LAWN SCALPING TIPS

General Notes:

  • There is a TON of dormant (brown) clippings that come up with scalping. It's great for your lawn but it does take a while to perform. At least an hour or more depending on the size of your lawn. 
  • Sometimes, if being scalped low for the first time or its been a while there will be some weeds that pop up because of the soil heating up faster. No need to panic we will take care of them. Usually these are weed species that germinate in the thatch layer of the your grass and are not controlled by a pre-emergent application anyways. 
  • If you plan on composting your clippings make a special pile away from your "to be used in garden pile". These clippings contain trace amounts of lawn chemicals that you do not want in your garden. 
For Bermuda Lawns:
  • Cut the brown grass as close to the ground as possible, this is refereed to as scalping your lawn. If your mower bottoms out and hits dirt every now and then its OK. If it is dragging dirt every other pass then raise the mower cutting deck a half notch/notch.
  • If possible use a grass catcher bag as there will be a large amount of dusty brown grass flying everywhere.
  • If there is an excess of dusty grass or you do not have a grass bag use a dust mask or bandanna to cover your nose and mouth.
  • For those with out grass bags the best way is to mow then blow it all into a big pile and pick up with a tarp or trash can. Try and get up as much of the clippings as possible.
For Zoysia Lawns:
  • In general you will not want to scalp zoysia lawns as quite as low as bermuda. The exception to this rule is if your lawn has excessive thatch levels and you have not scalped your lawn in a long time. (3 or more Years)
  • You will follow the same schedule as the bermuda scalping instructions but raise your mower deck to where it is cutting at a finish cut height of 1". This means run the mower over the turf and the height of the cut grass should be 1".
  • DO NOT BURN YOUR ZOYSIA LAWN. Zoysia does not respond the same to burning as berumda grass does and all you will have is a burnt mess.

Ok Now What?

Now that you have the lawn scalped if possible run your irrigation system for  20-30 minutes per zone to help settle any remaining clippings and help move the sugar reserves through the new plant growth. If you don't have an irrigation system let Mother Nature take care of it. There is usually plenty of rain in April. 

Bermuda lawn being scalped.  Green half has already been scalped a week before,