GreenGrass Blog

Tulsa Lawn Care Update - Scalp Your Bermuda Lawn NOW

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 09:20 AM

SCALP YOUR LAWN. The best way to give your bermuda lawn a jump start this spring is to scalp it!  Simply lower your mower to its lowest setting, mow the lawn and pick up all the clippings.  Scalping is for Bermuda grass ONLY, not fescue which is looking quite nice right now!  Below is what your bermuda probably looks like in April.

 

bermuda apr resized 600

   

   Here is what your fescue grass should look like in April:

 

fescue apr resized 600

 

IT IS ADVISABLE TO WAIT UNTIL ALL CHANCE OF FROST HAS PASSED before scalping your bermuda, so bear that in mind.  April 15th is the average last day for a chance of frost here in the Tulsa area.  It is up to the individual exactly when they’re comfortable scalping.

 

SCALPING will remove all the dead dormant matter that has insulated your lawn all winter and allow the sun to warm the soil more efficiently, thereby causing your lawn to green up more quickly.

 

I know that we’ve had a good deal of rain and storms lately (I have standing water in my ditch in the front lawn) but scalp your lawn as soon as you can.  Scalping will also help eliminate a lot of weeds and make the rest easier to control.

 

dandelions seed head

 

I have seen a proliferation of dandelions, due to wet weather, warm temperatures, and the fact that many people haven’t mowed yet.  Henbit (the weed with the purple flowers) is quite prevalent as well.  Scalping your lawn and beginning your mowing season will take care of a lot of this.  We don’t want dandelion puffballs blowing everywhere, do we?

 

PROPER MOWING IS ESSENTIAL to the health and vigor of your lawn…AND to weed control.  Please see our page on proper mowing procedures to help us get you the best results from your weed control and fertilizer!

 

TULSA GARDENS – just a reminder about your spring bloomers like azaleas and hydrangeas:  if you are planning to prune them this year, wait until the blooms have faded and do it then.  DO NOT wait until later in the summer or you may be cutting off next year’s blooms!  Below is a picture of hydrangea blooms.

 

hydrangea blooms resized 600 

DAFFODILS AND TULIPS need their foliage to produce flowers next year.  DO NOT cut back their foliage until it turns yellow.  I know that many people plant bulb flowers in their gardens and then plant other flowers in the same place after the flowers from their daffodils or tulips fade.  But the bulbs need the foliage to soak up sun and energy for the bulbs to produce flowers next year.  If you cut back the leaves before they turn yellow, you will have a very poor show of flowers the following year!

 

CALADIUMS – although they are available in nurseries right now, DO NOT plant them in your garden until night temperatures are in the 60’s consistently.

 

Happy Spring!  

Topics: April update Tulsa, daffodil foliage, scalp your lawn, pruning azaleas, pruning hydrangeas

Tulsa Lawn Care – Scalping Bermuda, Mowing, and Poa Annua

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 @ 02:11 PM

 

Ready…Set…SCALP!

mowing lawn

Spring is officially here, and it’s time to scalp your bermuda lawn!

 

All bermuda grass lawns should be scalped each year in the spring, after all chance of frost has past.  (The average last freeze in Tulsa is March 29…but here we are with a freeze warning tonight, mid-April!)  Anyway, scalping removes all the old dead junk that’s been on your lawn all winter and allows the soil to warm up faster so your bermuda  greens up faster.  It also prevents thatch buildup and gives your bermuda a good, healthy start for the summer.

 

To scalp your lawn, simply put your mower on its lowest setting, mow the lawn, and bag the clippings. 

 

If you don’t want to scalp your bermuda lawn yet, at least mow it.  Many times, after people have gotten their pre and post-emergent weed control application, they call us to come back because the weeds didn’t die.  Most of the time, the weeds are dead – they just need to be mowed off.  The weeds won’t turn brown and keel over like they do in the heat of summer!  Even if you didn’t get a lawn application, don’t let all those spring weeds go to seed on your lawn!  Besides, mowing keeps your lawn healthy, and a thick, healthy lawn will be less likely to experience weed breakouts.  See our mowing guide.

