Scalping

Mowing the turf too close or scalping can severely injure turfgrass because a majority of the grass plant is removed. Scalped turf is unable to produce sufficient food to maintain adequate growth and is less able to withstand stress. Each type of turfgrass has an optimal height of cut. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues should be maintained at a cutting height of 1 to 2 inches. For prostrate growing grasses such as creeping bentgrass, a cutting height of less than one-half inch is desirable. Coarse-textured grasses like tall fescue should always be mowed at least 2 inches high. Scalping occurs when more than 50 percent of the leaf is removed. Therefore, it is very important to mow frequently so that no more than one-third of the leaf is removed at one time.