Spring Jobs: Aerating and Scarifying Advice & Tips

Aerating and Scarifying

Spring Jobs: How can I keep my lawn in better condition?

You may have noticed the British obsession with lawns. We all love to see that green carpet spread out over our gardens, and we are slightly obsessed with keeping it short and as lush and green as possible. However, as most avid gardeners know, the green lushness doesn’t always come easy, and some hard work and a little bit of know how is needed. Of course regular mowing is required, at least once a week during the growing season. Aerating and Scarifying are important tasks in your quest for the perfect healthy lawn. If you see you have things growing on your lawn other than grass, or your lawn is patchy and not growing as well as expected then read on, because we may just be able to help. Here are some things that you may need to do to your lawn and some easy to understand explanations.

Aerating

What does aerating involve?
Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction.

Why do I need to aerate my lawn?
When you aerate your lawn you are allowing stale carbon dioxide out of the solid and fresh air, rich with oxygen back in. This action stimulates and encourages root growth. Leading to a healthy all over grass growth. Aerating your lawn can reduce the build up of thatch below the surface and improve drainage. Overall, you can expect your lawn to appear healthier and there will be less chance of weeds, moss and thatch.

When is the right time to aerate my lawn?

Aerating your lawn should be done every year at least once. You can aerate at any time but especially in the weeks leading up to you applying any fertilizer. You should avoid any times that may be leading to very cold or dry weather. Do not aerate if the ground appears to be frozen.

March to November
Spiking (2″ to 6″) using your lawn aerator sandals, rolling lawn aerator, garden fork, powered or towed aerators can be done at any time from March to November. Avoid very wet soil that smears or when frost is imminent, otherwise get stuck in. Shallow spiking or pricking using a sarel roller is purely for the drier months or prior to seeding, fertilising or watering. This will let the lightest of showers get into the soil. We suggest end August through to mid-October as the target months because the weather will be getting wetter rather than drier. The aerator will improve drainage and increase soil temperature; ideal at this time of year. If you aerate the lawn in the spring on the other hand, the additional drainage and drying effect could cause problems for your lawn if the weather becomes prematurely hot and dry. Once again, watch out when temperatures drop as any freezing soon after hollow tining will cause the lawn to heave up!

Top tips for successful aerating

  • Mow the lawn the day before if possible to a very short length
  • Ensure the surface is clear of debris, moss and thatch
  • Scarify in advance of aerating
  • After aerating, fertilize and sow grass seeds if required.
  • Use the correct equipment for the job.

Here at Just Lawnmowers we offer a huge range of aerators suited to all kinds of jobs and conditions. Click here to see our range of aerators and scarifiers.

Scarifying

What does scarifying involve?
Raking or using a scarifier such as the Mountfield S38 Scarifier to remove any debris, moss or thatch from your lawn. The Mountfield S38 Scarifier is priced at just £499 and features the best selling easy starting Briggs & Stratton 550 series engine. The scarifying depth is fully adjustable to a maximum of 2cm to remove thatch and aerate roots gently but effectively.

Why do I need to scarify my lawn?
You will need to scarify your lawn to remove any weeds or moss or thatch that is growing on your lawn. This can be unsightly and significantly reduce the appearance of your lawn. It can cause the grass to look patchy and unhealthy. If left, the problem will only worsen, so it is a good idea to scarify every year, either in Spring or Autumn. If weather conditions won’t allow you to scarify at these times do it as close to these times as you can.

When is the right time to scarify my lawn?
Spring: A light raking or scarifying can be useful during the Spring. April is best, where recovery time is at maximum and before any dry and hot weather arrives.
Autumn:  Now you can do intensive scarifying. It may leave your lawn looking bare and patchy but this is the best time for it to recover. The weather is cooling off, and there will be more rain. If you need to scarify in a shady area or an area surrounded by trees, then you are probably best to do this area in Spring, otherwise you may make the problem worse.

Top tips for successful scarifying

  • Plan ahead – to scarify you need short grass so perhaps build up to this a couple of weeks in advance. This will also enable you to see how bad the problem is.
  • Scarify in the correct season, depending on the condition of your lawn.
  • Start off with the right equipment. Here at Just Lawnmowers we offer a great range of scarifiers from budget scarifiers such as the Lawnflite Optima 34VE-KIT Scarifier,  a powerful electric scarifier that is especially suitable for smaller and medium sized lawns. It is extremely robust, very comfortable and easy to handle. Priced at just £189 inc VAT it would make a very useful addition to your gardening equipment.
  • Or if you need something to tackle larger areas then we advise the World RSE20 Petrol Scarifier, priced at £399.00 inc VAT and offers an all-in-one solution. This Briggs & Stratton powered  scarifier cuts through turf, removing moss and dead grass. With a 25mm cutting height, ergonomically designed handle and 500mm working width, it’s the perfect machine to aerate and revive even the most tired and spongiest of lawns. Not only that but we will assemble, start and test for you, before putting it on a pallet and sending it to you on a premium delivery service. And for a limited time we are giving away 2 bags (20kg) of micronised lawn sand with every purchase. While stocks last!!

If you want to have a look at our range please click here to see our exciting selection of Scarifiers and Aerators.

Alex is responsible for managing Just Lawnmowers website and blog. When not building websites he spends his time out walking in the beautiful North Norfolk countryside, gardening in his wild, sloping garden or enjoying a game of chess down at his local chess club!
Spring into action this March!


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