What’s it take to grow a healthy lawn?

A perfect lawn with no weeds or moss!

How do you get a perfect lawn?

The short answer? Lots of hard work! But, what kind of hard work? Like all great successes, a great lawn starts with a great plan. Let’s take a look at some of the items you’ll want to consider before you begin your journey:

Why aren’t you happy with your lawn?

Before starting your journey to the lawn of your dreams, you’ll first need to decide why you are dissatisfied with your lawn now. Is it full of moss? Is it really sparse? Or maybe there’s puddles in parts of your lawn when it rains? The list of lawn problems goes on, but no matter what problems your lawn has, we will need to take a systematic approach to resolving these issues.

Consider environmental factors:

Perhaps the area you’re trying to grow a lawn in, just isn’t suited for a lawn. Some things to consider: Are you in a densely wooded area where the sun only makes it to your lawn for a couple hours a day? Is the lawn on a hill side with rocky soil underneath? Is the lawn in wetlands? All of these things can effect your lawns ability to grow and become the picture perfect turf you dream of.

Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta Georgia is world famous for hosting the Masters Tournament every spring.

If environmental factors are the reason you can’t grow a lawn that looks like Augusta, you’ll need to decide if these factors can be changed or compensated for. If they can, at what cost? Is it worth it to spend thousands of dollars to have a professional arborist remove old growth trees from your backyard? Is it worth the cost of bringing in tons of soil treatments to amend your current soil? Sometimes it’s much more reasonable to consider other options and use this setback as an opportunity to get creative. If on the other hand it’s not an immovable mountain that’s standing between you and your dream lawn, keep reading.

A greener tomorrow is possible!

Now that we’ve determined that it is possible to grow the perfect lawn let’s discuss what it will take. As previously mentioned it will require some hard work, but it will also require patience. Rome wasn’t built overnight and grass doesn’t grow over night either.

The trick to having that beautiful lawn that you desire is to grow as much grass as you can. I know this sounds obvious, but hang in there! Growing a perfect green is a war. It’s a war against the weeds, the moss, the weather and the soil. We’re a bit out numbered by our enemies, but we will prevail! I’ve been working on Whatcom lawns my whole career, I know what it takes to transform your lawn and will share my secrets with you.

Stay Tuned!

We’ll continue this discussion soon when we look at one of our worst enemies… MOSS!

Charlie Dunlap
(360) 389-2557

3 Simple Tricks to Up Your Lawn Game Now!

You too can have a professional looking lawn without hiring a professional!

Many people wonder, “What’s the difference between a professionally cut lawn and home cut?”

Spoiler alert! You don’t need to do buy any specialized lawn equipment!

Here’s 3 simple tricks that will take your lawn from amateur hour to professional over night:

1. Maintain Your Lawn Mower

Before each use you should do a quick inspection of your lawn mower. Check the that the wheels are tight, your blades are sharp and that the gas tank is full (never fill up on your grass!!!). You should have your mower serviced at least once a season. Any local mower repair shop can perform a full service on your mower to make sure it’s making the optimal power for that perfect cut. Also, be sure to clean your mower after every use, failing to do so will shorten the lifespan of your lawn mower. A dirty mower deck will also reduce the amount of lift produced by your mower, which will significantly degrade the quality of your cut.

2. Mow Like a Pro

No professional landscaper will do the spiral cut on your lawn, and you shouldn’t either. Professional landscapers always make anywhere from 1-3 passes around the perimeter of the lawn, then work in a straight line back and forth until the lawn is cut. For a typical homeowner style lawn mower you should do 2 passes around the perimeter, then use the already mowed perimeter as your turn around space after each pass. Think about how a swimmer does laps, they swim back and forth in a lane, rather than swimming around the edge of the pool.

Perfectly mowed lawn
By mowing straight lines instead of spiraling in your lawn will look instantly more professional!
(Bonus Tip: By alternating patterns from week to week you’ll reduce soil compaction and eliminate those stubborn spots that seem to “lay down” when you cut them)

3. The Devil is in the Details

One of the biggest differences between a professionally cut lawn and a home cut is the detail work. When a professional mows your lawn they will trim the corners and perimeter of your lawn with a string trimmer. This little detail really differentiates between a professional job and a home cut. Use a string trimmer to trim around any objects in your yard and around the perimeters and you’ll take your mowing game to the next level! For an added effect you can use an edger (or a flat nose shovel that can be found at your local hardware store) and define the edges between your lawn and your beds/sidewalks/driveways.


You don’t have to hire a professional lawn mowing service in order to get that professional look you desire. However, it can be very tedious, and there’s much more to having a great looking lawn than just how you mow. Prefer to leave the work up to the pros? Call Cascade Lawn Care today. I can provide you with a free consultation and an estimate of a plan to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood!

