Scarifying critically - the scarifying myth

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Editor's note: Many thanks for the provision of this article and the critical consideration of the scarification by Günther Schwab (, CEO Horst Schwab GmbH.
Anyone who wants to have a nice lawn needs to scar at least once a year. Right or wrong? Of course wrong. Why? Why is it the professional? And why is it useless in the private garden?
Scarifying is the vertical slitting of the turf to remove turf. In the professional arena, which means football pitches and golf courses, stadiums and arenas, it is important that the pitch is accessible and playable in all weathers. Only secondarily is the quality of the sward. In order to achieve this high resilience and water permeability, the lawn carrying layer, ie the layer in which the lawn grows to the main part of sand must. This composition of the turf carrying layer is regulated with respect to the grain curve (the distribution of grain sizes) in DIN 18035. Here, an attempt is made to achieve maximum water permeability with the best possible shear strength. As a rule, a turf wearing course today consists of 90% sand and 10% sandy topsoil. A soil so meager and hostile to plants that a reasonably prudent farmer would not even grow rye, sterile without any soil life, but maximally water-permeable. To grow good grass on such a ground requires specialists and special care.
Due to the absence of soil organisms, the natural muck that is created by leftover manure does not degrade, as it does on natural garden floors, but must be manually removed by brushing and scarifying. In addition, green grasses are tamped into the ground by the grassy area with cleats and are partially decomposed here anaerobically. This can cause a hard, water-repellent felt that impedes water permeability. Therefore, professional turf is bad and unwanted, and must be removed by force that damages the turf in any case. This action always consists of four steps: scarifying, sanding, seizing, and thinning. Scarifying to remove the felt was done to increase the water permeability and to dilute the remaining felt, seethe to close the battered turf and thicken the remaining grasses strengths.
In the private garden, water is not the top priority but a beautiful lawn. Also, on good garden floors there is never more than an inch of loose felt, which is even important for the turf. So lawnfelt is not the problem. Often the problem in private lawns is moss. But moss has nothing to do with turf. Moss is a pointer plant for nitrogen deficiency. Moss always comes - and only then - when it is under-fertilized and the soil is low-nutrient. This is usually the case in the crown of trees and hedgerows, which is why the rumor persists that moss comes from the shadows and moist soil. In fact, in these areas, the nutrients from the shallow roots of the trees and bushes are consumed faster and there is simply more need for fertilizers. Of course, fertilizers, especially organic fertilizers, are worse off in shadow, but this is not a source of urgency but is aggravating. So moss does not appear where it is sufficiently soaked, or disappears immediately when nitrogen is applied.
Some people also claim that the lawn needs air and that is why you should scarify it. Why then cut into leaves and roots? If there really was a sort of lungs of grass just below the surface of the earth, why not breathe large-scale ventilation instead of cutting the grasses? If I project that on people, that would mean that we should occasionally get an arm or leg chopped off so we can breathe better. That does not sound very consistent.
In fact, Lawn needs neither more air than it has anyway, just more fertilizers. 3 - 5 sprays per year are usually necessary to maintain a perfect lawn and the less you hurt the turf, the more beautiful the lawn and the less weeds can settle. So rather sell his scarifier and buy a few sacks of fertilizer from the proceeds, the turf has more to do with mechanical care than constant care.

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