Brits just love their gardens and it’s not uncommon for neighbours to have competitions with each other to see who can create the best lawn.
If you want to achieve a healthy, beautiful garden lawn you’ll need to occasionally dethatch or rake the grass.
And this where you’ll need a good quality lawn scarifier, especially if your grass is very mossy.
What is a Lawn Scarifier?
A scarifier is a popular tool used by gardeners and professional lawn experts to lift the moss and compacted grass cuttings from the top layer of soil.
A good quality scarifier will improve lawn drainage, prevent the spread of moss and some weeds and is a key step you’ll need to take if you want that perfect lawn.
There are four types of scarifier:
- A simple rake is the most basic scarifying tool. It lifts dead organic matter, grass cutting and moss but for large areas it’s impractical and if you’re too aggressive with a rake, you’ll damage the lawn.
- A manual scarifier doesn’t use petrol or electricity but rollers activate the cutters when pushed along the ground. Manual scarifiers are perfect for smaller gardens and those on a tight budget.
- An electric scarifier is more powerful and effective. It’s ideal for small and medium sized lawns.
- A petrol scarifier works as well as the electric version but is more mobile and best suited to very large gardens.
4 of the Best Lawn Scarifiers
Further down this page, you’ll find our guide on how and when to use a lawn scarifier.
But first, here’s our list of the 4 best lawn scarifiers you can buy.
We’ve taken into account price, effectiveness, how practical they are as well as which type of lawn they are suited to.
1) Best Lawn Scarifier in the Budget Electric Range
There is no doubt that this product will effectively lift lawn moss and loose grass but the collection box is one of the smallest we’ve seen.
At 1500 watts, this is a powerful device and it comes with adjustable cutting heights, choose from 4 settings.
- The price.
- Effectiveness at lifting thatch, loose weeds and moss.
- Lightweight at less than ten kilos.
- The collection box is tiny and you’ll fill it in minutes. Expect lots of emptying, every few minutes in fact.
- Plastic design means it’s more flimsy than metal versions, needs to be treated with care.
- Short cable, not long enough for most gardens.
2) Best Mid Range Electric Scarifier
At just under 10kg, the product is lightweight and ideal for prolonged use.
Choose from 4 different height settings that range from -10mm to +5mm.
The handlebar also folds down neatly meaning the scarifier can be stored in the smallest of spaces.
- Bosch is a well-known brand and this product comes with a 2-yr guarantee.
- Large capacity collection bin.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- Folds away into small spaces.
- Narrow cutting diameter means lots more passes.
- Make sure you buy from a UK seller, EU products will come with the wrong plug.
- Plastic and is not as robust as the heavy duty metal framed lawn scarifier.
3) Best Petrol Engine Cutter and Lawn Scarifier
If you’re considering a petrol engined lawn scarifier then look no further than this Hyundai 210cc 4-stroke heavy duty scarifier and aerator.
This product is designed for medium to large gardens and frequent usage.
It has 19 hardened steel blades specially designed to lift old grass cuttings, thatch, moss and loose garden weeds.
The soft grip handle reduces user fatigue and improves comfort.
- Large 45 ltr capacity collection bag
- 5 cutting depths ranging from -15mm to +15mm
- Wide 400mm cutting width
- Heavy duty and suitable for large lawns and frequent usage
- Heavy at nearly 40 kgs
- Petrol 4-stroke engine is noisy and not environmentally friendly
4) The Best Manual Lawn Scarifier
Perhaps that has something to do with the tiny patch of grass in my garden, but I also feel they’re just as effective as a costly electrical or petrol device.
A manual push scarifier is lightweight, easy to store, makes no noise and is cheap to buy. Use with a fork to create better drainage you’ll be one step closer to that perfect lawn.
- Cheapest product available.
- Suitable for small gardens.
- Ultra lightweight.
- Better results than a rake and easier to use.
- Not adjustable.
- No collection bag.
- Not suitable for large gardens, you’ll get a good workout on medium sized lawns too.
- Somewhat flimsy, so treat with care.
Top Tips on How to Use a Lawn Scarifier
Below you’ll find our guide to using a lawn scarifier.
Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a lawn to be proud of.
Step 1 – Choose The Best Time to Use a Lawn Scarifier
The growing season for grass is usually in Spring and Autumn and this will be the best time to use a lawn scarifier.
As you’ll be removing moss and weeds, this is also the best time to apply a lawn moss killer.
Step 2 – Treat the Lawn With a Moss Killer Two Weeks Prior to Scarifying
Two weeks before you plan to scarify the lawn, apply a good quality lawn moss killer (such as this).
This is the most important step.
If you scarify a mossy lawn without first apply a moss killer, you’ll spread the moss spores and in the coming months, you’ll have even more moss on your lawn.
You’ll find it takes a few days for the moss killer to take effect and after one week, the moss should turn a dark brown or black colour.
Also, take this time to spot treat any weeds with deep roots.
After 1 -2 weeks, you’ll find the dead moss is ready to be removed with a scarifier.
We’ve listed the best lawn moss killers here.
Step 3 – Choose a Fine Weather Day and Mow the Lawn
1-2 weeks after you’ve treated the moss, give the entire lawn a good mowing on a low setting.
If possible, collect the grass cuttings and dispose of away from the lawn.
Step 4 – (Optional) Use a Garden Fork to Improve Deep Drainage
If your lawn is very compacted and waterlogs during periods of heavy rain, use a garden fork to pierce deep into the soil and create drainage points.
This process prevents the build-up of surface water which encourages moss growth and compacts the soil.
Lawn shoes do the same thing:
Step 5 – Scarify the Lawn in Two Passes
On a fine weather day scarify the lawn in one direction on a high setting.
Now repeat the process at right angles on a slightly lower setting if possible.
Step 6 – Apply Top Soil and Grass Seed
If your lawn was very mossy, scarifying it will leave it looking patchy with areas where there’s little grass.
Sprinkle a mixture of fine compost and sharp sand onto the areas and apply grass seeds, then gently compress the soil but avoid over-compressing.
Cover the areas with chicken wire until the seeds start to grow, this will prevent birds from stealing them.
Get a Lawn Scarifying Quote From a Professional
We hope you found our guide to the best lawn scarifiers insightful.
Lawn scarifying and aerating are tasks almost anyone can do but if you’d like to get a quote from a professional gardener, tap the button below and fill in the form: