Scarifying Your Lawn this Autumn
Autumn is the perfect time of year for lawns to be inspected for signs of summer wear-and-tear, like a build-up of thatch in the profiling of your lawn. If you find that your lawn does have quite significant amounts of thatch then it’s important the situation is handled appropriately to avoid any damage from being done to your lawn. We advise that you should be scarifying your lawn little and often meaning at least once a month during the mowing season. If you are leaving thatch to build up all summer you are starving your lawn of nutrients and water at a time when it needs it the most. You are also not going to be getting the best out of your cylinder mower cut as a thatchy sward will effect your height of cut as well as grass colour. You may find that if you don't scarify over the summer months your lawn will turn yellow quickly because it is starved of water. Regular scarifying of your lawn keeps levels of thatch (old grass stems, dead moss and other debris) at an acceptable and manageable level that won’t cause damage to your lawn. This is crucial as large layers of thatch greater than half a centimetre deep can stop water, fertiliser and other nutrients from reaching the grass plants roots. So if in fact you have a very thatchy lawn and you put fertiliser down you will see that fertiliser has very little effect. This is because the thatch is absorbing the fertiliser before it has a chance to make it to the roots of the grass. Some lawns, if not scarified regularly, may find up to four inches of thatch above the soil, which is no good for the grass plant and should be acted upon rather quickly.
Take a look at the image above- you will see a thick thatch layer. You can see how this would stop water and nutrients getting to your grass roots. How to reduce thatch. The first tip is to not drop your grass clippings EVER! When it comes to reducing thatch, it is a rather mechanical exercise which involved cutting into the thatch layer a little bit at a time. We suggest little and often so your lawn has chance to recover. One of the most common methods of reducing thatch is to use a common garden rake, and while it can be an effective way of reducing thatch, no matter what size lawn you have you’ll be in for a tough job. That's why at Allett Mowers we have come up with a few other solutions to help you remove any thatch in your lawn.
- The Allett Scarifier Cartridge
- Allett Scarifier Cartridge
- Find a video here on the Allett Scarifier Cartridge
- Find a video here of the Scarifier cartridge picking up leaves
2. Dethatcher Cartridge This cartridge is much more aggressive than the scarifier cartridge and you would only really use it on a lawn in serious disarray or if you don't have time to scarify often. You would use it at the start of spring and then again in September/October if you don't scarify often. You will probably need to top dress after using this cartridge as it is much more aggressive. Boasting wider spaced, thicker tines the Dethatcher is the most aggressive cartridge and penetrates the soil to a maximum depth of 6mm.
3. Verticut Cartridge
Thin and closely spaced blades effectively lift lateral growth and remove moss which helps encourage tillering and new growth. The blades of the Verticut cartridge help pick up flat lying grasses that your cylinder would otherwise miss. You should be aiming to verticut at least once a month in the mowing season. This will help thicken up your lawn by cutting the stolons and rhizomes and promoting new growth. Verticutting can help reduce weeds without using harmful chemicals. It will also help remove annual meadow grass seed heads and promote finer grasses, such as bent and fescue. You should start on a high setting and gradually lower.
All of our cartridges at Allett have been manufactured to make sure your lawn receives the best treatment possible when used without any delivering unwanted damage to your lawn or using harmful chemicals. Click any of the links above to read a detailed overview of each cartridge. The cartridges are compatible with selected mowers from our homeowner range of petrol and battery-powered rotary mowers. The great thing about these cartridges is that the grassbox collects all the debris as you go along meaning you don't have to pick it all up later! We have a mini video here explaining the cartridge range
Take a look at the video below for a closer look at our of our homeowner rotary mower cartridges from Allett.