Considering buying an electric/petrol lawn scarifier but would like to hear if anybody has used one and are they worth it? Any recommended models/makes?
Its the one job in gardening I hate having to do by hand as it seems to take forever
Not sure about prices but it could be worth checking out some hire shops and what rate they have. Perhaps they could sell you one at a knock down price, ie ex-hire.
The over all job will take just as long with an electric scarifier only difference is that you'll remove about 10 times as much thatch from the lawn so you''ll have 10 times as much to clear up . So make sure you have room on the compost heap.
A job only for the dedicated lawn proud gardener.
Not a good idea to compost thatch/moss etc, better dispose of. Petrol Scarifiers can be hired for less than € 40/day. You would scarify an enormous area in that time, and given if done properly once/year would be sufficient for most lawns, not sure if it would be feasible to buy one.
The unit I refer to bears no resemblance to the Mickey Mouse electrical units to be found in popular Garden/DIY stores.
Some of the ones you can hire are actually vertical mowers as opposed to scarifiers, splitting hairs I know as at the end of the day they tend to do the same job. Vertical mower has a solid cutting blade which also lifts out all the moss and thatch while at the same time the cutting action helps reduce some unwanted grass types while premoting the growth of finer grasses. A true scarifier works just like doing it by hand with a spring tine rake (sometimes called a springbok rake).
If you have a lawn tractor you have another option again as you can pull a simple rake type scarifer attachment or in some cases fit one on the front of the lawn tractor so you "comb" the lawn everytime you cut and pick up the moss with the grass cuttings.
I agree the moss and thatch material that result does not compost easily but given the cost of getting rid of any rubish now you can treat it as a composting challenge. I used to mix it with grass cuttings and London Plane tree leaves (which are known to be very slow to compost) by vacuming the whole lot up with a lawn tractor and created great big 12ft x 6ft x 4-6ft high compost bins (just wire cages) and produced a great mulch in about 6 months. OK so it was a rather large garden
is this time of year a good time to scarify the lawn