Scalp, scarify, verticut, verti-groom & sweeping. They're all scarification-type cultural practices but What's the difference?

Goeiemore mense, 

A tiny little bit more advanced stuff for the guys who want to take their lawns to the next level!

These practices form a part of what gets termed as 'cultural practices'. These are tasks that you do every now and then, yearly, monthly, weekly etc. This is for the guys who want to go the extra mile. You absolutely do not need to do any of them if you don't want to and you can still achieve a good lawn. Achieving a great lawn just requires a little more input. As a rule, cultural practices are best done only when the grass is actively growing. Let's get straight into it!

Scalping is what everyone with a lawn mower can do. It is simply the practice of mowing your lawn really short with the intension of removing much of the mass of grass as well as old winter debris and ugly dormant turf, surface thatch etc. This is not for all grass types, but for most of us using Kikuyu or Bermuda grass, this is an important task for your spring renovation at the very least. It does make significant improvements very quickly and will help you get your lawn to be the greenest on the bock, first. You can do this in the middle of summer as well, but you may induce weed growth. I prefer to keep this to the beginning of spring only, and fertilize properly to avoid having to do it in the middle of summer.  (Pictured below)

Scarify (blade type): 
Now we dive into the slightly more advanced stuff. Scarification is a cultural practice that is meant to aggressively cut through the turfs surface and into the soil with the intention of removing massive amounts of thatch and cut through the mass of runners and roots in grass types like Kikuyu and Bermuda. A specialized machine is required for the following practices. You can get cheap options for smaller residential applications but naturally they wont do as well, or last as long, and manufacturers differ slightly per category as well. This is great for removing all the winter mess during early spring as the first step to a full spring renovation.  It will leave a massive mess. (Pictured below)
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Scarify (pin type):
The pin-type scarification reel is designed for total removal of turf and is reserved for those special occasions. It is great for surface, sod and seed prep. This may look like a scary tool, but it can also be 'gentle' depending on how it's been setup.  This is great for spring renovations on fine turf.   (Pictured below)
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This practice is similar to scarifying with the blade type reel, but this blade more like vertically spinning cutting disks that are straight and not angled. This is much less aggressive than blade scarifying and should not even be compared to pin type scarifying. Verticutting can cut through the turf as well as into the soil(as much as 30mm). It is done with the intention of removing masses of thatch as well as cutting up the runners and roots on creeping grasses. It forms part of your spring renovation when you need to be reasonably aggressive. It aids water and nutritional penetration, prepares the soil for aeration practices and can also be used to prepare for over-seeding or seeding practices. This can be done during early spring and mid-summer, or as required if need be. You can also improve areas with surface compaction. (Pictured below)

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A Verti-groom reels blades are set much closer together than a verticutter blades. The blades are also proportionally thinner. This practice is also for thatch removal but can be done very regularly, even weekly if needed. It is not for soil penetration. It is only to remove thatch above or against the soil level, or less. This is great for regular upkeep of turf grasses that are kept very short. It will leave some mess but many machines can catch the debris in a catcher so it might not be messy at all.  (Pictured below)

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This is exactly as it sounds, but just a little more aggressive than you think. This brushing process can be done daily and is also a scarification process as it can remove small amounts of thatch and dead grass clippings etc. It can also be used to clean up short turf grasses or to 'tease' the turf before or during mowing.  It will leave some mess but many machines can catch the debris in a catcher so it might not be messy at all. (Pictured below)

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And that's it for this one. I hope it proves to be useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Cheers