Aerating and scarifying: What’s the difference?
Very often inexperienced gardeners face the problem when they seem to do everything for maximum lawn care, but this, in turn, does not bring visible results and there are problems such as:
– weeds colonize your lawn – the grass grows slowly – its quality suffers, the lawn turns yellow – moss has formed – water stagnates on the lawn after rain
On an industrial scale, agronomists periodically aerate the soil. Lawn aeration and scarifying are necessary to keep your lawn looking dense, bright and green and to keep grass quality high.
Aeration is the piercing of the soil with nail-like spikes to saturate the lawn with air. Poking uses special tools to dig deep holes in the soil. These can be forks, aerators, a lawn roller with an aerator attachment, or an electric/gasoline aerator.
Using thin metal pins pierce the soil, as a result of this air gets to the roots, the soil is saturated with oxygen, moisture, diluted, access to nutrients is opened, through this the roots are fed, the lawn begins to grow well, becomes stronger and is no longer subject to many diseases and rotting.
– Aeration is carried out in the spring, when the lawn is growing and the soil has already dried out from the winter. – Lawns younger than 1-2 years old should not be aerated, they must be well established – Aerating is done after scarifying and before fertilizing – Aerating is done in the fall before the last fertilizing of the lawn. If necessary, lawn aeration can also be done during the growing season.
Scarifying is the removal of dry grass, thatch, dead roots, moss and debris with the help of special knives. For a small area you can use a garden rake and sweep up and down the lawn, for larger areas use an electric/gasoline scarifier.
Using the rapidly rotating blades, the soil is cut, combing out thatch, partly roots and organic debris. As a result, once restored, the lawn is clean, beautiful looking, the soil is loosened and better able to absorb moisture.
Do not be afraid that after scarifying the lawn will look like a “battlefield”: it looks even worse than it was, the grass is uprooted and lies in shreds.
There is nothing wrong with this; it’s normal. Excess grass on the surface can be removed if the scarifier without a collector, the lawn will gradually recover, straw and dead grass will disappear, new shoots will appear, making the lawn more dense and elegant.
– Scarifying is done in dry and not sunny weather, when the lawn comes from winter and the floor is almost dry, but still slightly damp. – Lawns younger than 1-2 years old do not need to be scarified because the felt has not yet formed and the roots should form a dense grass fall – If there is moss on the lawn, it should be removed beforehand. We wrote how to do this in this article – scarify the lawn for ventilation. Then you can fertilize and water abundantly – Scarify once a year in the spring, but if necessary, it can also be done in the fall – You can sow the grass according to the scarification.
Ventilating is piercing the soil with needles to oxygenate it, scarifying the top layer of soil with blades, and removing dry grass and dead roots.
Fan, scarifier and scarifier – what’s the difference?
Creating a nice, even and lush lawn is a very tedious task. It is not enough to regularly mow, water and fertilise. You need to pay attention to the condition of the topsoil. This includes tilling, aerating, cleaning and loosening the soil.
To the great joy of lawn builders, special tools have been developed to facilitate their work, which will be discussed in this article.
Aerators, scarifiers and scarifiers belong to the same group of garden tools that have been developed for lawn care. You can use them to clean the top layer of soil from old grass and roots. They liquefy the soil, which promotes better penetration of oxygen, moisture and fertilizers into the root system. This makes the lawn more even, healthy and fresh.
However, the effect of treatment depends on the choice of equipment.
Externally, all devices of this type resemble a lawnmower, but work somewhat differently. The main element of the design is a rotating shaft, on which the working elements are fixed: teeth (in the form of rods, spikes, spokes) or knives. The differences between them cause the difference in the functionality of aeration, scarification and scarification.
Therefore, let’s look at each of the units.
Lawn fan – what is it?
This device got its name from the English word “ventilation” – “ventilation, ventilation”. Accordingly, its main task is to fill the soil with oxygen.
The fan is equipped with metal teeth, which in different models may look differently: elastic spokes, hollow rods or spikes.
As the mechanism moves, the tines evenly drill through the top layer of soil, freeing the lawn from the layer of dry grass and crusted leaves. Such perforation of the soil prevents its compression and stagnation, improves air circulation, penetration of moisture and fertilizers.
Working with ventilation does not require special training. The user only needs to direct the device in the right direction. It is recommended to move with the mower as when mowing: along or across the plot. However, during ventilation, the passages should be made with an overlap of 3-4 cm.
The device mainly works with the top layer of the lawn. The tines do not interfere with the root system of plants. The average depth of perforation of the soil by the fan is 20 mm. This is necessary and sufficient for loosening the bottom and oxygenation.
Regular ventilation of the lawn helps to eliminate major problems:
- Pale and wilted grass;
- The appearance of bare patches;
- Uneven grass blanketing;
- Occurrence of fungal diseases due to stagnant soil processes.
