Once your warm season turf is scalped it must be also kept on a weekly mowing schedule at the minimum. Your scalping should be done as the warm season turf starts its green up each spring.
By not mowing weekly you allow the turf to become too long which means that when you do mow you are removing more than 1/3 of the blade height which causes firing (see below) and ultimately unhealthy turf. Also, even after weed control is applied, the weeds must be mowed consistently for total control.
Mowing frequency is dictated by how fast the grass grows. In most circumstances one time per week is adequate but occasionally more frequent mowing may be necessary.
WARM SEASON TURF
If you didn’t scalp this spring you will have poor quality turf this year. Warm season turf should be maintained at 1½ ” to 2 ½ “. There are exceptions when you may be forced to mow higher or it is expedient to do so. If you have an excessively bumpy lawn and the mower is scuffing the ground then you may have to mow higher until you can level the ground with a soil mix. As the summer temperatures climb, mowing the turf may cause firing at the two and one-half inch height. Firing is that burned or yellowed look that can appear after mowing. This is caused by removing too much grass blade at one time and thrusting the turf into severe desiccation and water loss.
Closely mown warm season turf requires an increased mowing schedule during periods of heavy, rapid growth if it is to be maintained at a very short height. A 3 – 4 day mowing schedule is often required. Starting in August of each year, all warm season turfs need to be allowed to grow out to a height of 3″ by October in order for the roots to be able to store sufficient carbohydrates for green up the following spring. If you do not allow the turf this opportunity to prepare for dormancy and green up, you may well discover the turf has succumbed to one or several nasty fungal diseases that are expensive and difficult to control.
Do not stress the fescue turf by cutting it too short. Maintain your cutting height at 2½” – 4″ and mow weekly. Do not cut the turf when wet if at all possible. If you need to mow the turf when wet or if you prefer to mow without a bag (which is acceptable) then blow off the resulting clippings to prevent them from clumping up on the turf. These wads of clippings, if left to rot, can kill spots in your turf and encourage disease.« Back to Glossary Index