All bermuda and zoysia grass lawns should be scalped every year – but not yet!
Scalping is just setting your lawn mower on its lowest setting, mowing your lawn, and bagging it (or, rake it and pick it up.) This removes all the old dead stuff from your lawn and allows the sun to warm the soil, making your lawn green up and start growing sooner. It’s like giving it a jump start.
But, it’s February. Our entire service area has had some pretty warm temperatures lately, and I know it’s tempting to clean up your yard. On one of those 70 degree days, I heard lawn mowers starting up and just winced! If you scalp now, and then we get some more of those record-breaking lows, like Tulsa, Springdale and the rest of Northwest Arkansas did, then your grass’s roots will be exposed because you removed all of its lovely, warm insulation. And it may freeze hard and die in areas (winterkill). Even Huntsville, AL, already set a record this year with a temperature of 8 degrees.
So, be patient. I know you see little green things growing, but those are weeds…or daffodils or crocuses, or other cold-weather stuff. Scalping should be done after all chance of frost has past.
NOTE: when the time is right, bermuda grass and zoysia grass are the only grasses that should be scalped! Please don’t do that to your fescue.