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Which Scarifier blade set-up should you choose and why

Which Scarifier blade set-up should you choose and why

Scarifying is an essential process that needs to be done to maintain turf whether it be ornamental, sports turf or a standard lawn.

David Hedges-Gower, The Lawn Association

David Hedges-Gower is widely regarded as the UK’s leading lawn expert and ambassador, working tirelessly in this role to improve lawn care practice at all levels. Here he provides a brief explanation of Scarifying...

What is Scarifying?

"Scarification is a multi-faceted operation, used for different purposes, and with variants such as verti-cutting and even grooming. The main difference between types is essentially how deep the operation goes into the turf.” 

Why Scarify?

"Scarification is pruning technique that allows our native grasses to ‘tiller’ and thicken up. Its other principal goals are to control thatch and reduce moss and give you a denser lawn. Some think that scarification is just for getting rid of dead moss but, done correctly, scarifying actually deters the moss from taking hold in the first place! So, it’s a win-win operation – controlling thatch, deterring moss, pruning the grass and giving you better, denser lawns."

Why Eliet are market leaders in Scarification

“Eliet’s range is unique. As well as having self-sharpening blade, they also offer a significant range of blades so that you can tailor your operation precisely to your lawn and its condition/needs.”

Scarifiers are not all equal and there is a large choice of brands to choose from for varying budgets.

For the purpose of this article we will discuss a professional grade machine, the Eliet E501 Pro Scarifier. This Scarifier is available with three different blade types - Fixed blades, Double Cut Blades and Loose Blades bringing us back to the question “Which Scarifier blade to choose and why? “

Lets Identify the main qualities of the blades:

Fixed Blades (FB) are 3mm thick and have a total of 18 blades across the 50cm shaft with 25mm spacing between each blade

Double Cut Blades (DCB) are 2mm thick with a total of 34 blades across the 50cm with 12mm spacing between each blade

Loose Blades (LB) are 3mm thick with a total of 32 blades across the 50cm shaft with 15mm spacing between each blade

Fixed Blades

These are the most commonly sold type of blade with scarifiers. Fixed Blades are the cheapest option as there are less blades across the shaft. These blades are thick enough (3mm) to do some sub-surface thatch work or 4-5mm below the ground level. They are more robust than the Double Cut Blades as they are thicker and have a 25mm spacing between the blades. The operator may have to cross cut the grass area several times to remove the desired amount of thatch.

Double Cut Blades

These blades are commonly sold for work on finer turf areas such as ornamental, sports turf or fine lawns. Some contractors choose Double Cut Blades to save time, they have nearly twice as many blades across the shaft as Fixed Blades and so pull out twice as much thatch. Double Cut Blades half the number times operators have to scarify an area saving time and money. As Double Cut Blades are thinner than Fixed Blades at 2mm,  they aren’t really for sub-surface use but are ideal for removing surface thatch and/or thinning out the canopy of the grass plant sometimes referred to as grooming.

Loose Blades

These are the most expensive blade set up but also have the most advantages. The 3mm thick blades are able to withstand hard work on undulating ground. As they are “loose” (free swinging on a lug) if they hit an immovable object like a tree root, then the blade will simply swing back protecting the machine and the operator. There are 32 staggered blades on the machine, nearly twice as many blades as the fixed blade system, so the operator will again remove twice as much thatch out of the grass (similar to the DCB).

In conclusion, Scarifier blade set-up is a personal choice which is influenced by the environment, budget, time to do the job and operator ergonomic preference and not necessarily in that order.

For more information on pricing and specifications please visit
www.psdgroundscare.co.uk/machinery/lawn-care.html

If you would like to read more about scarification and other lawn care related topics please visit the Lawn Association Website which is full of useful information www.lawnassociation.org.uk

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