Once the warmer weather begins after winter, it can be tempting to dust off the old lawnmower and scalp away all of your dormant bermudagrass in hopes that green grass will soon follow. We understand that—as lawn technicians, we prefer the green bermudagrass of summer over the dull brown color that is evident in the winter. But, if you love your lawn, you’ll wait a few more weeks to mow or scalp your lawn.
Scalping is the process of cutting warm-season grasses like bermudagrass really short and removing all of the dormant vegetation. This dormant vegetation has acted as an insulator to your soil and the root zone all winter long. While scalping is a beneficial action for bermudagrass, doing it too soon can create real problems.
Even in late March, we still have not passed the window for our last freeze. Generally, in Tulsa, we can see freezing nighttime temperatures all the way through mid-April. Any freezing that occurs after a lawn has been scalped runs the risk of damaging the new growth and delaying the greening up process even longer. In severe cases where temperatures dip into the mid-20s, you may even have portions of the new turf that dies.
It is okay to run the mower over your lawn between now and then, but just make sure you keep the mowing deck high and don’t remove too much vegetation just yet.
Cool-season grasses like Fescue are a little different. If they have been properly fertilized, these lawns probably need a trim. You should never scalp a cool-season grass, but mowing it for a more uniform look is perfectly acceptable.
If you are unsure of your grass type you have or would like personalized recommendations for your lawn, give us a call at 918-322-5757. The experienced lawn technicians at Nutri-Green are here to help with our lawn care program! We’re locally owned, meaning we know our local grasses more than anyone else around.