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- Get Answers to your Landscaping Questions -

John Sullivan - Lead Designer, Olympic Landscape
Welcome and thanks for visiting.
I'd like to hear from you with any questions you have about landscape design, plant selection, or anything else related to landscaping. Please post your questions below.

John Sullivan - Lead Designer, Olympic Landscape

Ask John a question





Questions For John

    ron graff from gig harbor
    February 21, 2015

    how much do 2 or 3 man landscape rocks cost? We have a steep slope to landscape and rocks need to be part of it. Actually if you would be interested we would like someone to give us ideas and a bid on landscaping the slope.

      John
      February 23, 2015

      Rocks are of course sold by the ton and cost depends on the material selected. Locally quarried stone like Lynch Creek is widely used and costs roughly $60.00/ton delivered. Some granite can be double or triple that amount.

      The best idea would be for me to take a look at your project and give you an estimate. Please contact us by phone 877-922-7075, ext 303 or email john@olympiclandscape.com and we'll arrange a time to visit.

      John Sullivan

    Ron VanHoy from Lake Tapps
    February 11, 2015

    Hi John, I am frustrated with my front lawn. I have the usually moss due to the wet weather but there are soft spots in the yard, it gets muddy when you walk on the grass. As I have stated it is wet but should it be that muddy? Is it the type of soil? Thanks Ron

      John
      February 12, 2015

      Often, our region has native soil that is clay-like and does not drain well. Lawn roots have a hard time penetrating the soil; if a layer of topsoil was installed the topsoil gets saturated because the water cannot penetrate the underlying soils. If the area is shady it can be worse. If the soil is also very soft, that might mean that the lawn bed soil might not have been rolled (compacted) prior to seeding or sodding.

      So, it's not so much the type of soil, but how it was prepared. That being said, it is often recommended that lawns be installed on slightly sloped grades, and topsoil be spread over loosened sub-grades. In a perfect world, new soil should be rototilled into the native soil, leveled off and then another layer of soil would be installed and rototilled again. This doesn't work in most of our heavy native soil or it's often too wet to rototill.

      If the soil is soft, try running a lawn roller over the area, thatch to remove heavy moss growth, aerate, top-dress with 1" or 2" compost and apply lime, fertilizer and re-seed.

    Jane from University Place, WA
    January 22, 2015

    I would like to know who to contact to install one or more French drains and if they would give me an estimate for the needed work.

      John
      January 26, 2015

      Olympic installs French drains if the drainage problem is landscape-related, and the drains are less than 2' deep. This work requires access for at least a walk-behind trencher or an excavator. Larger drainage systems might best be handled by a contractor specializing in this type work. Northwest Cascade at (253) 848-2371 would be a good choice.

    Kevin from Renton
    August 28, 2014

    My lawn has developed random patches of a "different" type of grass. They are lime green in color vs the typical darker lawn color, and approx. 2' diameter. The blades grow faster than the regular grass and they are wispier/more delicate. They have also shown up with a thinner more hair-like texture and much denser root structure. With either type,after some time the patch just mats itself down in one direction (almost like an animal slept on it)and languishes.... I have tried weed killers, digging out and reseeding, but the offending grass usually returns when I try and heal the affected area. Any advice would be appreciated.

      John
      August 29, 2014

      Hello Kevin! I'm Tyson and I'll be filling in for John on this question. The darker color of the grass is Perennial Ryegrass, and the lighter patches of grass are called Poa Annua. Poa Annua is a native grass to our climate and spreads easily because it seeds a very low growth height, which Ryegrass does not. Poa Annua is not considered a broadleaf weed or even a weedy grass, so generic broadleaf herbicides are not going to work.
      Your Options are: (1) Embrace the mix of grasses, which most lawns are in Western Washington, while still over seeding in the Spring with Perennial Ryegrass to keep the lawn a majority of Ryegrass. (2) Kill the patches of undesirable grasses with Round-up and reseed with Ryegrass after two weeks. (3) There are selective herbicides on the market that do kill Poa Annua and not Ryegrass. These herbicides are effective, but also very expensive and they do not control future growth seeds from neighboring lawns being blown in or transported simply by foot.

    Bill N from Sumner, Wa
    June 30, 2014

    Is there a way to locate a leak in a sprinkler system? There isn't any water pooling in the yard or flower beds, however the water pump comes on more than usual. (I've checked the water pump and there are no leaks. Thank you in advance, Bill

      John
      July 1, 2014

      Yes, there are companies that do leak detection for leaks that don't show any water at the surface. If you need a referral, please call our office to discuss. 253-922-7075

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