Business

How to ... Take care of your lawn

David Schwab poses on the front lawn of his Bellingham home with his cat Tiger June 18. Schwab says he hired professionals to take care of his lawn so he could spend more time with his family.
"I used to look after my lawn, but I was inconsistent, so I hired a company to do it for me. I had mismanaged it by putting too much fertilizer on, not watering it down, and basically being inconsistent.” 
David Schwab, Bellingham resident since 1986
David Schwab poses on the front lawn of his Bellingham home with his cat Tiger June 18. Schwab says he hired professionals to take care of his lawn so he could spend more time with his family. "I used to look after my lawn, but I was inconsistent, so I hired a company to do it for me. I had mismanaged it by putting too much fertilizer on, not watering it down, and basically being inconsistent.” David Schwab, Bellingham resident since 1986 PHILIP A. DWYER THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Be sure to aerate. “Because the soil in Whatcom County is very poor, with lots of clay in it, it’s a good idea to aerate the lawn once in spring and once in fall,” says Mark Huizenga, owner of Lakewood Lawn & Garden in Ferndale.

You can rent an aerator for approximately $75 or hire someone to aerate your lawn for you.

  • Moss is usually an unwanted addition to any lawn, so if yours is overgrown, consider spreading lime. Any time of year is good to do it, according to Huizenga. But don’t forget that it takes a year before you can see the results.
  • “Because the soil quality is so poor, dumping fertilizer is a bad idea because it washes right through,” says Huizenga. “Instead, fertilize lightly and more frequently, up to seven times a year, to keep your lawn looking green and good.”
  • When you fertilize, opt for a high-quality, slow-release, preferably organic fertilizer, advises Mark Dealy, owner of Dependable Yard Care and a lifelong Bellingham resident.
  • “Organic fertilizers release slower so you get a consistent grass growth and green lawn, whereas a lot of man-made fertilizers release too fast and that makes the grass grow too fast.”

  • The length you mow your grass to is critical, says Dealy. “Be sure you never mow it shorter than two inches, because if you do it will stress the grass and it won’t grow back as fast. Anything that is stressed is weak.”
  • Another important aspect of mowing is to mulch mow, or recycle mow. That means not bagging the clippings, but leaving them on the lawn instead. “When you do this, it will provide 25 percent of the fertilizer needs of the lawn,” says Dealy. “If you do it frequently, you won’t even know the clippings are there, because they decompose and provide good fertilizer for the grass.”
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