The wellness cure for your lawn: When the soil temperature is ten degrees, it's time to get going!
Moss everywhere, withered grass, leaves lying around, weeds sprouting up all over the place: If your garden looks like a battlefield by the time winter ends, you don’t need to feel down. That’s because, with the right care, every lawn will soon begin to grow and bloom again, as Michael Gröstenberger knows. The Category Manager Garden at Einhell Germany AG reveals his top spring tips for keen gardeners.
Get the garden season started
Landau a. d. Isar, February 8th, 2022 – When temperatures outside get into double digits again, it’s time to sharpen the cutter of your lawnmower and fully charge the batteries in garden machinery for scarifying, mowing and seeding. You can get started on maintenance jobs once the soil temperature is around ten degrees – unfortunately, the grass will not grow at lower temperatures.
Scarify or aerate? Both, ideally!
In principle it’s good for every lawn to be allowed to breathe every now and then. This “aeration” loosens up the soil, allowing more oxygen to reach the roots of the grass. In this process, the many small steel springs of the aerator roller are brought into rotation and pulled through the plants. These steel springs comb through the grass, so that loose stalks or thatch are picked up and thrown into the catch basket. The individual plants can then absorb more oxygen and light again. With the soil having been loosened up, water can also reach the roots of the grass more easily.
A proliferation of weeds indicates that the lawns had better be scarified as well. That’s because weeds cope better with the lack of nutrients that the thatch causes. However, it is precisely this thatch that robs the grass of the space, light and nutrients that it needs in order to survive. For that reason, scarifying the lawn is rather more intensive than aeration. It means “scratching” the sward of a lawn, the idea being to remove moss and mulch, i.e. the cuttings left over from the fall. In this process the cutter of the tool penetrates about three to four millimeters into the soil. Only the thatch itself, not the soil and the grass roots contained in it, are to be cut. This means the soil is better aerated, the grass roots receive more oxygen and the lawn becomes thicker and more hard-wearing.
Time and procedure:
While most gardeners scarify their lawn early in the year, and where possible another time in the fall, the lawn can in theory be aerated at any time in the year. “Doing both at the same time doesn’t make any sense, though. Depending on the condition of the lawn, you need to make a choice: Either really work through it, or stroke it a little,” says Michael Gröstenberger, Category Manager Garden at garden and DIY tool manufacturer Einhell Germany AG.
You can, in principle, scarify from March through September. However, the daytime temperature should be between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, which is generally the case in the spring and fall. That’s when the soil will also be at least ten degrees warm – essential for growth. Scarifying must be avoided in the summer, when the lawn is being used intensively and absorbing a lot of heat, and likewise in the winter, when the soil is frozen. The lawn is particularly capable of regeneration in the months of April and May. That's why the best time for scarifying is about the start to middle of April or else late in the summer (from the start of September), because it is then that the temperatures are generally not yet or no longer too high, which in turn encourages the growth of the lawn.
Using the “moss stripper” properly
“When your lawn starts to grow again in the spring, apply some fertilizer, wait a while, and then mow the grass to the normal height of about four centimeters. About two weeks later, mow the lawn again and then start scarifying,” Einhell garden expert Michael Gröstenberger recommends. “At this point in time the grass is already well supplied with nutrients, so the punishment caused by the scarifying process will disappear within a few weeks.”
The right procedure is to run the machine rapidly over the lawn. If this is a well-maintained surface, it is usually sufficient to scarify in one direction only. If the lawn has not been treated for several years, though, it is advisable to scarify it twice, once in a vertical direction and once in a horizontal direction, like on a chessboard.
After scarification, the lawn needs to rest for two to three weeks so that it can regenerate. In very dry and warm weather, the grass should also be watered. If the lawn is very thick, additional seeding is not usually required. If a hard winter or some other stress has left gaps in the sward, scatter a few grass seeds on the exposed areas and water them thoroughly afterwards. After a short while the seeds will begin to germinate, and you can look forward to a thick lawn again.
Whether the scarifier is petrol, electric or cordless, the functional principle behind all “moss strippers”, as the machines are commonly known, is always the same: Surrounded by a metal or plastic housing, a spindle to which rigid or pivoted knives or hooks are mounted is brought into rotation. The capacity of cordless scarifiers is generally perfectly adequate for the domestic garden. They offer the freedom of cordless operation and, with the right battery pack, similar performances to a petrol-driven tool. A battery-powered scarifier has the advantage over a petrol one that it will start up again immediately after even a lengthy break. And there are no longer any electric cables to trip or ride over.
It is not for nothing that cordless tools are enjoying increasing popularity with amateur gardeners, because they are environmentally friendly when compared with a petrol-driven one, as they do not produce any exhaust gases, are considerably quieter in operation, weigh less, and are also easier to maintain. “Depending on the particular amperage of the battery, Einhell cordless scarifiers such as the GE-SC 35/1 Li can handle lawns of up to 400 square meters in size. What's more, the battery can be used not just for a scarifier, but also for a cordless hedge trimmer or a cordless grass trimmer,” says Einhell garden expert Michael Gröstenberger.
To ensure the battery does not wear out prematurely and keep having to be recharged, you should pay attention to the number of ampere hours of all battery-operated machines.
The GE-SC 35/1 Li cordless scarifier would have the following ranges:
2.5 Ah battery for just under 200 square meters
3.0 Ah battery for 225 square meters
4.0 Ah battery for 300 square meters
5.2 Ah battery for 400 square meters
“Ah” stands for ampere hours, which can be compared to the content of a car's fuel tank in that the number of ampere hours indicates how long the battery will run for. The higher the number, the longer it will last.
For more information about the GE-SC 35/1 Li Solo cordless scarifier, please visit:
RRP in Germany: € 189.95
About Einhell Germany AG
Einhell is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art tools and equipment for the house and garden. From its headquarters in Landau/Isar (Bavaria), the internationally successful company has continuously expanded its innovative rechargeable battery platform Power X-Change and is now the market leader in the area of cordless tools and garden equipment. For many years Einhell has set new standards in terms of endurance, performance, and safety. Einhell customers appreciate the freedom of cordless operation for all their DIY projects, as well as the excellent value for money that Einhell products represent and the first-class customer service offered by the company.
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