I Nearly Destroyed My Lawn (with pictures)

I did a bad bad thing last week. I scalped my main stage Palmetto St Augustinegrass.

Before I tell the story - did you see we released FREEDOM Fert? If not, click here.

Now - onto the harm inflicted on my lawn:

I could give you all the excuses about being busy. Running here, driving there, taking care of business, getting it done. We are all hustling to get things done right? We all have stuff to do in our daily life. There are times that things will suffer though. Something is going to get forgotten or dismissed if even just temporarily. Last week, for me, it was the lawn.

I took my eyes off it for too long and it got knee-capped on Tuesday night.

I let it grow for an entire 9 days without realizing it. It got tall.

I got home right about dark on Tuesday night and realized the state it was in. I jumped on the ZT and started mowing. I had no choice.

It was the messiest, most painful mow of my life. The grass was so tall and so sticky from the humidity that it nearly shut the mower down twice. By the time I was finished I could tell the situation was bad but it was dark outside and I was tired, so I went to bed.

I woke up the next morning to a yellow lawn.

Watch my St Augustine Grass Tips for June and July video (great St Augustine tips too) and you can see how dark green my lawn was prior to the scalping. It was thriving. That video was filmed on June 9 and you can see how long the St Augustine was already. My scalp job came a full 6 days after that video.

Seriously y’all, if there was truly such a thing as a “Lawn Enforcement Officer” I’d be investigated for a major assault case on my poor lawn. I’m still suffering mental anguish from it.

9 Days Without Mowing At Peak Season

9 days may not sound like a lot, but you have to understand, I have aggressive chubby St Augustinegrass and it likes to reach tall for the sun. We are right at the time of the year when the days are the longest - we just passed June 20, the first day of summer, which is also the longest day of the year called “Summer Solstice.”

Warm Season turf loves these days and is in full growth mode. The rainy season has kicked in fully here and we get a nice rain every afternoon around 3PM.

Make sure you are subscribed to The Lawn Care Nut YouTube channel where I’ll show you the recovery here in an upcoming video. But until then, I want to show you something that could be happening to many of you even if you are NOT neglecting and then scalping your lawn like I did.

Grass Clumps In The Lawn Will Kill It

Here is a section of the lawn after my painful mow. See the clumped clippings there?

That is what the entire lawn looked like throughout. I ran a blower over it a couple times working to get it broken up but in some areas the clippings were quite thick. I even went out there on Fathers Day for a bit and starting raking some of these areas. Here is a short video where you can see how fast the grass beneath is declining.

It’s only been covered up like this for 5 days and it’s already dying, big time.

You Could Be Creating Clumps

So a couple things here to consider. First off, when you cut the lawn is your mowing leaving any clumps? If it is, I can tell you that those are contributing to areas thinning out. Even small amounts that you can actually see on top of the lawn are blocking sun and that is going too thin out that spot.

If this is the case for you, maybe consider doing some research on your particular mowing to see if others talk about it leaving clumps in their lawns. One good thing about the internet is that if a mower has a known issue, there is someone on Reddit or another forum talking about it and others verifying the validity.

If you find that clumping isn’t a problem for others with your same mower, then I’d recommend you start mowing more often and see if this clears up the issue for you. In mow cases it will.

But what about unseen clumps? These are the ones I want to point out that I discovered. See this corner right here that I am pointing to?

Thin Lawn

See how it’s thin? That area got more clumping and buildup during the rough mow than any other area of my lawn. And as I think about it, that area has always been a little thin and struggled.

  • It’s in full sun, not shade.
  • It gets plenty of water, the irrigation overlap there is perfect.
  • It is a corner so radiating heat could be something to think about but the actual edges are good.

It’s an area where I turn my mower and when I’m mulching and I turn I slow down and more clippings are dumped out there as compared to when I’m on straight long runs.

Since more clippings are being dropped right there, it’s thinning out. Not just from this last week, but it’s been like that for quite some time. I could never figure out the cause of the thinning but now I know - I was dropping clippings there too heavily inadvertently all along.

This was slowly putting the stranglehold on this corner.

I wonder if you have any areas like that in your lawn?
These are areas where when you are mulching with your mower, you hover for a bit and more clippings empty out there. Think about these areas in your lawn. Are they also thinning out?

Want to see when and how my lawn recovers from all this trauma? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube.

I’ll see you in the lawn.


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