Will a Scalped Lawn Grow Back?

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how to take care of your lawn in summer

Will a Scalped Lawn Grow Back? Lawn care can be an overwhelming task for anyone.  If you recently took matters into your own hands and scalped your lawn, it may now look like a disaster. 

You most likely have wondered if the poor condition is permanent or if there’s any hope for restoring the natural beauty of freshly cut turf – The answer? It is possible! Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about a scalped lawn.

How does a scalped lawn happen? 

Scalping occurs when too much of the grass blades are cut off, exposing a significant portion of the grass blades. It means that an abundant amount of the grass blades are cut down at one time. If the stems, colons, and crowns are left exposed for too long in high temperatures, they will begin to turn brown.

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Do some people intentionally scalp their lawns? 

Intentional lawn scalping is prevalent among many homeowners. Scalping occurs when the grass is cut very low, leaving it more open to sunlight. In spring, soil that is exposed to extra sunlight for a short time will establish deeper roots. Grass with deep roots grows more densely.

In North Texas, only scalp your lawn if you have Zoysia and Bermuda grasses. Do it in early spring while the grass is still dormant.

In most cases, this type of lawn care practice is performed accidentally by inexperienced homeowners who don’t understand the practical art of scalping or how to do it correctly.

While scalping may appear like a quick fix, it can cause severe damage to one’s grass. If done incorrectly, it will require much more work than if the homeowner simply sought out proper management options from professionals. Or did a more comprehensive research on proper lawn care techniques.

Are there benefits to scalping a lawn? 

Is scalping a lawn an effective way to achieve the best results?  With Zoysia and Bermuda turfgrasses, it can be advantageous to scalp your lawn in spring. This encourages new grass growth and might even prevent pests from settling in or taking over your yard. Lawn scalping also produces an even look in places where some grass is patchy or thin. 

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Not to mention, that intentionally scalping your lawn can help eliminate thatch build-up. By mowing very closely to the ground, you encourage the root system of your grass to grow deeper and become hardier for the long-term survival of your lawn. 

Again though, this is not something to do on a continuous basis. Scalp once in early to spring to promote new growth. It is too hot in Texas to intentionally scalp a lawn in late spring or summer.

How do you fix a scalped lawn?

reseed a scalped lawn
Reseed lawn in areas where grass has been damaged.

So, back to the question at hand, will a scalped lawn grow back? Repairing an accidentally scalped lawn can seem daunting, but it’s achievable. The best way to repair a scalped lawn is to begin by focusing on divot repair.

Rake your lawn to remove debris, ensure the soil is moist, and then fill any areas with topsoil. After this, you may need to regrade your lawn for an even surface. 

Finally, reseed the new topsoil and aerate your whole lawn so that air, water and nutrients can reach the roots of the grass plants. With some preparation and diligence, you’ll soon see exciting improvements in your green space.

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How can I prevent lawn scalping? 

Preventing scalping is much easier than trying to repair it! To avoid future scalpings, ensure you’re cutting your grass at the right height. This can range from 2-3 inches depending on the type of grass. Additionally, don’t cut more than a third of the total length at once. Definitely, invest in a lawnmower with an adjustable cutting height. 

Texas A&M University published a pdf titled, “Mowing Recommendations for Warm-Season Turfgrasses,” where they list the proper mowing heights for these grasses.

Also, do not mow wet grass. Wet grass is susceptible to scalping. It will also damage your mower’s blades. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a lush, healthy lawn!  ​

scalped lawns grow back
A scalped lawn can grow back.

Wrapping Up

Accidental lawn scalping can be a serious issue for your lawn. Therefore, it’s essential to take steps towards preventing it from occurring in the first place. By following the suggested tips for prevention, you’ll be able to keep your lawn thriving, healthy, and beautiful!

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