The Art of Scalping
“The art of scalping” seems a little dramatic for what is really just a good “haircut” for your lawn at the end of winter. Some may remember learning about scalping in history class. Others may have learned that scalping involves an expensive ticket to a big event bought from a less than scrupulous character outside the venue.
Ticket scalping is a prevalent undercover activity that has strong ties to the upcoming Super Bowl this Sunday. NFL coaches and players are even known to get involved. Yard scalping on the other hand, is a good thing.
What IS scalping my lawn?
Scalping your lawn just means that at the end of winter, you lower the blade on your mower and give your grass a really good cut. It won’t look pretty, but it serves a great purpose. Just think of it like good skin care. You are removing all of the tough, dead “skin” that has built up over the cold winter. Scalping is preparing your lawn for the spring sun and new growth that is lurking just under the soil.
Scalping is a reboot for your lawn
When you mow down low, just one inch from the ground, you are removing the accumulation of winter that can cause thatch. Once you have mowed down to the stalk more light can get to your grass. More light on your grass means warmer soil. All of this adds up to stronger grass that turns green earlier. Your healthy lawn is just waiting underneath!
Should I scalp my lawn now?
Timing is everything with lawn scalping. Wait until the last of the sub-freezing temperatures to pass. If you scalp too early, your tender grass stems will be exposed to extreme cold. The best time for scalping in our region is middle to late February.
Again, timing is critical. Don’t wait too late to scalp. If you wait too late and your grass has already started growing, scalping will only cause your grass stress. Stressed out grass means slower growing grass.
What types of grasses need scalping?
Scalping works best on warm-season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia. Never scalp Centipede, St. Augustine, or cool-season grasses like fescue.
Quick tips for scalping your lawn:
Sharpen the blades on your lawnmower, dull blades damages grass and exposes it to diseases
Scalp when your lawn is pretty dry, mud covered grass stems don’t get enough sunlight
Bag up your clippings from scalping, debris left on your lawn is basically an undoing of the scalping
Don’t forget to use the clippings in your compost pile
As we say here almost every week, having a beautiful lawn is a year round job and we are here to help. Your lawn is part of the investment of your home and we can help you keep that part of your investment looking its’ best. Our certified lawn technicians serve Mississippi and Tennessee. You can easily spot our uniformed employees in their white Lawn and Pest Solutions trucks. Contact us here to get a quote on your lawn, you can text, email or call us just by clicking this link.