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Questions About HOC

2769 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  high leverage
I'm a noob to all of this and have a few questions about HOC for the experts, and Zoysia experts in particular. I have Zorro Zoysia which has a recommended HOC range from 1/4" to 3". I've been cutting it at 2.5" as it's very thick and my Fiskars push reel bogs down immediately if I try to cut it at 2".

It looks pretty good for an average lawn, but I would like to get it down to 3/4 or 1 ". I tried cutting it down with a rotary and even that chokes out trying to cut it at 2" Its THICK! The places I did try to cut it down that low looked very brown, not straw colored....a dark muddy brown. The blades are dark down below 2".

My question is this: How low can you cut Zoysia and have it recover and how fast does it recover? Does it matter if you cut it down so low that the whole lawn is dark brown or would that be killing the lawn? In spring when you "scalp" the lawn how low does that mean? Does that mean set your mower to 1/4" and take it down to the soil or what? I honestly have no idea how much I can cut off at once, how low I can go to scalp, and whether or not taking it so low that it is dark brown is killing it or not, or how long it takes Zoysia to recover.

I'm throwing myself out there as the dummy because I need answers, and maybe other noobs will get some knowledge from it as well.
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I would wait until Spring to take it down if you are getting browning. You are essentially scalping, and zoysia will take a while to recover. I wouldn't stress it out now when the grass is prepping for dormancy. In the Spring, take it down as low as you can without hitting the dirt. I cut with the rotary as low as it will go and bag the clippings. I will be able to do that at least twice as thick as the zoysia gets. Once you get there it is time to put the reel to work. Be prepared for a very long and dirty day. The zoysia may come in a little thin at first, but will thicken up as the temps do.
I do scalp every Spring. I certainly think you could begin smoothing the lawn with the Spring scalp, but the growth is slower with cooler temps, so it will take longer to cover than if you do it in late Spring or early Summer.

Scalping is just that. You are removing the growth point of the blades and the grass will have to create new ones. Might as well force the grass through that only once instead of stressing it multiple times unnecessarily.
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