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5 Expert Lawn Care Tips: An Interview with Sean Crossman of SC Stone & Outdoor Services

By Sean Crossman

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

My wife and I started SC Stone & Outdoor Services in 2010 as an opportunity for us to own and operate our own small business. I had experience working for other lawn and landscape companies and found that I enjoyed providing a top quality service that made homeowners happy. We are a full service lawn and landscape company that also specializes in decorative stone facades and fireplace surrounds. High demand services from our clientele include lawn maintenance, landscape bed maintenance, bush / hedge trimming, mulching and light tree removal. In addition, we are open year round to provide our clients with snow removal and ice management services. It is our goal to find clients that are looking for a quality service and provide them with the level of care that we would take with our own home.

What's something that most people don't know about lawn maintenance that they should know?

Homeowners that are considering hiring a lawn care service for the first time do not always understand the expense of lawn maintenance and the level of service they receive in return. The size of the lawn to be maintained, the number of shrubs, trees or edges to trim around and how frequent you request maintenance can all impact the per cut price dramatically. For example, we provide a lower per cut price to clients who request a weekly cut vs. bi-weekly as the time required to cut overgrown grass increases our time at the job. We often find clients who were dissatisfied with a previous lawn care service because they received an attractive price that was not based on the needs of their property and then ended up not satisfied with the results.

Is there a specific length that grass should be cut? Why is this?

We recommend cutting grass at between 2 ¾" and 3". Taller grass has a number of benefits that can add to a low maintenance healthy lawn. Taller grass will develop deep roots which will require less watering and help to shade out low growing weeds such as crab grass. You should cut no more than the top 1/3 of the grass blade at each cut, so frequent cutting is required to maintain ideal height.

What is mulch and what should be done with it?

Mulch is any type of material that is spread over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, control weeds and prevent rainwater runoff. It is used to add color or texture to the landscape design around your home. With landscape beds, mulch is typically made from bark or wood chips but can also include gravel or decorative rocks. I recommend adding mulch in the spring to keep weeding to a minimum throughout the summer months. Organic mulches such as wood chips will need to be replenished as they break down over time while gravel or rocks will have a much longer life.

What is the smartest approach to fertilizing lawns for homeowners in your area?

First we recommend mulching grass clippings. Short grass clippings will quickly decompose and put important nutrients back in the soil. Mulching blades can be purchased for most lawn mowers to aid in cutting grass clippings into fine pieces. Feeding your lawn with grass clippings can reduce the need to fertilize overall and is a non-toxic way to keep your grass green.

When you fertilize it is best to select a product that is low in phosphor (the middle number) and choose the product that best match the needs of your lawn instead of a prescribed all-in-one solution. Do not over fertilize as it may runoff into the water system and have the potential to burn your lawn. This can be prevented by following instructions and checking your spreader settings prior to application.

What advice can you give someone who has too many weeds in their lawn and wants to get rid of them?

Mowing your lawn at a taller height and applying fertilizer when necessary will help to increase the grass turf and reduce weed growth over time. If you have an overabundance of weeds we recommend applying an herbicide that will address most common broadleaf weeds such as dandelions in May.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

We are open 7AM-9PM, Monday-Sunday and can be reached by phone, 517-375-0891, or email, seanpcrossman@gmail.com. A full list of our services can be found on our website: www.scstonelawns.com.

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