Buyers’ Guide to rakes and scar­i­fiers The best prod­ucts to help re­vi­talise your lawn this au­tumn

Us­ing the right rake or scar­i­fier makes all the dif­fer­ence to a healthy lawn. Ge­off Hodge has some point­ers

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

Afab­u­lous-look­ing, lush green lawn is a real gar­den as­set. It will set off the rest of the gar­den and pro­vide a ver­dant back­drop for plants. On the other hand, a poorly main­tained lawn will make the rest of the gar­den look a bit of a mess. It fol­lows that good lawn main­te­nance makes sense if you’re af­ter a pris­tine gar­den that’s the envy of your neigh­bour­hood. Au­tumn is one of the main times for lawn­care, to get the lawn back into shape af­ter sum­mer wear and tear and ready for the on­slaught of winter weather. One of the jobs that can be done now – or in spring – is scar­i­fy­ing to re­move thatch. Scar­i­fy­ing is the process by which thatch and other de­bris is re­moved from the turf – and is some­times more sim­ply called de-thatch­ing. Sadly, most peo­ple don’t scar­ify their lawns reg­u­larly enough, only us­ing it as a re­me­dial re­ac­tion to a moss or weed prob­lem, rather than part of their an­nual lawn main­te­nance regime. Yet reg­u­lar scar­i­fy­ing is very ben­e­fi­cial. Al­low thatch to build up and you’ll spend more time and ef­fort try­ing to over­come the as­so­ci­ated prob­lems caused by lack of light and ex­cess mois­ture – the spread of moss, weeds and fun­gal dis­eases. Scar­ify ev­ery year and the task will be­come quicker and eas­ier, and your lawn will thank you for it too. An­nual scar­i­fy­ing not only re­duces thatch but also re­ju­ve­nates your lawn, help­ing the grass grow more strongly and giv­ing you a lush end re­sult.

Lawn rakes

If you have a small lawn (or even a larger lawn and want to give your­self a good mus­cle-build­ing work­out) use a long-han­dled lawn rake with fine tines. The stan­dard hand tool for scar­i­fy­ing is gen­er­ally re­ferred to as a springtined or spring­bok rake. Its thin, springy tines will work their way through the turf and top of the soil to get rid of the thatch and other de­bris clog­ging up the grass.

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