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7 Steps How to Scalp a Bermuda lawn

Posted by Mark Nannenhorn on Feb 28, 2019 11:15:25 AM
Mark Nannenhorn
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1. Make sure there is no longer a risk for frost

2. Sharpen your Blade

3. Be prepared to bag or remove clippings

4. Set the mower at a lower setting than normal

5. Gradually lower the mowing setting as your go

6. Remove all the brown or dormant grass gradually until the brown grass is completely removed. Do not mow too low and damage the soil or roots of the grass

7. Wait for an early green up

If you decide to scalp your bermuda lawn in the Atlanta area we recommend waiting until there is no longer a risk of frost. This is usually after April 1st. If the lawn is scalped and new shoots get damaged form the frost this could delay green up. Scalping in February is risky, many homeowners get excited by a warm weekend and scalp too early. 

Check your mower. Make sure it is turned up for the new mowing season, it has been sitting awhile. Check the spark plug, air filter, and oil. Then get your blade sharpened, it has taken a beating from the previous year. If you buy a new blade make sure to get it professional sharpened, most blades sold are dull or not sharp enough for a good cut. After scalping we recommend getting it sharpened again for the new mowing season. 

Be prepared to remove the clippings by bagging the grass. You can use these in compost or put the clippings in brown garden refuse bags and the garbage man will take them. Check with your garbage company to make sure they take clippings.

When you begin to scalp the lawn, set the mower lower than usual and take it down gradually. This process will make it easier on your mower and you. Sometimes the mower will bog down if you got too low and make it difficult and it will be less frustrating for you if you do it gradually.

Make sure to remove as much of the brown dormant grass as you can without damaging the soil. Cutting too low into the soil will damage the roots of the bermuda grass. This can cause slow green up or even damage the grass enough it will grow back slowly. It can also make the lawn uneven causing future mowing problems.

If you scalp the lawn correctly at the proper time your lawn should green up sooner than others. Scalping removes the grass cover that is shading the soil. By doing this the soil will warm up quicker and allow the bermuda to start growing. Green up of bermuda is dictated by soil temperature so areas of full sun will green up first. You may notice depending on the way your home is facing one side of the street may green up first, this is normal depending on the amount of sunlight you lawn receives daily compared to others in your neighborhood.

If you have any questions please give us a call and if you need help with fertilization and weed issues we are here to help. Click below to get a Free Estimate.


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Topics: Bermudagrass, Zoysia, mowing