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Buying a Scarifier

Scarifiers help to reduce the build up of dead plants and weeds, called thatch, that forms on top of lawns.

Scarifying your lawn can be much easier with the right tools

Even though most lawns will only require scarifying twice a year, in spring and autumn, it can be back breaking work and the right tools will make this unpleasant, but essential, job much easier.

This guide looks at how scarifiers work, the manual and powered options, where to buy from and what you should consider.

When to scarify and how?

Most lawns will benefit from scarification twice a year. Once in the spring just before you treat your lawn and once in the autumn when you can scarify more intensely. Some experts recommend light scarification several times in between the start of spring and autumn.

Intense vs. Light scarification

Most electric and petrol scarifiers will allow you to set the height of the blades. Setting the blades to protrude out as far as they will go will result in intense scarification. Not only will the blades remove thatch and moss from the surface of the lawn but they will also dig deeper into the soil cutting through shallow roots of grass. This last bit may sound strange but actually helps the grass develop healthy deep roots.

With the blades not fully extended the scarifiers will just pull and drag moss and thatch from the surface. This is called light scarification.

Things to consider in an electric scarifier

The first things to decide is wether you want a combined aerator and scarifier or just a straightforward scarifier. Aerating is an important annual task and many experts recommend you use a hollow tined aerator to perform this task; as most aerators on the combi models don't come with hollow tines you might be better off saving your money and not buying a combi model. You can read more about aerating in our guide to aerators.

An electric aerator & scarifier

An electric aerator & scarifier

You can find electric scarifying models without the aerating option for around £60 whereas the electric combi aerators and scarifiers will set you back nearer £150.

There are some more expensive models you can consider if you have a really bad moss problem or a large lawn but you are probably best to look at the petrol scarifiers if that is the case. On really bad lawns the smaller electric engines can just burn out if they are made to work too hard for long periods.

Compare prices of electric scarifiers here.

Why buy a petrol scarifier?

There are two main reasons to consider a petrol scarifier - really bad thatch or moss problem and large lawns.

If you have really thick moss or thatch the tines on the cheaper lighter electric scarifiers tend to just bounce off the lawn. Petrol scarifiers tend to be heavier and have more power and are better suited to more brute force pulling out of thatch and moss.

If you have a large lawn the extra power you can get out of a petrol scarifier will be just as welcome as moving from an electric lawnmower to a petrol lawnmower. So, if you appreciated moving to a petrol lawnmower you are probably going to appreciate a move to a petrol scarifier.

Petrol powered scarifier cost upwards of £300 and you can compare various models and prices of petrol scarifiers here.


Can I scarify with a lawn rake?

Scarifying Rake

A spring tined rake

Yes, in fact there are two types of rakes on the market to help - spring-tined and flat-tined lawn rakes. Lawn rakes are different from soil rakes and their teeth usually fan out from the handle and have light heads to prevent damage to growing grass.

The spring tined rakes are better at getting rid of dead grass and weeds while the flat tined rakes are good at clearing up fallen leaves.

Compare prices of lawn rakes in our shop section.

Be warned that if you have anything resembling a decent sized lawn scarifying with a rake can be extremely tiring work.

Towed scarifiers

If you already own a ride on mower or tractor you can get a towed scarifier. Compare prices here.

Lawnmowing scarifiers

If you already have one of the fancier cylinder electric lawnmowers or cylinder petrol lawnmowers from makers like Atco check to see if you can buy a scarifying cylinder for your model.

Cultivating scarifiers

If you already have a garden cultivator from makers like Mantis check to see if you can buy a scarifying attachment for your model.

Where to buy scarifiers

Websites selling scarifiers online
What we think
Mow Direct

Mow direct offer some of the lowest prices we've seen on the internet and have a very easy to use website.

They have a wide range of aerators and scarifiers including petrol models.

They offer free delivery.

Visit Mow direct

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