by Pam Geisel
Photo by Ali Harivandi
Click on images to enlarge.
Scalping occurs when turf is mowed so short that the stem tissue
is exposed. Damaged turf turns yellow or brown. Mowing on uneven
surfaces can also cause scalping, especially on hills or where
the mower wheels drop into a low spot. Thick thatch layers or extremely
weedy turf can also contribute to scalping.
Prevention and management
Mow at the recommended mowing
height for your turf species and never remove more than 1/3
of the leaf blade at each mowing. Dethatch when
the thatch layer is more than 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) thick. Bermudagrass
and other creeping-type grasses will generally outgrow scalping
injury if proper cultural practices are followed. Ryegrasses, fescues
and other bunch grasses may need to be reseeded or sodded if damage