For 5 Questions this week, the Herald talks about spring lawn care with Charlie Churchill, owner of The Grass Guys, at 643 49th Ave. S., in Grand Forks.
Q: What got you into lawn care?
A: My former business partner and I started in my freshman year of college, and then we just continued to grow every single year. Once I graduated from UND in the spring of 2019, we started doing snow removal that winter, and then I bought my former business partner out and now we're growing very quickly.
Q: What goes into restoring a person's lawn, starting in the early spring? What sets your company apart from others?
A: It's always good to aerate in the spring. The plugs from the aeration act as nutrients for the lawn, and they decompose into the lawn. Some people like to get all the dead thatch out of the yard by thatching, which allows more water to get down to the grass easier; water, fertilizer or anything like that. If we continue in this dry spell, it could be very tough on lawns. I would say our attention to detail. We're pretty specific about the way we leave things, and try to do the best job possible.
Q: We had a dry winter, how did snow removal go for you? Going into spring, we're in a moderate drought; does that mean you're going to have to take extra special steps to restore a lawn?
A: Having a mix of part-time contracts and seasonal contracts, it definitely wasn't as successful of a winter as we were looking for, but we'd like to think that things are going to average out over the next couple of years. It was just a dry winter. I would just recommend watering and aeration in the spring and doing everything you can to keep your lawn from being completely dried out and yellow. One nice thing about having very little snow was the lack of snow mold compared to previous winters.
Q: Are you expecting to be pretty busy this spring?
A: I would say things are going to be pretty relaxed this spring, because we're going to have a long time to do our spring cleanups. Usually we've got about a week or two weeks at end of April and early May to do our spring cleanups, but this spring, we’re starting off completely next Monday. We’re just getting out three weeks earlier, so spring will be a little bit easier. If we get some moisture, things can get back to normal, but it's looking like it could be an interesting spring.
Q: More homes are going up in the south end of Grand Forks, so that means more potential customers, right? Is competition tough?
A: Competition is tough but as long as you do good work. We really haven't lost any customers over our years, and we really haven't advertised at all. We've had great love just from people seeing our work and noticing (it).