The differences between Grooming, Verticutting and Scarifying

7 Apr 2021 | Domestic Lawn Care, Grooming, Industrial Lawn Care

Grooming, Verticutting, and Scarifying are three turf maintenance practices that are important when it comes to proper lawn care. It helps with root penetration and easy flow of air, water, and nutrients to the core for better root growth.

There tends to be a lot of confusion between the three practices, and what can be achieved by them.


Grooming is done to remove thatch in the upper layer of the grass to improve its condition. Thatch is a layer of living and dead compacted leaves, stems, roots, and other organic matter that is right under the grass you can visibly see.

Grooming dethatched vs pre grooming

Dethatched Lawn vs Lawn before grooming

Once the heavy thatching is removed, the plant is stimulated to develop new growth from the true plant crown. The lateral growth of the turf is minimised, and the new growth is more vertical. This ultimately redesigns the turf canopy, opening it to allow for improved water penetration, soil gas exchange, and a drier environment, reducing the likelihood of leaf disease.

The Protea Groomer Reel is fitted with a 1.6mm Star-shaped blade (13 cutting edges), made of specially hardened and tempered spring steel.

Groomer Reel. Used for dethatching.

Groomer Reel


Verticutting, also known as vertislitting, is ideal for keeping compaction under control and is especially effective in splitting grassroots to aid fertilisation and growth.

The verticutter blades cut straight lines into your lawn. The depth of these lines is variable and a by-product of the slicing action is dethatching to a lesser degree than the groomer. The predominant action however is the decompaction of the soil.

Lawn after verticutting has been done. Post Decompaction.

Verticutting Grooves

The Protea Verticut Reel is fitted with thin, straight, rectangular blades, made from hardened spring steel. They can cut up to a depth of 25 – 30mm. This is below the root level of the grass.

Verticut Reel. Used for decompaction.

SVG500 Verticut Reel

These reels can be fitted standard to our SVG500 & SVG760. They can also be purchased as an accessory to various Protea Machines.


Scarification is an important lawn treatment that is generally performed in spring. It is necessary not only on greens but on any lawn where there has been a constant build-up of thatch, which will make the grounds spongy. It is also known as “dethatching” or “power raking”.


Protea Turf Equipment Offers a choice of 2 different scarifying reels: the blade type scarifying reel or the pin type scarifying reel.

Blade Type Scarifying Reel

The Scarifying blades are almost identical to the Verticut blades, but the ends are offset or bent. They are made of specially hardened and tempered spring steel.

Blade Type Scarifying reel

Blade Type Scarifying Reel


The blade-type scarifier is great for dethatching and breaking up compaction, thus promoting healthy growth. It must be said, that the blade type scarifying reel is less aggressive than the Pin Type Scarifying Reel.

Pin Type Scarifying Reel

The Pin Type Scarifying Reel features up to 190 hardened concrete nails that are extremely wear-resistant.

Pin Type Scarifying Reel

Pin Type Scarifying Reel

The Pin Type Scarifying Reel is designed for the total removal of turf on any playing surface. It is therefore great for removing diseased grass or even if you wish to eliminate your current lawn to plant an alternative grass type.

Post Scarification Lawn

The Protea Scarifying Reels are available standard on our SVG500 and SVG760 units. The Pin Type scarifier is also available as an optional extra on our BG760, the HD, SC, and SI Range.


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