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oktoscalp

If you have warm-season turf such as bermudagrass or zoysiagrass, scalping is a process which many homeowners and mowing companies do during spring. Scalping turf basically is mowing down the grass really short, removing much of the brown, dormant leaves and stems, and removing those by bagging the clippings. It does help even out the turf and it looks nice after doing so. It may help slightly with lessening thatch accumulation, but not much. It does help with removing any dying winter weeds present. And it does help open up the turf, allowing the soil to warm up faster and greening up your lawn quicker now in spring.

However, we stress to not scalp too soon in early spring, as it will increase the chance of cold damage and winterkill on bermudagrass in mid-spring. We like to keep the root system and crown of the plants insulated with that dormant turf until the chance of a late spring freeze is past. It looks like the 10-day forecast calls for nothing close to freezing temperatures though in Oklahoma, so if you want to break out the mower for the first time this spring, I think it’s OK to do so now. If you have a cool-season grass such as fescue, you’ve probably mowed a few times already, as it’s been green and growing for a few weeks now. And NEVER scalp a fescue turf, as it does not tolerate shorter mowing heights as bermudagrass does. We like to see fescue mowed no shorter than 2.5″ in spring, and higher as we get into the summer and fall.

And before firing up your mower for the first time, if not done last fall, sharpen the blade, clean out the gas line, change the oil, and generally get it tuned-up for proper mowing this spring.

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