How to Scarify Your Lawn – We Show You How To Do It

That brings the lawn scarifying

Your dream: a lush green, robust lawn. It doesn’t have to be a dream. With the right lawn care, your lawn will make all of your neighbors jealous. An important building block to achieve your goal is the lawn scarifying. By scarifying your lawn is practically aerated. Ventilating the lawn is good, it’s like a kind of peeling.

Scarifying your land 3

Regardless of whether the lawn is loaded a lot or little, the soil under the plants thickens over time and is increasingly compressed. This means that less oxygen gets into the soil. The root growth of your lawn suffers from this lack of oxygen and the tightness.

In addition, rainwater can no longer drain into the underground as well. The harmful consequence is waterlogging. Mosses and algae are easy to play and take up even more space from the lawn plants. To prevent this from happening or to change this state, you should “ventilate” every now and then. This is how more nutrients and more oxygen get to the grasses. Incidentally, experts call this process aerify.

This is how scarifying works

Your lawn can be aerated either with a special ventilation fork or with a motorized lawn fan. When scarifying – i.e. vertical cutting – you scratch the turf on your lawn and remove old clippings, lawn felt, weeds and moss.

Step 1 – Scoring the turf to remove old grass

Step 2 – Young blades of grass grow back

Step 2 - Young blades of grass grow back

Step 3 – healthy, strong, even lawn

Step 3 - healthy, strong, even lawn


Tip: Protect the lawn after scarifying

After scarifying, your lawn should be spared for a few weeks so that it can regenerate completely.

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The right lawn mower for you

As I said, there are hand scarifiers as well as gas powered scarifiers and electric scarifiers.

The rule of thumb for choosing the scarifier:

  • For small areas, the ventilation fork is usually sufficient for ventilation.
  • For larger areas, of course, a motorized version is more appropriate.

Scarifying your land 2

The hand scarifier does not use electricity or petrol, but it definitely strengthens your muscles. When scarifying with muscular strength, you have to be careful: pressing too hard can unfortunately damage the lawn.

Do you have a park-like garden? Then choose a petrol-powered scarifier. This has two advantages: Your scarifier has no annoying cable and a lot of weight. The higher weight ensures that you can score the sward correctly even on dry or very hard floors.

In a classically large garden, an electric scarifier is definitely sufficient. Since you generally only scarify once or twice a year, the cable doesn’t bother you that much. If your soil is very hard and the scarifier has problems getting the turf in correctly, weigh down the electric scarifier with a small sandbag, for example.


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This is how you scarify your lawn properly

When scarifying – which means “cutting vertically” – the blades of the scarifier separate the lawn felt. This allows the lawn to “breathe” better and the water and fertilizer supply then works properly again.

  • Shorten your lawn to about 2-4 centimeters.
  • Please only scarify dry lawn! The soil should be dry but not bone dry, because the scarifying knives cannot penetrate too hard soils.
  • The scarifier’s wheels or knives should be set so that the turf is scored about 3 millimeters deep.
  • Guide the device across the surface at a steady, fast pace. Do not stop with a scarifier, otherwise the device will switch off.
  • If your lawn is well-tended, you only need to scarify in one direction. The next time you scarify, you will work offset to the previous direction. If the lawn has been neglected for several years, scarify lengthways and once again in the transverse direction so that a checkerboard pattern is created.
  • Bald areas may remain after scarifying. You should sow them again.
  • In warm, dry weather, water the lawn well after scarifying. Give him a few weeks off to regenerate after the procedure.
  • You should remove the scarified material from the lawn. You can compost it.
  • After scarifying, a strong nutrient supply – i.e. fertilizer – is important.
  • The lawn should preferably be scarified once in spring and again in autumn.
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Protect your lawn after scarifying

After scarifying, your lawn should be spared for a few weeks so that it can regenerate completely.

The right time to scarify

Basically, you can aerate your lawn all year round.

 We recommend scarifying twice a year: the first time in late spring, the second time in late summer.

During these times, the temperatures are not too high. This prevents damage from drying out and the growth of the lawn grass is promoted after scarifying.

Are you wondering when the right time to scarify came in spring? That depends on the weather, of course, but it’s usually a good time to scarify from mid-April.

Tip: Do not scarify freshly created lawns

Grasses that are not firmly rooted can be cut out when scarifying. Therefore: Never scarify newly created lawns! Better wait 2-3 years. Then the lawn is more robust.

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