Charlie Dunlap
(360) 389-2557

Covid-19 Update 3

With the latest announcement from Governor Inslee’s office the stay at home, stay healthy order has been extended into May. However, there was also an update to the essential business list that makes it possible for me to provide limited basic services to my clients. The update reads as follows:

Outdoor maintenance, including vegetation, is deemed essential only when necessary to prevent spoliation, avoid imminent damage, or address emergency repairs.”

Regular maintenance is essential to prevent the spoliation or imminent damage of your yard. I consider the following services to be essential:

  • Lawn Mowing
  • Shrub Trimming
  • Weeding
  • Irrigation repair

Other services are up for debate, but at the very least this allows me to keep your yard in shape during this pandemic. I want to reiterate though that we must all continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this disease. I have previously listed my Covid policy. A quick reminder, when I sent invoices, you have the option to pay online, so you do not have to write me a check or make direct contact with me. This is a very awkward time, but we can make it through!

Covid-19 Update 2

Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. You know the drill.

Last week I submitted a clarification request to the state to be sure whether my services are considered essential not. I heard that other companies in the area are still out and working, however I wanted to be sure that I am considered essential. Unfortunately the response I got back from the state was just as vague and inconclusive as the essential list is to begin with. It said:

Thank you for your inquiry. Landscaping is allowed, but only to the extent necessary to prevent imminent damage or spoliation of hardscape or greenery. Routine maintenance is not permitted.

The response left me wondering, what is the difference between landscaping to prevent “imminent damage” and routine work? As someone who has worked in the landscaping industry for 10 years, I can tell you that routine maintenance is required in order to prevent damage. If you let your lawn grow too tall and mow it down afterwards it will be damaged. If you let shrubs grow for too long without trimming they will be bald and ugly once you cut them. If you don’t routinely weed your beds they will turn to weed-sod.

I have suspended operations and will continue to abide by the quarantine. I have also put in a request (see below) to be included in the essential business list going forward, because I believe that landscaping is essential to maintaining a healthy civic environment. I understand and support the premise of the quarantine but don’t believe it should apply to my services because the amount of client contact can be reduced to 0. I am also concerned that if the quarantine is perpetuated and landscaping is omitted from the list of essential businesses it will cause unsanitary conditions. There are many people who rely on my services to keep their properties clean.

I will continue to update everyone via my blog and via social media. Please, for the sake of all of us small businesses out there, follow the guidelines put forth by the state and the CDC. I know it’s tough to stay home when you have work to do and bills to pay, but it won’t go away unless we all do our part. For more information on how to stay safe during these strange times check out what the CDC has to say: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Is landscaping essential? What are your thoughts?

Covid-19 Update

After sharing some exciting news that I am rebooting Cascade Lawn Care, there was a development in the covid situation. Starting tonight there is a statewide quarantine and only essential businesses are allowed to operate during this quarantine. I have checked into the statewide quarantine regarding whether my business qualifies as essential or not. It’s really fuzzy at this time, but I have requested a clarification/exclusion. I’m hoping to be able to continue providing services during this unprecedented time. Once I confirm whether or not I can continue providing services I will update everyone. In the meantime here is my policy going forward:
  • Client contact must be limited to zero. I will still accept new clients during this time, however estimates must be done either via FaceTime or over the phone. I can still do onsite estimates, however I request that we not speak in person, other than through a window or screen door. I did an estimate like this today, which I will admit is very awkward, but is necessary at this time.
  • I will not knock on your door when I arrive to perform your services. I will send you a text to let you know I have arrived.
  • If I perform a service that needs your review upon completion, I will call you and wait in my truck while you inspect the work, then if there are any clarifications I will perform them while you’re inside.
  • Payments can be placed in a ziplock bag under your doormat, or another designated safe location. I will do the same with business cards. Other documentation (estimates, invoices, etc.) will be sent via e-mail.
While part of what I enjoy about this work is personal time with my clients, it’s not the best practice at this time. I look forward to when this time is over and hope the impact is minimal. Please remember to be safe: keep trips to the store to a minimum, wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and wash them often, don’t touch your face, and practice social distancing! If we all do our part we can make this go away sooner!

I’m Back in Business!

Returning to the landscape game in 2020!

Thank you to everyone who is still following Cascade Lawn Care! In December of 2017 I made the decision to suspend the operation of my business until further notice. I took on a job as assistant operations manager of a small trucking business, eventually working myself up to operations manager of the same business at another location. I have left my position there to return to my true passion, landscaping!

