How Low Should You Go?

In Around The House by admin

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It’s spring time in North Texas and many of you are sending in the question, should I scalp my lawn?  For those of you who are new to the area and haven’t heard of this term before, “scalping” is the process of setting your lawn mower blade as low as it will go, and taking off most of the top layer of your yard.  Proponents of this practice argue that scalping is a good way to cut down on the density and appearance of that brown under-layer of a lawn (thatch) and get water and nutrients to soil and grass roots more quickly making for a greener looking yard earlier in the season.

But here in Frisco, we do not
recommend the practice.   Scalping your lawn actually sends the grass into shock and your lawn will transfer all of its energy from root growth into survival mode (which means that your lawn will look worse for longer), and weaken the plants.  Due to the area’s clay soil, a large, well-developed, root-system is important to capturing and holding water and keeping your lawn looking greener longer into the long hot summer months.

A better solution to scalping is to rake your lawn in the spring to clear out the under-layer, then set your mower blade higher (to take less off the lawn), and mow more frequently.  This will return those nutrient-rich areas of the plant (the tips) to the lawn where they can act as fertilizer.  This will be less stressful to your lawn overall.

You may also find the following lawn care web-site useful:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/turf/publications/mowing.html

So keep those mower blades up, and water wisely Frisco!

By admin

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