How to care for your Lawn: Scarifiers and Aerators

How to care for your Lawn: Scarifiers and Aerators

If you’ve never had a lawn before or have never really been into garden care some of the information out there can be confusing. This week’s blog post focuses on scarifiers and aerators as we come into the season they are the most useful. We will discuss the ins and outs and also how to get a hold of the machinery itself.


First off, Scarifiers…

What are they & why are they useful?

A Scarifier is a device that removes thatch, moss, and other debris which get compacted into your lawn. These machines are particularly useful because they prevent the thatch and debris from creating a barrier on your lawn which prevents air from being able to circulate properly as well as blocking water.

Scarifiers don’t need to be used a lot, once or twice a year depending on the condition of your lawn will suffice. The time of year you scarify is important, once you have scarified, your lawn needs time to recover. It shouldn’t be in the height of summer when the grass receives a lot of heat and it should definitely be after your last frost (if scarifying in April), if you think you’re going to get a last-minute bout of frost then it’s better to hold off.


There are different ways you can scarify, if you only have a small lawn and don’t mind a bit of a workout then a rake may suffice. But if you have a larger garden or are looking for a mechanical option then there are plenty of great scarifies out there.

If you prefer the power of a petrol machine, then the Toro Petrol scarifier is ideal for the job, this model is designed with a durable steel deck and boasts enough power to deal with difficult lawn conditions.

supporting image for toro petrol scarifier

Or perhaps you’re looking for a battery powered alternative, the Husqvarna S138i scarifier is lightweight and cordless. The depth can be adjusted and it has a powerful engine designed for efficiency.

You might be thinking, why would I purchase a machine I’m only going to use once or twice a year? Well a lot of people have the same concerns, this is why you are able to hire a scarifier for the time that you need it. Saves you time, money and effort.

Learn more about our hires or Browse Gammies hire catalogue


How to get the most out of your scarifier

Once you have scarified, your lawn might be looking a little worse for wear, don’t worry about this. You can add some fertilizer to help it recover more quickly and be sure to keep an eye on it. If you’re going through a particularly dry period, then water it and give it plenty of time to recover, soon you will see the results.


Next, Aerators

What are they & why are they useful?

Aerators create small holes within the soil of your lawn which in turn allows for air to circulate better and allows more water and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn. This is particularly useful for gardens which may have compacted soil or poor drainage.

Soil can become compact easier than you might think. Areas which are played on, driven on, or walked through frequently can become compact.

Similar to scarifying, the best time to aerate your lawn is either within Spring or Autumn due to the amount of growth from your grass. Since your grass is growing it has a chance to fill the areas you expose, and you will have less of a chance of damaging the lawn.

Aerator Machine

Similar to scarifying, if you have a smaller lawn then there is a manual tool you can use to aerate your lawn it is typically called an aerator prong. However this can take a lot of time as well as effort, it is typically a lot easier to use a machine especially if you have a large area of grass to cover.

If you aren’t looking to purchase a machine you may not get frequent use out of then you also have the option of hiring one.

Aerating tips

  • Try not to aearate on a thirsty lawn, wait till the day after rain.
  • You don’t need to clear the remaining soil plugs off your lawn, letting them naturally break down and be absorbed will benefit your soil.
  • After aerating you can fertilizer your lawn to help your lawn recover and get that thick, healthy appearance you’re looking for.


Both Scarifying and Aerating should be done at the right time and the requirement for them depends on your lawns condition. It is always important if you are unsure, to consult an expert.