Many of our clients desire the healthiest and best looking lawn in the Upstate; and we want to help you achieve your goals and dreams. We often get asked in spring "Why the neighbors lawn in greening up faster than their lawn?" Here a few different lawn care techniques that are used to help you have the greenest yard on the block.
The term scalping is used by contractors to describe the technique of mowing your warm season grasses like bermuda and zoysia. Scalping should be done in early spring to remove dormant grass and promote new spring growth. This could bring your lawn height to 1/2 inch tall at the beginning of the spring season. If you were to try and scalp your lawn during the summer months while your grass is already fully green it could be very harmful to your lawn. The first reason that this is done is that when the dormant grass is removed from your lawn it allows a jump start for the new grass to come up uninhibited. The second reason this is good for your lawn is that it allows the sunlight to reach the soil and warm up the soil temperature so the grass will start to grow and turn green quickly. The last reason this is done is to help thwart diseases. When your lawn is scalped each year it helps to eliminate layers of thatch that hold in moisture. If thatch is not removed it can provide the perfect place for diseases to develop in your lawn. Whenever this is done all grass clipping should be bagged and not left on the lawn, as it will build up thatch which could allow diseases to develop in your lawn. It is also best to have very sharp blades on your mower when scalping your lawn. Mowing lawns at this height with dull blades could pull some grass by the roots causing the grass to thin.
The term burning is just as it sounds. Years ago home owners and some contractors would burn warm season grasses in order to get rid of the dormant grass. This was thought to release "fertilizer" back into the soil after the lawn was burnt. This is now known not to be true. This technique is not often used in today's time for a few reasons. The first reason is that it is dangerous and there is a risk that the fire could get out of control causing damage to near by structures. The second reason is it can be costly and hard to do because some cities require a burn permit and local fire departments to be notified. Instead of burning, scalping would end in the same result and is a much safety way of removing the dormant grass.
After your lawn is scalped and before the new growth starts is the perfect time to top dress your lawn. The term top dressing refers to putting down a sand and dirt mixture over your entire lawn. This will help level the low spots in your lawn providing a better more even cut each time your lawn is mowed. Have you ever mowed your lawn and a mower tire dipped into a low spot and dropped the blades down to put a big scalp spot in your lawn? Top dressing will help to eliminated these problems. This process can also be done in the summer months and can be accompanied by aerating before the mixture is put down. When the aerating is also done the plugs being pulled out will allowed the dirt mixture to get into the ground and loosen up the soil for the roots to spread and thrive. The aerating should not be done if you do this in the early spring because the grass is starting a transition period and coming out of dormancy. This is not the time to be putting small holes in the root system of your lawn. Once your lawn is completely green it is then safe to aerate.
As always drop a comment below and let us know what you think. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.
By: Ashley Haynes
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