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Burning Bermuda lawn-literally

Jim H

LawnSite Member
No. Georgia
Fairly new to the south and it's wonderful bermuda grass. Several of my neighbors "burn" their grass as the first site of green. Question is: what are the advantages and disadvantages of this? The only thing I can think of would be that it destroys the thatch buildup, but wouldn't simply aerating take care of a lot of that. Seems like a waste of time to me, but their lawns greened up beautifully last year (they also tend to spend more time on their lawns than most neighbors though). Any help would be appreciated! I can't imagine any LCO's in the areas are actually offering this service.

P&C Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Yukon Oklahoma
Burning it works similiar to scalping it where you take it nearly to the dirt. It does get rid of any thatch in Burmuda lawns here. I have some residental customers who want this done and if it wasn't for the fact that I am not doing anything else would probbaly tell them I won't do it, but hey its their yard, if they want to pay me for it I will do it. I have personnally have not done this to my own yard.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Atlanta, GA
That's an old fashioned thing people used to do, before pollution laws, etc. My 70 y/o father recalls doing it as a young man. It probably does eliminate the thatch and maybe even contribute some nutrients from the process. But it's not necessary. I'm a fan of scalping lawns down to very low height, which is doing much the same thing. But some say it's no good. My observation is that scalped (or burned) lawns did green up very well, for whatever reasons, and that lawns mowed high at the end of the season that were left with tall stems were slower to green up and didn't look as good.

Bermuda is wonderful.....IF you don't have to mow it. Thank God I moved away from that stuff. PITA.