Have you heard of a scarifier? While you’re probably familiar with lawnmowers and weed eaters, a scarifier is a landscaping tool that’s often overlooked by homeowners.
When properly used, though, it can help you create a cleaner and more attractive landscape.
If you’re thinking about buying or renting a scarifier for your landscape, though, you’ll need to know how to use it.
What Is a Scarifier?
Also known as a dethatcher, a scarifier is a self-propelled or walk-behind landscaping tool that’s designed to remove thatch from the underlying soil.
Over time, dead plant matter will accumulate at the top of your landscape. Known as thatch, it rests between the healthy soil and the roots of adjacent plants.
If you don’t remove thatch, it may restrict the growth of your grass and plants while promoting a browner, more discolored landscape in the process.
A scarifier is designed to remove the thatch by scooping it out of the soil. It doesn’t store the thatch. Rather, it grinds it into a pulp.
Before using a scarifier, use a rake to remove any large and medium debris blanketing your landscape.
Running a scarifier over twigs and branches shouldn’t harm it. However, you’ll experience better results if you rake your landscape before using a scarifier on it.
With your landscape raked, the scarifier can remove thatch more effectively.
Mow to 2 to 3 Inches
After raking your landscape, you should mow the grass to a height of about 2 to 3 inches.
During the summer, you may want to use a taller height of 3 inches. During the fall and winter months, on the other hand, a height of 2 inches is recommended.
Mowing your lawn will reduce the workload placed on the scarifier, allowing it to dethatch your lawn with greater ease.
Adjust Your Scarifier
When you’re ready to use a scarifier, go ahead and adjust the height to the highest possible setting.
Although there are several types of scarifiers, most of them feature adjustable height.
It’s always a good idea to start on the tallest height setting and lower the height as needed.
Run Over Your Landscape
To use a scarifier, you’ll need to push it across your landscape – just like a traditional lawnmower.
Depending on the amount of thatch that’s accumulated on your landscape, you may need to make several passes with the scarifier.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to cover your entire landscape with the scarifier. Rather, you only need to use it in areas where thatch is present.
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