removing moss and thatch, scarifying offers other various other benefits to the lawn including.
- Discouraging some broad-leaved weeds and coarse grasses
- Creates a near perfect seed bed prior to over seeding
- Encourages finer grasses, such as bent and fescue
Types of lawn scarifiers
- Hand held rakes and implements: The most basic type of lawn scarifier is the humble spring bok or spring tine rake. These hand held rakes are great for removing moss from small, tight lawns where a powered machine would struggle due to lack of manoeuvrability.
Anything approaching a large sized lawn and you are going to find difficult with a spring tine rake, unless you are quite fit and in need of a good workout. Again these rakes are only really suitable for light scarification and cannot penetrate deep to remove a large quantity of thatch.
- Electric scarifiers: These electric lawn rakes work from mains power, simply by plugging them into a socket. They are great for removing moss on larger lawns during the spring time. Most electric scarifiers have wire or spring type tines, which are ideal for shallow scarification. They are not suitable for deep scarification, which may cause damage to the machine.
- Petrol scarifiers: These lawn scarifiers are designed for heavy duty work and can remove vast amounts of thatch. They are very effective for autumn use when deep scarification is more likely to be required. Although they can be used for moss removal, they are not as effective as other forms of scarifier on moss. The main drawback of a petrol scarifier is the cost. These machines will most likely have heavy duty blades, which are sometimes mounted in a fixed position.