scalping-cultural practice


LawnSite Member
Down here we are about ready to start the practice of scalping bermuda lawns. That is to say, cut away the dormant grass and allow the new grass to come through. What do you suggest I do about the clippings. They have to be taken away, but I don't have a bagger for my Exmark Turf Tracer. Should I invest in one even though I plan on mulching everyother time, or should I try to blow the clippings on to a tarp? What should I expect to pay for a bag? Do places rent them out? Thanks for your help.


Moderator, Friend, Angel
South East
You might want to keep reserve money so you can buy a new mower after you burn up the old one trying to scalp the dreaded bermuda grass.


LawnSite Gold Member
A cheap, but effective way to remove those clippings is to rent, buy, whatever a pull behind leaf sweeper. They don't do worth a crap on leaves but do extremely well on clippings. You can get them for $199.00 at Lowes (AGRI-FAB version).<p>Homer
Hello:<br> <br> Scalping is extremely tuff on a rotary mower. If you don't have a extra tough 21&quot; commercial bagger. You might consider renting a gas reel w/front bagger which will cut through it like hot butter even if its only got a, yes that's right a 3 hp B&S engine.<p>I've seen a 23hp hydro bog down on bermuda & a 20&quot; reel cut down into the dirt if it hits a hole.<p>That Exmark Turf Tracer is a very nice machine, don't ruin it on scalping bermuda. In most cases you will have to blow it on a tarp anyway, because it's a mess.<p>In most cases scalping that Bermuda you will get a min. of 3 to 5 times as much scalping than cutting the thickest, heaviest in the fastest time of the growing season!<p>----------<br>GrassMaster - Home:<br>My Start Up Page

john boylan

LawnSite Member
Huntsville, AL
Yes, bermudagrass will bog a JD 445 if you try to take it all at one gulp. The way to do it with less stress on your equipment is to take it down gradually. I don't believe it takes any longer overall than creeping along with the blade in the dirt. It all gets bagged/dumped anyway, so go 1/4 to 1/2 inch at a time and run the mower faster.


LawnSite Senior Member
I agree with John.Cut it in 1/4&quot; increments.<br>Most grasses do not cope well with having <br>so much cut off in one lot.Plus you would<br>probably burn out your mower.If you must scalp the grass,have you considered getting<br>a small bush hog in to do it? Mine can cut as<br>low as 90% of mowers.