An Important Lawn Care Tip
Proper lawn care is one of the easiest ways to fight off weeds and diseases. Cutting grass at its recommended height helps it get the sunlight and vital nutrients needed to be lush and healthy. Mowing too short which is also known as "scalping" can seriously impact your lawn. It will certainly weaken and often times even even kill your lawn. Additionally, cutting your lawn too short can encourage weeds to grow. Because this is such an important lawn care tip, and because we see it happen all too often, read on to learn how to prevent this issue from occurring.
How Scalping Affects Grass
Grass is able to survive thanks to photosynthesis, which is the process of taking in sunlight and using it as energy. Cutting too much of the leaf blade impacts your lawn’s ability to store this energy by restricting its nutrient supply. This ultimately prevents the grass from maintaining itself, and can cause it to die. If you are unsure if you are scalping your lawn, it's easy to tell. If you look at your lawn and the grass stem is exposed, you are cutting too short. This stem is usually brown in color and easy to see. Generally, most warm-season grasses should be at least 1 inch high and most cool-season grasses should be at least 2.5 inches high. As a rule of thumb, the lowest setting on your mower may cause you to scalp your grass.
Lawn Care and Dull Blades
One of the largest factors to scalping is cutting with a dull mower blade. The next time you mow, take a look at the grass afterwards. If it looks torn and frayed, your mower blade needs sharpening. You can buy a blade sharpener at most home and garden centers. This is very important, especially in the hot Space Coast Summers. This warm weather is already stressing out your lawn and scalping it may damage it beyond repair.
Lawn Care Tips for Quality Mowing
Generally speaking, it is better for your lawn to be too long than too short. Try to keep your grass about three inches long throughout the growing season. It also helps to leave grass clippings on your lawn instead of bagging them. This grass will return nutrients to the soil through decomposing. This works better when mowing during the driest period of the day, as excess moisture could otherwise cause the clippings to clump up and block out sunlight from the lawn. Overlap your mowing path by two to three inches, as this will keep the lawn at a consistent height and ensure that it all gets cut. Following these tips well result in a fuller, healthier lawn!
Repairing the Lawn
If you realize you’ve been scalping the lawn, let your grass grow gradually back to the right height. Additionally, you’ll want to water deeply and infrequently. Proper irrigation will help the lawn recover properly. If scalping has killed large areas of your lawn, you will need to reseed these areas and wait for the grass to grow back. If you have any questions, we are always available to help! Make sure to contact us and let us know what we can do! Also, check out our Facebook page for more tips and tricks.