A beautiful, well-groomed lawn always pleases any person. However, the grass in the area will not look perfect if it is just mowed. A lawn aerator helps to achieve good results, allowing you to turn any overgrown area into an ideal green area.
What is an aerator and how does it differ from a scarifier
An aerator and scarifier are used to care for lawns. The second tool is also called a verticutter. Now we will try to figure out what is the difference between them.
The aerator is a kind of grass comb. In other words, the tool can be called a rake, only with special teeth. When combing the grass, they cut into the soil, leaving small grooves. The access of oxygen and moisture to the soil increases through these slots. The root system of plants begins to develop better and the grass on the lawn takes on a healthy appearance. With the help of an aerator, all debris is removed from the lawn, the grass is thinned out, and large weeds are removed.
A verticutter or scarifier does almost the same job as an aerator. The tool loosens the soil, collects small debris, cut grass, moss. The function is almost the same, only the verticutter is more powerful.
When choosing between two tools, the aerator should be preferred if the lawn soil is very soft. On heavily compacted soil, it is better to use a scarifier. Many modern models are made using 2-in-1 technology. It is convenient to buy one tool, including an aerator and a scarifier. Such a combined device is capable of working on any type of soil.
Important! You can distinguish the aerator from the scarifier by the working mechanism. The aerator loosens the soil with knitting needles or specially shaped teeth. By mechanical action, the thin ends of the working mechanism pierce the ground. The scarifier has cutters instead of teeth. These knives cut the grass and loosen the soil.
Let's take a common home tool as an example. The working part of the forks is represented by durable long spokes. This is the simplest aerator. Now let's take a look at the rake. In some tool models, the teeth are made with triangular wedges. This rake is a simple hand-held scarifier.
The combination lawn scarifier aerator models have 2 replaceable shafts. You need a scarifier - put a shaft with cutters, you need an aerator - replace the working mechanism with a shaft with spokes.
Getting to know the varieties of scarifier aerators
With the increasing demand for lawn care tools, manufacturers have developed many models of scarifier aerators. All of them differ in size, shape, are designed to perform different volumes of work, but according to the type of use, they are mechanical and with a motor.
Mechanical aerator scarifier is often called manual. The use of the tool is justified for caring for a small home lawn with an area of up to 2 acres. The advantage of the tool is low cost, quiet operation, light weight. But, most importantly, a mechanical aerator does not require electricity or gasoline to work, and this is also cost savings.
The only significant drawback of a mechanical scarifier aerator is the rapid fatigue from its use. To thoroughly treat the lawn will have to exert a lot of physical strength. Poor performance of the tool does not allow it to be used in large areas.
The most productive mechanical aerators and scarifiers are considered to be models made in the form of a small cart with wheels. While moving it along the lawn, together with the wheels, the shaft with the knives begins to rotate, making punctures and cutting small grooves in the ground. The size of the tool can be very different. The wider the shaft, the larger the lawn area can be processed in 1 pass.
Among the mechanical aerators of scarifiers, a separate group of primitive tools for hand and foot use is distinguished:
It is not easy to work with mechanical aerators as scarifiers, but it is unwise to buy expensive electric or gasoline models for a small area.
The electric unit looks like an ordinary lawn mower. Such aerator scarifier is used to care for a lawn up to 15 acres.
The electric model is more reasonable to compare with the gasoline counterpart. The advantage of the unit is a lower noise level during operation, efficiency, acceptable cost of the product, and less weight.
The main disadvantage of electric aerators of scarifiers in connection with the power grid, low power of the electric motor, shallow depth of soil cultivation.
Advice! In order not to pull the extension cord with you to connect to the outlet, when buying a unit, you need to pay attention to battery models.
A battery-powered car is mobile. It is enough to charge the battery, and you can go to work the lawn located far from home. However, battery models also have their drawbacks. The main one is the limited operating time. A minor disadvantage is the high cost relative to the aerator, powered by an outlet.
The most productive among the scarifier aerators are gasoline models. In terms of power, gasoline units greatly outperform electric counterparts. They are characterized by a greater depth of penetration of the teeth into the ground. The machine is capable of processing lawns with an area of more than 15 acres. A gasoline scarifier is about 4 times more expensive than an electric counterpart. In any case, buying it for your home is impractical. Such models are intended for service enterprises.
Criteria for choosing a scarifier aerator
Aggregates cannot be selected only by their type. There are many design features and nuances that you should pay attention to:
- In electric and gasoline aerators, engine power plays a huge role in performance. It depends on the motor resource how much the unit is able to process the territories without rest.
- The aeration rate depends on the width of the working mechanism. The more the machine captures the lawn strip, the fewer passes will have to be made, and, consequently, the processing time will be reduced.
- The plastic body of the machine is lightweight, does not rust, but can burst if accidentally hit. Metal housings significantly increase the weight of the unit and are susceptible to corrosion, however, in terms of mechanical strength, they outperform plastic.
- Scarifiers aerators can be with or without a grass catcher. Here you need to be guided by the volume and convenience of work.
- By the type of knives, models can only be scarifiers, aerators or combined 2 in 1. It is more efficient, of course, to spend money on a combined unit.
These are all the main nuances that require attention when choosing a lawn care machine.
When to do scarification and aeration
The right time for scarification of the lawn is mid-spring, somewhere in the beginning of April. It is allowed to perform this procedure in late autumn. After scarification, bare areas of soil without vegetation may remain on the lawn. This does not mean that the scarifier is to blame. It's just that in these places the grass could disappear due to the accumulation of water or the soil was dug up by cats or dogs. This problem is solved by additional seeding of bare soil.
The best time for aeration is mid-May or early September. The need for aeration is determined by the roots of the lawn grass. To do this, cut out a piece of turf with a knife and measure the depth of penetration of the roots into the soil with a ruler. If this figure is less than 50 mm, the lawn requires aeration. The choice of aeration time also depends on the type of grass. Some grow in the spring and others in the fall. Aeration is necessary only during intensive plant growth.
As for working with the tool itself, you will first need to examine the lawn for stones and other solid objects. Knives can be broken or deformed about them. If the machine is equipped with a grass catcher, remember to clean it after about 5 minutes. For the convenience of collecting grass, use a garden cart. The contents of the collection box are shaken out into it.
The video shows aeration of the lawn:
As a result, it should be noted that the use of a scarifier aerator will not immediately improve the condition of a neglected lawn. Other additional measures will be required related to mowing, feeding and watering the grass. However, the very process of aeration and scarification will improve the growth of vegetation.