If you’re looking for ways to help your grass grow healthily, you may have heard of scalping. But what exactly is scalping? And will scalping benefit your lawn? Your grass will have a sudden burst of growth in the Spring due to the warmer weather and rain showers. This article will tell you how to scalp a lawn.
As the grass blades shoot up, you’ll need to start mowing your lawn regularly. Some homeowners set their lawn mower at its lowest height to scalp the grass and avoid frequent mowing. Scalping a yard is slightly controversial; some people swear by it while others think it’s best avoided. Before adjusting your lawnmower to achieve a close crop, it’s a wise idea to understand the benefits and disadvantages of scalping your lawn.
How to Scalp a Lawn
You can scalp a lawn by cutting your grass relatively low at the beginning of the growing season. Scalping a lawn is easy; all you have to do is set your mower to its lowest height. Scalping a lawn exposes the stems of the grass blades.
Scalping is generally done intentionally by homeowners who believe it benefits their yard. But it can also be done accidentally. If you have a bumpy lawn, you may find that you accidentally scalp low areas while mowing your lawn.
In some cases, grass is accidentally scalped if it’s been left for so long that the blade of grass has bent over and created thatch. If you cut a lawn that’s covered in thatch, it will be scalped as you’ll be cutting the grass blades near the base rather than trimming the tips.
The Benefits of Scalping a Lawn
Some people recommend scalping a lawn in the Spring as it helps to get rid of winter debris from your yard. Its’ particularly beneficial if your lawn has thatched areas as it allows you to remove the thatch, which will create a healthy green lawn. Scalping also allows more air and sunlight to get to the surface of the soil. The extra sunlight will warm the soil and help the grass grow.
If you have an uneven lawn that you plan to flatten, it may be beneficial to scalp the lawn, making it easier to see any problem areas. You’ll then be able to add extra soil to low areas and flatten higher areas using a roller (Here’s how to make a homemade roller).
If you plan to scalp your lawn, it’s best to do this job in the spring as the grass wakes from its winter dormancy. This will give your lawn time to recover throughout the rest of the growing season.
The Disadvantages of Scalping a Lawn
Many professional gardeners advise against scalping grass as it can cause permanent damage if it’s scalped too low. Grass blades go through a process known as photosynthesis which helps to provide food for the roots. If you cut off most of the grass blade, this will affect the photosynthesis process and reduce the amount of energy the grassroots can receive. Scalping could make your lawn weak, and this could dramatically affect its health, making the grass susceptible to stress. Weak grass is also more likely to be affected by insects and disease.
Scalping can also encourage weeds to grow as there will no longer be dense grass blades to stop weed seeds from germinating. You may find that weeds dominate a scalped lawn. Scalping can also expose grassroots to unexpected spring frost.
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The first time you mow your lawn in the Spring, you can set your mower slightly lower than you usually would. It’s best to avoid scalping your lawn too short, as this could cause permanent damage. Use your mower on one setting lower than you usually would.
After mowing your lawn for the first time at the beginning of the growing season, it’s best to set your lawnmower so that it removes one-third of the grass blade. Scalping your lawn can harm your grass, so it’s best to develop good mowing habits. Aim to cut your grass once a week during the growing season from May to September rather than scalping it so that you don’t need to cut it as often.