A Scalping question

Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, Rye and Bent, etc
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Masbustelo
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Grass Type: KY31 and Poa Trivialis
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A Scalping question

Post by Masbustelo » July 12th, 2020, 5:11 pm

Instead of waiting until just prior to a fall over seed, what is the downside of starting scalping now. The idea being to mow at 1/2 inch or so to shock and maybe kill off undesirables by exposing the crowns to the heat and sun? Would it have much the same effect as spraying roundup? Yay or nay?

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andy10917
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by andy10917 » July 12th, 2020, 5:21 pm

It's OK to scalp in mid-July, but it won't work to do that instead of RoundUp - far too many weeds will survive. You could do solarization, but there are two negatives - (1) it has very mixed results, and (2) how the hell do you do it on 20,000+ sq ft (from your profile).

Masbustelo
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Location: Western Illinois, parallel to Lake Michigan.
Grass Type: KY31 and Poa Trivialis
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by Masbustelo » July 12th, 2020, 6:28 pm

With the recent heat I noticed that to the rear of my home I have 19k of scattered KY31 and who knows what all blended with dying and dormant trivialis. So I thought what is the point of babying it for a month? Toying with the idea of just scalping it and get rid of the eyesore. Scalping would be cheaper than spraying roundup. I see what you are saying about weeds, but they are sort of next years problem.

JHazzardB
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by JHazzardB » July 13th, 2020, 11:19 am

I think the answer to "what's the point in babying it" is so it's healthy when you hit it with Round Up. But I'm like you, I'd rather see a scalped area than clumpy K31 driving me crazy. Don't know if the logic holds up though.

Masbustelo
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Location: Western Illinois, parallel to Lake Michigan.
Grass Type: KY31 and Poa Trivialis
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by Masbustelo » July 13th, 2020, 8:48 pm

JHazzardB There is no KBG and the fescue that is out there is in clumps every 5-6 inches, it is really bumpy to mow or walk on. It is really an eyesore. Maybe it's Buffalo grass. I can't tell if it needs leveling or if it is just the clumps sticking up. Then the trivialis is interspersed as well. I'm thinking that if I abuse it as much as possible the next month maybe I'll be able to have more success with my upcoming KBG overseed. I'm trying to grow tomatoes as well and they are extremely sensitive to the round up over spray or wind driven mist. I think tomorrow will be scalping day. It is supposed to be very hot later in the week, maybe it will work to my advantage.


Green
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by Green » July 13th, 2020, 10:31 pm

If you are overseeding and want to get a jump on it and take the height down a little bit ahead of time instead of all at once, go for it. It's less work to do later and if the intention is to preserve the condition and appearance of the existing grass, it's the better way to do things. Maybe start two weeks before seed down.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by MorpheusPA » July 16th, 2020, 10:40 am

I mean...if you wanted to kill it off with RoundUp now and have done with it...why not just do that? Then just mow down the dead bodies slowly over time, reducing the mower setting and scalping it down.

Eventually, that's what I did. It just seemed ridiculous to water a lawn I was going to kill, and the summer I was dealing with was ridiculous. Hot. Steamy. The amount of irrigation I was doing was absolutely ridiculous. So down it went. And I had the luxury of time to mow it down in the evenings a bit at a time, an inch at a time, and let it rot.

It even formed part of the mulch base to cover the new seed. :-)

Masbustelo
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Location: Western Illinois, parallel to Lake Michigan.
Grass Type: KY31 and Poa Trivialis
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by Masbustelo » July 16th, 2020, 8:44 pm

Morpheus Thanks for the comments. I scalped it a couple of days ago because the rear yard mix of triv and KY31 offended my artistic sensibilities. I couldn't stand looking at it anymore. I have been spraying roundup and sethoxydim for about a month now and have large dead zones. Like you, I'm hoping the thatch breaks down and I can seed into it. I have no irrigation system, but we've had 4 inches of rain the last ten days. Everything is growing like crazy. Also by scalping early I have a month to fill in holes that I can now see. So far 4 cubic yards of potting soil.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: A Scalping question

Post by MorpheusPA » July 16th, 2020, 10:20 pm

Masbustelo wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 8:44 pm
offended my artistic sensibilities
Exactly. Finally I just took it down and got rid of it. For that last month, I looked at brown and dead...but everybody else was looking at brown and dead anyway. It was a very dry July.
Masbustelo wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 8:44 pm
I'm hoping the thatch breaks down and I can seed into it
If the thatch layer is less than a quarter inch, you should be fine. It's surprising what grass will grow through. If you're worried, try mowing VERY low and seeing if you can break up the layer a little bit on that last mow.

Also, make sure it's actually thatch (intertangled and intergrowing stems and rotting stuff) rather than just the old crowns and stems. If you can put a finger right down to the ground easily through most of the mass (hitting the occasional stem because the grass has stems, but you move to the side and reach soil between stems or at least wedge down), it's not really thatch.

Once dead, if it's raining a lot, decay of the thatch layer can be accelerated by adding a lot of nitrogen to the mass...but you don't have much time so I think I'd skip it at this point and either rake (on a small section) or dethatch (big one) if you have a serious problem.

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