22/08/2014

Buyers guide to lawn rakes

The principle aim of a lawn rake or a lawn scarifier as they are sometimes known is to remove dead organic material like grass and moss from your lawn. This helps essential sunlight and oxygen reach the grass helping it grow.

Lawn scarification is an essential lawn care strategy for all lawns and should be done at least once a year; making the lawn scarifier you buy an important decision. However before parting with your money there are a number of important factors to consider when buying a lawn rake. 

Garden size
Probably the single most important factor to consider when buying a lawn scarifier or lawn rake is the size of the garden you wish to scarify. 

Thatch can be difficult to remove and require lots of hard physical work; however it can be removed from the lawn by using an ordinary garden rake. This can be hard physical work especially if you aren’t particularly fit. Using a manual garden rake to remove thatch from your lawn is probably best when you have a very small garden. The best garden rake to buy is spring loaded metal fan rake. These can be purchased from most good garden centres. 

For most average sized gardens in the UK you are probably best to use an electric scarifier. These are widely available in most good retailers. Electric scarifiers are not only generally lighter than petrol scarifiers but they are also quieter making them ideal for domestic gardens. 

For bigger, larger gardens petrol scarfiers are more suitable as the power cables on electric scarifiers are unable to reach the far corners of the garden, meaning that thatch cannot be removed from some areas of the lawn. Petrol models are also best if you have an extreme thatch problem as they have more power than electric lawn rakes. 

Scarifying height

Moss and thatch are difficult to remove and you need to remove them from the lawn, as much as possible. If you have a really bad thatch problem just removing the top layer will not help and may just make the problem worse. When looking to buy a scarifier then the best lawn rakes will allow you to adjust the height in which it operates. 

Scarifiers with lower collection heights are best as you can get closer to the lawn and pull up more thatch and moss. Deeper scarification is the best way to eliminate any moss and thatch problem you may have. 

Some lawn scarifiers are suitable for collecting other material like leaves also. These scarfiers will not only have a low scarifying height, but have a high one too allowing you to collect leaves and debris also. 

Collection capacity 

This may sound silly, but the collection capacity of your scarifier should be considered. There is probably more thatch and moss on your lawn than you think. That is why you should look for a lawn scarifier with a larger collection capacity and ideally a scarifier that compacts the grass and moss as it collects. 

Types of tines
 
There are two types of tine that you will find on the market. Hollow or filled. Hollow tines will dig into the ground and remove some of the earth as it removes the moss and thatch. These are more commonly found in petrol machines. This aerates the lawn and allows oxygen and water to reach the grass roots more easily. Filled tines are the opposite and will not aerate the lawn at the same time. 

Scarifying width

Typically speaking the larger the lawn and area you wish to scarify, the larger the scarifying width you should have. Using a larger lawn scarifier will limit the number of passes up and down your garden that you need to make, reducing the time it takes to completely scarify your lawn. 

The downside to a large scarifying width is not all gardens are nice even rectangles. In smaller, tighter areas of your lawn you may struggle to scarify your lawn. If your garden does vary in width and shape then you need to compromise on the size of the scarifying width and the time it will take to fully scarify your lawn. 

Where to buy a lawn scarifier / lawn rake?
 
If you need to remove thatch and moss from your lawn then you can purchase the Flymo LawnRake Compact 3400 from most good retailers and garden centres. The Flymo LawnRake Compact 3400 is a powerful electric lawn rake and has a unique compacting collection box with a Vision allowing the user to see when the lawn rake needs emptying. 

You can also buy the Flymo LawnRake from the Official Flymo Webshop which has options for next day delivery

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