 

DO NOT scalp your fescue lawn, but do try to keep the leaves off of it.  The more sunlight it gets in this cooler weather before the leaves are fully back on the trees, the more food it can store to stay healthy through the long, hot summer.  Read more about fescue lawns.

 poa annua

We’ve seen a lot of poa annua this spring.  Poa annua is an annual winter grassy weed.  As soon as the temperatures rise, the poa annua will die.  We put down a pre-emergent for poa annua in the fall, but it won’t work in the spring.  And if you have poa annua in your fescue grass, we can’t treat it at all right now. If you do have a lot of poa annua, bag your clippings when you mow over it, because it can put out thousands of seeds in a very short time, and you don’t want them all over your lawn.  As for the poa annua that’s there now… as soon as the temperatures rise, it will die.  Read more about poa annua.


If you have any problems with your Tulsa area lawn, shoot us an email, or give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you!  If you aren’t a customer yet and would like to get an almost-instant free estimate over the phone, click here! 

 

 

Make it a great day! :O)

 


Topics: spring 2014, poa annua, scalp your lawn, mowing off weeds

Tulsa Lawn Care March Madness - Mow Your Lawn!

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 @ 02:10 PM

March Madness (the spring frenzy of lawn care madness, that is) is in full swing.  Our phones have been crazy busy!  With the recent sporadic high temperatures, weeds have exploded in the Tulsa area, especially the broadleaf weeds like henbit (those weeds with the purple flowers.)

mow your lawn get rid of henbit

 

People are calling, saying “I don’t know where all these weeds came from!” Yes, they seem to be a bit worse this year.

 

But every year, people call and say they still have weeds, even after we’ve sprayed.  A lot of times, they don’t really, it just looks like they do.  The first two points below are ones that we explain over and over and over, all day long, this time of year.  I think a lot of people have this misconception that when we spray their lawns, all the weeds will disappear!  We wish!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way.  The following will help you understand a little more about how weed control works, and how you can speed up the process.

 

MOW YOUR LAWN


If you or your lawn care company sprayed your lawn, and it’s already gotten some rain or you’ve watered it yourself, you need to MOW YOUR LAWN.  Unlike during the hot summer months, the weeds will not turn brown.  Neither will they disappear.  They will twist or curl, or simply stop growing.  They’re dead, but they will remain in your lawn until the first time you mow.

 

If your lawn care company sprayed your lawn a week or two ago, and you now have weeds that weren’t there when it was treated, they are more than likely a new crop of broadleaf weeds.  Most all lawn care companies are treating right now with a mixture of the following:  a pre-emergent for crabgrass, a post-emergent for broadleaf weeds, and fertilizer.  A post-emergent works on the weeds that are visible in the lawn at the time of the application.  A whole new crop may have sprung up since then.  There is no pre-emergent for weeds like dandelions.  If it’s not time for your next application, call your company for a service call. (At GreenGrass, service calls in-between regular applications are free to full-program customers.)

 

henbit needs to me mowed off

 If you are a DIY, be sure you put down a crabgrass  pre-emergent NOW, if you haven’t already.  Crabgrass  will start germinating very soon, and it’s very difficult to  get rid of it once it sprouts. Your home and garden  store  will have various brands of post-emergent weed  control for the weeds in your lawn now, like dandelions  and henbit.  I believe there are some products that  contain both pre and post-emergents, that are available over the counter.

 

When all chance of frost has past, SCALP YOUR BERMUDA LAWN.  The average last frost date in the Tulsa area is March 27.  Put your mower on its lowest setting, mow your lawn, and bag the clippings.  The idea is to remove all that old dead stuff that’s been on the lawn all winter, allowing the sun to warm the soil and encourage a quick green-up.  The best defense against weeds is to have a thick, healthy, actively-growing turf. DO NOT scalp your fescue grass.

 

Fertilizer helps fight weeds as much as weed control does.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can spray weed control, but forego the fertilizer so that you don’t have to mow as much.  No fertilizer usually results in a thin lawn with a weak root system, which will be easily invaded by weeds. Bermuda grass requires higher amounts of nitrogen than most other grasses do to stay looking really nice.  By coincidence, some broadleaf weeds can't withstand high fertility.

 

Mowing frequently during the growing season will greatly help weed control.  Many people mow once per week in the summer, or (gulp) less.  But when nighttime temperatures are in the 70’s, bermuda grows 24/7.  If you are observing the 1/3 rule, you know that it’s never good to mow off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at once, or your lawn will look brown after you mow.  For more info, read our mowing guidelines.

 

Mowing may seem like a mundane chore, but your mowing habits GREATLY affect the appearance of your lawn, every bit as much as watering!

 

Happy Easter to all! 

 

Happy Easter Bunny

Topics: mow your lawn in March, scalp your lawn, tulsa lawn care March