Saturday, March 21, 2009

3 Myths About Building Beautiful Lawns . . . .
It’s How You Cut the Grass That Makes a Big Difference in Your Lawn’s Quality

Lawn mowing isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s probably the most underrated and overlooked part of good lawn care.

Let me explain . . . .

Myth #1: “Cutting grass short lengthens the time between cuts”. Scalping your lawn is a bad idea because . . . . the grass usually grows faster trying to genetically rebuild itself. Plus, the grass suffers stressful consequences such as: dehydration and the promotion of weed growth; increased moisture and nutritional demands; and the reduction of available chlorophyll to fuel healthy new growth.

Mowing is actually “pruning the lawn” so the ideal practice is never remove more than 1/3 of the blade length at a time except towards the end of the season. A shorter cut as winter approaches in Spokane allows the grass blades to dry faster and helps head off early spring fungal issues such as snow mold.

Myth #2: “Mowing the grass short provides lots of clippings that help fertilize the lawn”. Actually, short cutting not only shocks the lawn, but the large amount of grass clippings mat down and suffocates the living grass blades choking off air, water and sun rays from penetrating into the soil. This creates bad conditions which causes yellowing of the grass, encourages disease and ultimately leads to an unhealthy lawn.

Cutting the grass at the proper height allows the right amount of clippings to drop onto the lawn providing an organic layer of fertilizer, which breaks down and decays naturally providing 1/3 of your lawn’s nitrogen needs.

Myth #3: “Sharpening your mower blade once a year is enough”. Not hardly! Dull blades rip off rather than cut the tops of grass blades causing rough, ragged edges. The grass tips then become stressed turning brown which causes them to lose moisture and become more vulnerable to disease spores.

Sharpening your mower blades for every 8 hours of operation will eliminate these conditions and help your lawn stay healthy.

For more information just call me, James Stewart. At 509-590-3188
or Email me at:

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Amazing Secret to a Beautiful Lawn: It’s called “Lawn Aeration”

If regular mowing, watering and fertilizing isn’t turning your yard into the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood, your lawn probably needs “aeration”.

Beautiful, healthy lawns need both water and air to reach the root system all times of the year and the two things that often prevent the proper flow of air and water are: excess grass thatch
and compacted soil.Aeration helps correct the lack of water and air penetration in compacted soil by using a special piece of machinery which strategically places holes in the soil.

In the Spokane area the ground is just naturally hard and compacted anyway plus, with the buildup grass clippings from countless mowings your lawn eventually becomes choked off and starved for water and air.

That’s why it’s important to have your lawn aerated at least once a year and preferably twice a year. Simply put it’s the difference between having a beautiful, healthy lawn and just a run of the mill yard.

Also lawns with an excessive buildup of grass clippings usually need to be de-thatched or power-raked; for more information on de-thatching please refer to my article on power-raking.

To schedule a FREE ASSESSMENT of your lawn, please call me, James Stewart at
509-590-3188 or email me at:

De-Thatching (Power-Raking): The Often Missing Ingredient of a Healthy, Vibrant Lawn

So you been regularly watering and fertilizing your yard and it still doesn’t measure up to the other homes in your neighborhood.

It could be just a simple problem called “excessive grass thatch”! That’s right . . . repeated mowings cause a buildup of “grass clippings” on your lawn which choke off the ability of air, water and essential nutrients to penetrate into your soil to allow healthy growth. This condition also promotes the growth of yard fungus

This layer of grass thatch which contains dead and living weeds and grasses smothers your lawn when the builds accumulates to ½” or more. When this happens your lawn must be “de-thatched or power-raked” with a mechanical machine to restore and promote healthy growth.

To reduce the amount of grass thatch build up in your yard it’s best to

· rake all fallen leaves in the fall
· rake all excess grass clippings after mowing
· avoid over watering your lawn
· avoid over fertilization of your yard

The best time for de-thatching your lawn is when the grass is still living and growing which allows quicker recovery time from the power-raking process. The late spring months or late fall after an aeration are the best times for de-thatching to ensure the grass has time to begin growing regularly again.

Unless the lawn has extremely heavy thatch buildup of ½” or more, regular aeration treatments would be better. We recommend not fertilizing the lawn for at least 45 days prior to power-raking; any application of herbicides should be applied after power-raking; and power-raking works best after a light rain or watering the lawn. We also recommend mowing the lawn to the lowest height for a particular grass for the best results.

To revitalize your lawn just contact me for a FREE ASSESSMENT. Call me, James Stewart at 509-590-3188 or email me at:

ALERT: Routinely Cleaning Gutters Can Save Big Bucks!!

The replacement of rotten facia or gutter boards is expensive and often avoidable.

When the leaves fall gutters fill up very quickly with debris and when homeowners fail to remove them it can become a very costly mistake. Rain causes the runoff to immediately backup and overflow the clogged gutters, spilling over against the facia boards, trapping moisture between the gutter and facia boards.

With a little time facia boards begin retaining moisture eventually leading to deterioration of the wood surfaces, followed by wood rot. When wood rot compromises the integrity of the facia boards you have just extended an invitation to termites to find a new home at your residence. If the termite infestation is not detected early, these visitors can quickly move into the roofing system, namely the butt end of the rafters (for older homes) or the trusses (newer homes).

Once this occurs the cost skyrockets requiring not only the replacement of the facia boards but expensive repairs to the roofing system.The first line of defense is routine visual inspections to spot clogged gutters.

Any accumulation of leaves and other debris on the roof should be promptly removed to avoid trapping moisture that can penetrate into the roof sheathing. Make sure all facia boards are well painted to avoid moisture penetration.

When leaf accumulations are noted particularly during the fall season before winter sets in, take steps to remove them as soon as possible. At this time check the facia boards for any moisture penetration and make any necessary repairs to avoid termite infestations.

Remember putting off simple maintenance like gutter cleaning can turn into costly repairs.

For a FREE ESTIMATE for Gutter Cleaning please call me, James Stewart at 509-590-3188 or email me at: