Maintenance is Key for Lasting Lawn Beauty: Tips for Homeowners


“Without being meticulously maintained, any landscape will not look good, even if a lot of dollars are spent and it is landscaped to the hilt,” explains Ernie Unroe of Pacific West Landscape, LLC who has worked with Rob Rice since he began building homes 30 years ago and has watched Rob’s communities flourish.

“A lot depends on the homeowners associations to maintain the neighborhoods, Ernie explains. “Rob works with those associations, many of them well beyond his builder responsibility.”

Ernie says that from his experience a beautiful lawn is not just about the landscaping. Its ongoing health is about maintenance.

“A yard that is maintained really well will, in the long run, be much better off than one that isn’t maintained,” Ernie continues. “Homeowners can get frustrated because their lawn doesn’t look as good as the one across the street. We carefully lay them out with the same quality plants, trees and grass around the same time. The difference is how they are maintained.” 

Ernie’s Top Three Tips for Lawn Care

  1. Fall fertilizing – If you are only going to fertilize your lawn one time a year, the most important time is the late fall. Fall fertilizer is different than the one used in the growing season, it encourages root growth and strength. You don’t want a high nitrogen fertilizer that would promote a lot of green top growth, but going into winter that will weaken it. Use a fertilizer that provides good root structure that is going to make the grass stronger during the winter and will give it a much better bounce coming into spring. 
  1. Watch for crane flies In the spring we see a lot of damage from crane flies. Home owners often think the big dead spots or thinning patches are just damage from the winter, but it can be crane flies, typically in the early year. Crane flies eat the grass right down to the roots. By the time you see it is too late. February or March is the time to treat for it.
  1. Use the right spreader – You tell people to fertilize and they end up with bright green stripes on their lawn. To avoid those stripes do not use a drop spreader. Fertilizer works where it is placed. Use a broadcast spreader that turns and whirls the fertilizer out everywhere. Or do it out of a five gallon bucket and fling it like you are feeding the chickens!