Scalping Lawns....

Well the days are finally getting warmer and longer, and people are beginning to get spring fever. With spring fever comes the desire to start working in their lawn and garden which is a great thing, as long as we don't get ahead of ourselves.

One of things many people are in a hurry to do is get their lawn scalped. When I say scalping their lawn, I'm talking mowing a lawn between a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of height. This allows them to pick up all the dead thatch, leaves, and unwanted trash in their lawns that has accumulated over the winter months. By doing so a person feels better about their lawn as they can look out and see a cleaner more manicured lawn, as they wait on the bermudagrass to begin greening up.

I truly do understand the desire to scalp a lawn, and see no reason not to have it done. Yet, I think people should be more patient and wait to scalp their lawn until after March 25th. Up until then we can still get a hard freeze that can set back or even kill the bermuda grass that has begun to green up. Often times people don't realize that the dormant bermuda grass thatch and leaves in a yard create a blanket that keeps the grass plants warmer and shields them from the temperature extremes that can occur. With out this blanket you expose the bermuda grass to more damage from cold, snow, and temperature swings that can easily damage grass that is unprotected. By scalping a lawn you allow a lawn's soil to warm up quicker and bermuda grass to come out of dormancy sooner which in turn makes it more vulnerable to cold temperatures.

Simply put I think it's ok to scalp a lawn, and the later the better. I would rather see a lawn scalped on April 15th than February 15th, as bermuda grass can easily recover from a scalping with warm temperatures and water.



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