I still remembered how much we both worked on our lawn, ever since it was only a bare soil, full of rocks. So, how was I to start all that work over again? No, no and no! But a Google search made me rethink and take a better decision: to buy a lawn scarifier and scarify the lawn, all by myself.
I've started the lawn about 10 years ago, when we first moved in to our new house, in the countryside. I researched about how to do it and did it manually - the hard way, as I like to say! Both me and my husband had to weed, especially the first year, but later I found out about herbicide and started to use it. The lawn was looking good, but not great. There were several parts which had no grass, different every year, depending on where my dog Minnie was digging for moles - or was it where the moles dug out? Yet, there were other parts of my lawn which were too crowded and where the grass grew in big and tall clumps. During summer, some parts were almost bare, because of the drought and, as much as I've tried to sow in the spring, rather few seeds sprouted - not to blame me, because I'm doing my part - meaning, watering. But the sparrows and magpies, I'm feeding everyday, are eating any seeds they can find in my garden. It's a no-win game, so to speak, but I'm playing it every spring.
A few years ago, we went to visit some friends and saw how they were digging their small lawn, saying that it was for reviving it. They did nothing else but digging and turning the soil upside down, then chopping the ground. My husband still remembers it and, for several years now, has been trying to make me do that too. No way, I said, I won't do so much work again and start the lawn for the second time. Actually, it wasn't a start, but a scarifying, only I didn't know about that then.
Rather recently, I've found out about what scarifying is and what is it about, but, most of all, that it is done with a special machine, similar to a lawn mower. That sounded much better than digging with a spade! Don't get me wrong, I like gardening, but I'm getting old and I can't do so much work, yet I would like to garden myself. And that's why these lawn scarifiers have been invented!
Long story short, I bought a lawn scarifier and started to scarify my lawn. I'm one of those old-school people, who like to read all instructions before using a device. So I read all about how to use the scarifier and then went on to work. It was scary at first, when I saw its fixtures, but, in the end, it turned out to be fun and easy.
The lawn scarifier has two fixtures, like two large cylinders, which do two different jobs. One has thin pins, which remove the dead grass. That is great because I don't have to do this with the rake. The other one has some big "teeth" which are cutting down on into the surface of the ground, leaving some trails. This is very good for the lawn, because it divides the grass plants, thus making more plants, each spreading and covering more of the lawn's empty space. I'm filling those trails with grass seeds, then just cover with dirt, by using my foot. I just have to walk on it and it's done. It's not that easy for me because of the many sparrows I have around, yet I chose to sow more seeds, so the sparrows can have their share too. It keeps them busy, while the other seeds are sprouting.
I'm using the two fixtures in the spring, right after mowing the lawn at the lowest level of the lawn mower. First goes the cylinder with thin pins, which cleans the dead grass between the grass plants. If I want a thorough raking, I can go on different directions on the lawn, straight and diagonal, back and forth - but I usually don't have too much time for it, so I do it in only one direction. The scarifier has a bag where the dead grass is collected, which has to be emptied when it's full. I don't have a big lawn, so the bag doesn't get full even after raking the whole lawn.
Next, I unscrew the rake cylinder, with the special tubular key, which came with the scarifier, in the box. Then, I'm screwing on the other cylinder, the one with the big teeth, which scarifies the lawn. It tightens very well with the key. Piece of cake! This goes about the same way as the raking fixture, yet I need to push it down a bit, so it can make those trails into the ground. The scarifier does a work similar to a cultivator or a tiller.
The bag gets full again, yet not as full as when I'm mowing, so it gets emptied when I'm finished scarifying. I usually save this grass and throw it over the vegetable garden soil. But most of the dry grass lays on the lawn after scarifying and I need to rake it with the leaves rake.
When I'm done, I store the scarifier in the shed, until next spring. If I would want a better looking lawn, I could scarify it in the fall too, but I prefer to save my strength for so many other gardening chores I need to do.
It doesn't take even one hour to rake and scarify my lawn, even if I do it in different directions. The lawn looks disastrous in the end, but I don't despair, because I saw several videos of horticulturists scarifying lawns and they all looked the same. But the result counts, meaning the lawn grows better and bushier, after scarifying. My lawn looks great after about a month and it's ready to be mowed again. Scarifying the lawn isn't scary as I thought and if I can do it, you can do it too. Would you give it a try?