I have begun doing bids and scheduling jobs for this season. I am currently looking for spring cleanup, lawn renovation jobs and irrigation startup/repair work. In addition to those sorts of one off jobs I am also accepting a limited number of recurring lawn maintenance clients. My goal is to provide the best service to my clients, so I’m looking to do quality work, not quantity work.

I’m also looking for landscape/hardscape/irrigation clients who need design and install work. I would like to start designing your project now so we can schedule the install for after the spring maintenance rush.

If you or anyone you know is looking for a personalized landscape experience please contact me. Thank you!

Charlie Dunlap

Pumpkin Spice Season

Fall is the season of pumpkin spice lattes (and everything else pumpkin spice) and football. The kids are back in school and the days are getting shorter. The bears are going into hibernation and so is your yard. But is your yard ready? Aside from cleaning up the leaves off your lawn and beds, here is a list of items to keep your yard looking good all winter: The Lawn By this time of year your lawn’s growth rate has slowed tremendously, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need any maintenance. While the fall may mean you need to mow less there are a few things you can do to keep your lawn looking great all winter and be ready to go come spring time:
  1. Fertilize/Lime: Fertilizing your lawn in the fall will give it the food it needs to stay green and healthy all winter long. Fall fertilizers also help to promote root growth so that your lawn will be healthier and greener come spring. Applying lime in the fall gives it all winter to be worked into the soil. Applying lime helps to adjust the pH level of your soil. If your soil is acidic you should apply lime, since grass grows best in neutral soils. Another benefit is that moss prefers acidic soils and changing the pH level of your soil can help prevent moss infestations. 
  2. Aeration: Aerating your lawn in the fall is a good idea because it helps with drainage. Aerating in conjunction with fertilizer or lime will also help your lawn to utilize the fertilizer better. 
  3. Seeding: Seeding your lawn in early fall will help fill in sparse areas or patches in your lawn. The morning dew and rain showers will help to keep your new seed moist until it germinates. The warm soil temperatures will also help seed to fill in.
    As the season winds down your shrubs and trees will also require some attention. 
    1. Thinning: As deciduous trees and shrubs lose there leaves it makes pruning much easier. Thinning and removing dead wood is much easier once the leaves have fallen. Thinning and removing dead wood is good for your shrubs and trees because it makes room for new growth and focuses the new growth on the outside. 
    2. Trimming Perennials: Some plants need to be cut down each year to allow for new growth in the spring. These plants should be cut back in the fall to keep them healthy and looking great year after year. 


    Your irrigation system needs fall maintenance too. It should have the water shutoff and be winterized. Winterizing your irrigation system requires using a high CFM commercial air compressor to blow out all the water in your system. This is very important to prevent water from freezing in the lines and bursting pipes.  Need help? If you need help with any items on your Fall checklist we are here to help you. Contact us today and we will give you an estimate for your Fall cleanup. We can simply clean all the fallen leaves in your yard, or we can prepare your whole yard for the winter. Let us know what you need. 

    Drainage Problems?


    Living in the Pacific Northwest has many advantages. The natural beauty of the majestic landscapes, an ample supply of coffee, and a very unique culture that is unmatched by any other place in the world. Despite the aspects of living in this region that make it absolutely awesome, there are a couple drawbacks and as a home/business owner you may be familiar with. If you have lived in the Pacific Northwest for any amount of time you are very familiar with the long rainy days we experience much of the year. While this may seem advantageous as it saves you time watering your yard in the summer, this unique benefit is paired with a major downside: poor drainage.

    While your landscape may require adequate amounts of water, an excess amount of water can be problematic to your landscape. Excessive amounts of water can lead to severe plant disorders such as root rot, fungal infections, and moss infestations. In addition to the damage excessive water can cause to your plants, it can cause structural damages if it is allowed to buildup near your home, including foundation damage and mold infestations. A less concerning inconvenience of excess water buildup is the soggy yard that defers many outdoor activities until the summer time.

    What is the solution to our unique situation? Fortunately the solution can be quite simple. To address the poor drainage issues, Cascade Lawn Care can work with you to develop a site plan that will evacuate the appropriate amounts of water from your yard. Depending on the location and the scenario this water may be stored for later use by your irrigation system, or simply routed to a safe place to for the water to return to the earth.

    If poor drainage has your landscape looking more like a swamp than the beautiful yard you enjoy all summer long, contact us to setup your free consultation!

    Charlie Dunlap
    Cascade Lawn Care
    (360) 389-2557


    Check us out!

    Thank you for visiting Cascade Lawn Care!

    We will be keeping this page updated with posts and specials, so keep an eye on this page, you don’t want to miss out. We are looking forward to this new year and can’t wait for the season to start!

    Charlie Dunlap
    Cascade Lawn Care
    (360) 389-2557