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Has spring finally arrived?

Based on the winter coat I needed to leave the house this morning, it sure doesn’t feel like it! However, now that we’ve made it through this morning’s cold front, the forecast shows we may finally be sliding into a more spring-like pattern.

We sure need it! This has been one of the longest winters I can remember from recent years!

It’s no surprise that warm season grasses such as bermudagrasses are still showing more dormant turf rather than the green, new growth of spring. This occurs anytime soil temperatures struggle to stay warm enough to allow for the plant to know it is okay to start growing again.

Now that the forecast has moved away from freezing temperatures at night, it is recommended and even encouraged to scalp warm season turf. The practice of scalping removes the dormant vegetation from the lawn, allowing the sun to help raise the soil temperatures, which in turn, helps the grass to turn green and start producing new shoots.

Scalping is one of the few times we recommend that you bag your clippings when mowing, because of the amount of dormant leaves and stems you will be collecting. It is a little more work, but it makes the lawn look better, helps prevent unnecessary thatch build-up, and will keep your neighbors from being annoyed that your clippings are blowing into their lawn.

It is worth noting though, the recommendation to scalp only applies to warm season grasses such as bermudagrass or zoysia. Fescue turf does not need to be scalped and does not tolerate the shorter mowing heights that the warm season turfs do. We recommend fescue be mowed no shorter than 2.5” in the spring, and even higher as we get into the summer and fall months.

For many of us, this will be the first time to fire up our mowers since last fall, so it’s not a bad idea to give yourself a few extra minutes to check that everything is in good working condition. Be sure to check the oil, replace the spark plug and clean out the air filter. It is also a good idea to replace any residual fuel with fresh gasoline. Finally, be sure to either replace or sharpen your blades. Sharp blades provide cleaner cuts, which help prevent unnecessary damage and disease pressure in your turf.

While mowing is not one of the services we offer at LawnAmerica, we strive to help our customers with all of their lawncare needs and can provide you with a referral to a great mowing company. Just call our office at (918)249-5296 and ask for a referral.

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