To scalp or not to scalp?
Many people think that it is valuable to scalp your lawn when the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer; at Chorbie, we think this does more harm than good. Our goal is to help you create the most beautiful landscaping experience for your home, to do that we dive into spring lawn care and whether scalping or mowing it low is best for the transition into warmer seasons.
What is scalping and why we discourage it
When you scalp your lawn you mow it very low, almost to the dirt. The goal is to remove the mulched grass from previous mows to allow more sunlight to reach the soil. Scalping your lawn leaves the grass in a disadvantaged state as it is already focusing its energy on coming out of dormancy, and now it is weakened due to how short it is. Removing grass blades lessens your lawn’s ability to collect energy. Unfortunately, scalping your lawn does not set it up for success throughout the rest of the year.
When to scalp your lawn
There are some grass types that can be scalped with little repercussions, like Bermuda grass. If you have St. Augustine grass we do not recommend scalping, and Zoysia grass should never be scalped.
If you are looking to plant new seeds, scalping can be beneficial as the seeds can sew into the soil more directly. Furthermore, seeds need direct sunlight to germinate and a scalped lawn will maximize the amount of light reaching the seed.
How to really start the season
At Chorbie, our expert recommendation is to start the season with a “Mow Low and Bag.” This type of mow is performed by setting the lawnmower to a lower setting than normal and using a bag to collect grass clippings.
Like scalping a lawn, the purpose of a Mow Low and Bag is to remove the insulation between the sun and soil. The difference is that this type of mow is beneficial for all grass types and is the best way to go come springtime!
When performing a Mow Low and Bag, it’s recommended to mow the grass down to a 1½ -inch or 1-inch height. Be sure to check the bag from time to time during the mow and to empty the bag when necessary. Following the first cut, you should start gradually increasing the mowing height for all grass types.
Let Chorbie Help!
If this seems like a lot of work, let the experts at Chorbie do it for you! We know how to professionally mow your grass low and bag it properly. We will also scalp your lawn, if necessary. Give us a call today to understand what is best for your lawn and receive an estimate!