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Lawn Improvement Spotlight: Worst Lawn in Seattle (2019)

Lawn Improvement Spotlight

2019 Worst Lawn in Seattle Contest in Partnership with 950 KJR FM

Back in June 2019, Dave “Softy” Mahler of 950 KJR FM radio called upon the listeners of Seattle to submit their worst lawn pictures for a chance at winning a complete lawn makeover courtesy of Hendrikus Organics! As advertised, the makeover would consist of free soil testing and an application of Hendrikus Organics seed, fertilizers, and soil amendments on an as-needed basis depending on the condition of the turf and soil. The promotion ran for a week in mid-June and WOW, did we see some doozy’s!


2019 Winner Selected

Once the winning lawn was selected, our Turf Expert Michael Schafer completed a site visit to collect soil samples and measure the square footage of the yard, which measured in around 7,000 square feet. Michael observed that the grass was really struggling to grow and had some bare areas, indicating that it was likely low on nutrients.

He took core samples throughout the entire area of the yard, mixed them together and sent a 2 cup sample that to a soil lab for testing. The results showed that the lawn had a high Phosphorus reading, a low pH of approximately 4.9 (a healthy lawn should be in the 6.5 to 7.0 range) and was deficient in Nitrogen, Magnesium, and Calcium. This lawn really needed our help!

Lab Results

The lab results recommended that 160lbs of dolomite be applied to the lawn, over time, to raise the Calcium and Magnesium levels in the soil, as well as fertilizer to add much-needed Nitrogen. The initial inspection of the lawn took place in July, when much of the Seattle region was sun-baked and dry, so Michael decided to return to complete the lawn makeover in September once things cooled down a bit and some rainfall had returned.

Lawn Makeover Process

When Michael returned he got right to work with nutrient applications and some over-seeding. With the lab reports showing a high Phosphorous level plus a need for nutrients quickly, he applied 70lbs of Nitrogen Plus™ at a rate of 10lbs per 1,000 square feet as well as sprayed a mixture of HuMagic® Liquid and OceanMagic™ at a rate of 8oz per 1,000 square feet. He then over-seeded the thin and bare areas of the lawn with Hendrikus Sun/Shade Turf Seed and finished it up with a light top dressing of peat moss. Michael made the decision to wait for three weeks to apply the dolomite so not to overload the soil microbes and slow the breakdown of the organic fertilizers that had been applied.

Lawn Transformation Results

In late October, Michael returned to our contest winner’s yard again to check on the health and vitality of the lawn and soil – the results were amazing! By adding our nutrients to the soil, the color and health of the lawn improved greatly and the homeowner was very happy with the results. While on this site visit, Michael applied the 350lbs of dolomite at a rate of 50lbs per 1,000 square feet, as promised, and provided the homeowner with some tips for ongoing care. The homeowner will need to apply two more applications of dolomite over the next two years to raise the pH level and continue on with the organic fertilizer application program.


Do you have the worst lawn in Seattle? If so, we can help!

Enter the contest for a chance to win your own lawn makeover or go the DIY route and give your own lawn some love by following our TURF PROGRAMS.

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