Should You Fertilize Before Or After Scarifying?

Fertilizing and scarifying are two lawn care measures that each make an important contribution to the healthy growth of the lawn. To ensure that scarifying actually stimulates shoot formation instead of harming the lawn grasses, you should first fertilize the lawn and then scarify it. Fertilization actually strengthens the lawn by providing additional nutrients and thus supports the ability to regenerate after scarifying.

Rasen vertikutieren

Scarifying is stress for the lawn

When dethatching, the blades of the dethatcher cut vertically into the lawn scar to pull out the lawn felt. If the blades are properly adjusted, they cut completely through the lawn thatch and score the soil underneath only about 1 to 2 mm. Still, this procedure is stressful to the lawn. The lawn grasses need far more regenerative forces after scarifying than after mowing. Therefore, there are two things to keep in mind when dethatching:

  • The best time to scarify is late spring, when the days are getting longer and temperatures are rising.
  • Before scarifying, the lawn should be optimally supplied with all the nutrients needed for growth by fertilizing.

Fertilize lawn about 10 days before scarifying.


Fertilizers return important nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium to the lawn and soil. In this way, they enable the grasses to grow evenly and vigorously. It is important to take advantage of this positive effect and fertilize the lawn about 10 days before dethatching to stimulate the grasses to grow more vigorously.

If the lawn is not fertilized at the time of dethatching and possibly even additionally weakened, for example by a cold winter, the lawn grasses cannot recover so quickly from the cuts and have to struggle with this stress for a long time. So if you value a fresh-green and vital lawn, you should definitely reach for lawn fertilizer before scarifying.


Fertilizing and scarifying lawns are two maintenance measures that should not be carried out carelessly. Especially by too much fertilizer and cutting too deep into the lawn scar when scarifying, severe lawn damage can be caused.

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