Problem: Improper Mowing
Grass becomes damaged when too much is removed during mowing. This can happen in two ways. 1. Scalping: Mowing near the soil level, or scalping, occurs when the mower cuts too low in some areas. If the lawn is bumpy, high spots may get scalped. Lawns that are spongy from an accumuation of thatch allow the mower to tip on turns, causing half-moon scalped areas. Where the grass has been cut too short, the lower parts of the grass blades are exposed and burned by sunlight. If scalping damages the base of the grass plant, the grass may die. Otherwise, it will probably recover in a week or so. 2. Insufficient mowings: If the mower is cutting at the proper height but the grass has grown too long between mowings, the lower parts of the grass blades are exposed and burned. Waiting too long to mow seldom kills the grass, but the lawn remains unsightly for a week or two.
The damaged spots need no special care. The numbered solutions below correspond to the numbered items in the Problem. To prevent further damage: 1. If the lawn surface is uneven, level the high spots. If the lawn is spongy from an accumulation of thatch, remove excess thatch. Raise the mower blade to the suggested height. 2. Mow frequently enough so that you don''t remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade. If the grass is very tall when you mow, raise the mower blade to 2/3 of the grass height, lowering it gradually the next few mowings.