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Scalping A Bermuda Or Zoysia Lawn In Alabama

Scalping bermuda or zoysia lawn

At my personal home and Trussville, Alabama, I have centipede grass in my lawn. As a lawn care professional, I realize this puts me in the minority because most people in this part of Alabama have Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass is extremely drought tolerant and provides a beautiful lawn when properly maintained.

Many people scalp their Bermuda and zoysia lawns in the spring time. Is this recommended? What is the purpose? Scalping your Bermuda lawn is not necessary, but does has some advantages. The primary advantage that I am aware of is allowing your Bermuda lawn to green up faster. Removing the dormant grass whilst the sunlight and heat to warm the temperature of the earth, causing new growth on your Bermuda lawn. If a lawn is not scalped, the thick dormant grass provides a shade that prevents the ground from warming as quickly which will result in the new growth being delayed.

When scalping a lawn, you can cut the grass as low as one inch. Here in North Alabama, scalping is recommended anytime from mid-March to mid April.

Personally, what do I do? As a lawn care professional, I typically do not scalpe lawns by the description that I have provided. My general practice is to take a half of the dormant grass away on the first cut of the season. On the second cut of the season, I then cut the dormant grass a little lower, at which time the new growth has already begun. By the third cut, the lawn is cut to the desired height. I personally found this easier than scalping the lawn all at one time.

To make the first cut of spring a little easier, I will also would try to cut the grass a little lower than normal on the last cut of the fall. This would simply remove some of the dormant grass so there would not be as much the following spring.

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