It is recommended that you do not treat your lawn with an aerator more than once a month. Otherwise, excessive soil moisture or oversaturation of the soil with oxygen can occur, causing roots to stick or dry out.
The aerator can be either motorized (gasoline and electric) or mechanical. The latter require physical effort, but are still popular among owners of mini lawns.
Scarrinter – description and purpose
The name of this type of technique goes back to the Latin “Scarifico” – “scratch, cut”. Structurally, the scarifier is similar to the beluter, but its shaft is equipped with a more powerful worker – a curved-shaped cutting knife.
Such a mechanism can cut off overgrown rhizomes. It is possible to treat a dense layer of lawn and finish with small bumps.
Such a load requires more power, so all devices are equipped with a motor (gasoline or electric).
With the Skruder you can solve the following tasks:
- Clear the lawn of last year’s grass;
- Break up small bumps and thus leave a surface;
- Loosen up the floor with the cutting edges;
- Remove moss;
- Remove the resulting debris from the area.
The depth of the soil is greater than that of the vent (on average 30 mm). This parameter is also regulated. It is recommended to treat the plot with a diagonal movement.
After treatment, the lawn usually requires additional sowing of grass on the driven rods and fertilization. The green cover recovers in a few weeks. Therefore, it is recommended not to treat more than twice a season: in spring and fall.
Why do you need a lawn wherter?
The name of this device comes from the English “vertical cutter” – “vertical knife”. This means that the vertical cutter is equipped with straight knives, and in the way the device looks more like a helicopter.
Like the clipper, the vertical cutter can only be automatic (gasoline or electric).
In general, it solves the same tasks as the clipper, but with a more radical penetration into the structure of the fertile layer. With straight knives, the soil is worked vertically with strong perforation and intentional damage to the roots. The blades are diluted from excessively thick cover, which impedes air circulation and moisture exchange. The most important function of the vertical matcher is to remove a tightly compacted layer of dead roots and stems – so-and-so. At the same time, the machine loosens the floor and removes moss and scythes. In addition, the vertical matcher is usually equipped with a vent with a nozzle.
As a result of the vertical:
- Moisture and air exchange is improved;
- The main system is renewed;
- The growth of young grass is activated.
The scarifier is often used to create a new lawn.
What’s the difference
So, let’s highlight the main feature of each of the three types of tools in this group:
Ater – a tool that takes care of the green cover of the lawn. Its main task is to enrich the soil with oxygen.
Schorger loosens the soil for the same purpose of saturating moisture and oxygen. But the penetration is deeper when it comes to combing out dead roots and heavy grass necks.
Verticopter was created to work with neglected lawns and heavy soil. The main task is to comb out the mature lawn, which cleans the fertile layer and activates the growth of young shoots.
What else to consider
Let’s leave aside mechanical ventilation and briefly introduce the features of automated machinery in this category
Type of drive
Gasoline models have more weight, require regular maintenance (lining with fuel, replacement of filters and other consumables, etc.). The work of the fuel engine is accompanied by a strong noise and exhaust fumes.
At the same time, gasoline-powered devices are hardy, sufficiently mobile and have a high capacity. That is why they are often used for airing and checking large areas (several hectares).
Weight of the device
This parameter is especially important if the ventilation nuance is used. Since its main function is only light loosening and aeration, it is necessary to protect the green cover from bruises and damage. This means that the unit should not put additional stress on the ground or vegetation.
This is one of the most important indicators for this group of tools. The immersion depth of the tines or blades can be from 2 to 10 cm. The choice should depend on the tasks set: ventilation, fear or vertical. As well as the properties of the soil and the type of vegetation.
Availability of a trash collector.
This point is important for scrubber and vertical matcher. Not all manufacturers provide this element of the device, as many users prefer to remove trash at the end of work.
What to choose
Now you know the basic features of the vent, belaster and upright mater. However, the one you choose offers many parameters and options for specific tasks in different operating conditions.
First, you need to decide on the type of tool you want to use. The main guideline here is the purpose of the intended work:
- Light perforation of the soil to enrich it with oxygen without disturbing the grass cover – choose a fan;
- Pulling out of the cover layer to remove dead roots and straw – a scraper is better;
- Deep perforation of the soil to remove the lawn “felt” and activate the growth of young grass – your choice of vertical matting;
- To form a new lawn, it is better to take vertical ones. They are more powerful.
It is important to note that there are models that combine the functionality of the two types of this technique.
Such units are equipped with a replacement wave with a different set of functioning elements and have sufficient productivity. Thus, you can get two tools in one: a vertical matcher + leleator.
Once you have chosen one or the other type of unit (fan, scruder, vertical mom or two-in-one), you should take care about the appropriate parameters of the model. Why it is important to consider: