Spring Is Here and It’s Time to Mow……Or Is It?
Late winter into early spring is great time to mow your lawn lower to remove the dormant, brown grass blades, particularly if you have bermuda grass or zoysia grass. Some people will perform this lower cut, sometimes referred to as scalping, as early as January. In a “normal” winter, that would be fine. This year is much different, though. Your lawn may very well look like the picture below.
If you are seeing signs of life and have the itch to make your first cut of the season, I say, “STOP!” It is late February. Spring is not here yet even though the temperatures make it feel otherwise. Our warm season grasses should not be greening up right now. If you make your scalping cut right now, you are removing a layer of insulation for your lawn’s root system, and you will be encouraging your grass to produce new growth. New growth and green grass sounds great, but we are certain to have more cold nights, more frost, and even a snow yet. This year, it’s advisable to wait to scalp your lawn. When you are ready to scalp your lawn, these are the guidelines you should follow:
- Sharpen your mower blades first. You want a clean, even cut.
- Cut the lawn slightly lower than the last cut you made in the fall.
- If you have bermuda grass, you can be radical with your scalping cut. If you have zoysia grass, be more conservative with how low you cut.
- Be sure to bag the clippings so you don’t have all of that thatch piled on your lawn.
Remember the following when you get fully into mowing season:
- Start at a low cutting height in the spring and then gradually raise the cutting height through the summer. The low cutting height will encourage thicker turf.
- Mow your lawn often enough that you only remove 1/3 of the leaf surface each mowing to reduce stress on your lawn.
- Change the direction of your cut every mowing.
- You may have an area of your lawn that suffered damage and is thin. Remember the more often you cut, the thicker your grass will be. If you leave your lawn uncut, it will grow up but will not spread as much.
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Lawn & Pest Solutions provides pest control, weed control and fertilization services to customers in New Albany, Oxford, Tupelo, Amory, Hernando, Olive Branch, Fulton, Houston, Mooreville, Pontotoc, Southaven, Saltillo and beyond. Lawn & Pest technicians can be seen all over northeast Mississippi in their clean, white trucks. If you have not already spotted us in Desoto County, be on the lookout! We would love to meet you.