May is almost too late to reap the best benefits of lawn scalping, but there’s still time. You want to do it when the grass starts to enter its green-up period after all chances of frost are gone. Too early, and you can damage your lawn. Too late, and you’ll be fine, but you won’t see as much of a benefit.
What is Lawn Scalping?
Scalping your lawn is just what it sounds like. Imagine your grass was hair, the ground is the scalp, and...you get the idea. But you don’t actually cut below the grass, you just get as close as you can. You want to set your mower to about 1 inch. You can lower it for very even lawns or raise it for uneven lawns. The point is that you want to get very close without mowing into the dirt.
Why Scalp Bermudagrass?
The reason to scalp your lawn is to free it from debris and thatch that accumulates underneath the upper most growth. If you scalp your bermudagrass each spring, you will have better turf growth. This will help to eliminate thatch and weed problems because your lawn will be thick and lush.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Scalp Bermudagrass?
It is not certain why everyone doesn’t scalp their bermudagrass each spring, but there are some drawbacks.
It’s pretty messy and dusty. You want to scalp when the ground is dry, and your mower will be low enough to nick some uneven soil. This means you will likely have some sort of a minor dust storm in your lawn before you are finished. The dust will settle on your vehicles, your windows, and most assuredly on your body. It’s a dirty job.
Secondly, your lawn will not look great until it recovers. Like many things that stimulate healthy grass growth (aeration and thatching), it’s going to look worse before it looks better.
Scalp Early And Enjoy A Beautiful Green-Up
Ultimately, scalping your bermuda grass in the spring allows you to have a healthy lawn that will be more disease- pest- and weed-resistant because it will be thick and healthy. It’s dirty, and it’s ugly, but that’s only temporary. If you haven’t scalped your bermudagrass yet, you may want to consider it in order to have a near-perfect lawn for the rest of the year.
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