What is a Lawn Scarifier and Do I Need One?
A lawn scarifier is a piece of lawn and garden equipment designed to remove thatch, moss and other debris from a lawn.
While most people haven’t heard of a lawn scarifier in the U.S., lawn scarifiers are better known in other parts of the world, such as the UK.
Lawn scarifiers operate in a similar manner to a lawn mower but have a rotating cassette on the bottom with a series of tines that can break up thatch, moss and debris without otherwise harming the grass.
For this reason, owning a lawn scarifier can help you achieve a great looking and healthy lawn.
How To Use a Lawn Scarifier
Using a lawn scarifier is a relatively simple process and will depend in part on what type of equipment you own. If you have an electric or petrol powered lawn scarifer, you just have to guide the equipment in the right direction while the motor moves it along the area to be dethatched.
If you have a manual lawn scarifier, you will have to push the equipment in a similar manner to pushing a lawn mower. If you have a scarifying rake or rolling rake, you will have to push or drag the rake across the area to be dethatched until all of the dead debris within the lawn is removed.
No matter what type of lawn scarifier you use, however, it is important to make sure you clean up and remove any thatch or debris that are loosened from your lawn, unless your equipment has vacuum capabilities to suck up the debris into a bag for disposal.
If you leave the loosened thatch on the lawn, it can do just as much damage to your grass as if you had never dethatched in the first place.
Manual vs. Electric vs. Gas / Petrol Lawn Scarifier
When it comes to buying a lawn scarifier, you have a few choices. You can get an electric lawn scarifier, a petrol lawn scarifier or a manual lawn scarifier. Although electric lawn scarifiers run cleaner and quieter than their petrol or gas-powered cousins, one of the main limitations is that you need to plug it in.
If you have a small lawn, this may not be much of a problem, but if your lawn is relatively large, you may have to run a series of extension cords all over the lawn in order to get your lawn scarifier to operate across the whole lawn.
This makes a gas lawn scarifier a more popular option, since it removes the limitations caused by having to plug in electric models. Petrol lawn scarifiers are also more powerful and can complete a job more quickly.
You can also get a manual lawn scarifier which you push to operate. A manual or push lawn scarifier works in a similar fashion to a push lawn mower – you simply have to supply the energy to make the equipment operate.
If you just need to dethatch a small section of lawn, you may prefer to opt for a lawn scarifying rake that simply has long, stiff tines on the end to grab any thatch, moss or dead grass between blades of healthy grass.
A lawn scarifying rolling rake also has wheels on the edges to make it easier to use.
Independent Lawn Scarifier vs. Lawn Scarifier Attachment
Many people purchase a separate lawn scarifier in addition to their lawnmower. If, however, you have a lawn tractor, you can also opt to buy a lawn scarifier attachment for lawn tractors.
The attachment operates just like a motorized lawn scarifier, except it makes super-easy work of dethatching your lawn, since all you have to do is ride on the mower while the attachment does its job.
Lawn Scarifier Options
In addition to the choices available between a manual, electric or gas powered lawn scarifier and an independent or lawn scarifier attachment for a lawn tractor, there are also some options to consider when purchasing the equipment.
You may have options as to the size of the tines on the scarifier and determining the proper size will depend on the type of lawn you have.
You can also buy a lawn scarifier with aerator capabilities. This will allow you to not only dethatch your lawn, but to also create plugs that aerate your lawn, giving it room to breathe and allowing it to grow healthier.
Lawn Scarifier Brands
There are a number of companies that sell lawn scarifiers. Some of the more popular brands are Bosmere, Qualcast, Agri-Fab, Atco and Midwest Rake.
You can buy lawn scarifiers from stores that sell garden equipment, lawn tractors and aerators, or you can even buy lawn scarifiers online from places like Amazon and other lawn care-related retailers.
Best Lawn Scarifier
Without a doubt, if I had to choose one machine and one machine only, it would be the Greenworks Scarifier that you see pictured in this post. I personally love the Greenworks brand, and have had no problems with any of their equipment to date.