Finally spring and time for garden maintenance. Gardeners often use a scarifier for the lawn. But when is the best time for it?
The barbecue and gardening season is slowly but surely beginning. For many, the reason to get their garden in shape. The lawn plays a central role in this. Such a meticulously maintained lawn in the English style can make neighbors pale in the face.
But what happens when it’s less a green paradise than a spotty nightmare of moss, weeds and holes? High time for spring cleaning in the garden and a scarifier. My at least some (hobby) gardeners.
If you don’t know: Scarifying in horticulture is used to vertically scratch the turf to remove mulch, lawn felt and moss and to better ventilate the soil. The device required for this is called a scarifier.
Myth or blessing: is scarifying unnecessary?
Opinions differ on this question. Some gardeners question the meaning and purpose itself. There are opponents and supporters of this method. The opponents strictly advise against scarifying, because it harms the lawn more than it helps. The advocates, on the other hand, swear by it and only argue about the frequency.
The common assumption when scarifying is that a so-called lawn felt is formed over time. This felt covering in turn prevents nutrients and water from reaching the grass roots. Thanks to regular scarifying, gardeners can get this surface.
Opponents think that the lawn felt is not the problem, but the moss. However, this only arises if too little fertilization is carried out and the soil therefore does not have enough nutrients. If a lawn area with a lot of moss is also scarified, this will destroy the already stressed lawn plants in the garden and promote the growth of weeds such as dandelions.
Ultimately, whether or not scarifying is considered useful seems to be a matter of conviction or trying. But it also clearly depends on the area of application. Unlike in the professional field, such as football or golf courses, where water permeability is particularly important, private individuals simply want a nice lawn.
Spring: when is the best time to scarify?
Suppose you decide to scarify, despite opponents’ concerns. There are also two camps here. Some propagate the repeated use of the scarifier every year. Others advise scarifying only once a year. This depends on whether the lawn is well cared for or neglected. As a rule, however, it is recommended not to scarify more than twice a year.
The ideal months to scarify are the spring months of April and May. At this time, the soil, including the lawn, is particularly regenerative. But even in the summer months and even in autumn, the procedure can still be implemented relatively well.
Those who scarify in spring should not start too early. After winter, the lawn plants are weakened. Therefore, spring fertilization with nitrogenous fertilizer should always be at the beginning. Then you should shorten the lawn several times and then scarify it in a dry state. That means: mow your lush green at least twice before you pick up the scarifier.
The month of April is a benchmark that hobby gardeners and scarifiers can use as a guide. However, the period can shift back if the winter lasted longer. It is important that the soil is no longer frozen at the time of scarifying.
Likewise, scarifying may be necessary earlier if it is already particularly hot in March – the radical cut is not recommended even at too high temperatures, since the plants are weakened and then no longer grow optimally. In hot weather, blow up the lawn at least beforehand and wait until the water is absorbed.
Scarifying: when is the best time in autumn?
In addition to spring, the second best time to scarify is autumn. This is the case if the first scarifying process was not sufficient to remove all mosses and felts. So that the lawn is not subjected to too much strain, you should wait a few months – during this time the lawn grows, new roots form and it regains its strength.
At the end of August at the earliest, or even better in September, the time to scarify has come. Your lawn is also prepared before the coming winter and the removed mosses give you a perfect basis for the next spring. Find dry days for this.
What needs to be considered after scarifying?
After scarifying, ensure that the lawn is watered sufficiently. Regular fertilization is also crucial because the soil definitely needs nutrients. Depending on the condition of the lawn, fertilization can be carried out up to twice a month, in cases of hardship every ten days or weekly.
If holes or brown spots have formed in the lawn over the summer, we recommend reseeding. Early autumn is suitable for this because there is still residual heat.