Sunday Lawn Care Interview

Sunday Lawn Care Interview (we asked Sunday’s experts 7 questions – here’s what they said)

Here at Lawn Chick, we get a lot of questions from readers each year – either through comments left at the bottom of our hundreds of in-depth blog articles, or submitted by email or via our contact form. Many of these questions center around broad lawn care topics such as fertilization, weed control, soil health, and responsible lawn care practices.

My name is Joe, and I work with Lawn Chick founder Sarah Jameson as the managing editor of this website. Since I personally use Sunday’s lawn care subscription on my property (and I’m a big fan), I invited experts from their science, research and development, and lawn advisor team to share their thoughts on these topics in today’s Sunday lawn care interview.

Sunday Experts Who Participated in Our Interview

I’ll start by briefly introducing you to the four members of Sunday’s team who participated in today’s interview:

Trent Lewis, Head of R&D at Sunday

Trent Lewis, Head of R&D at Sunday

Trent started mowing big lawns with a small Toro pushmower in the 1980’s. He has a passion for growing beautiful green lawns that are part of a living landscape integrating plantings that support a biodiverse ecosystem.  

Maggie Reiter, Senior Scientist at Sunday

Maggie Reiter, Senior Scientist at Sunday

Maggie currently leads projects at the intersection of turfgrass science, data science, and software at Sunday. Previously she worked in Turfgrass Science at the University of California and the University of Minnesota. She’s a turfgrass researcher who has published papers on turfgrass water conservation and weed management.

Teri Valenzuela, Natural Science Manager at Sunday

Teri Valenzuela, Natural Science Manager at Sunday

At Sunday, Teri leverages data analysis, lawn and garden industry trends, and customer needs to create impactful content. With a combination of her conservation background and expertise in science communication and content strategy, Teri works to advance sustainable yard care practices on behalf of Sunday.

Will Seip, Expert Lawn Advisor at Sunday

Will Seip, Expert Lawn Advisor at Sunday

Born and raised just south of Buffalo, NY, it has been quite a journey for Will getting to explore warm-season grasses after having a hodgepodge of fescue, bluegrass and rye in his lawn growing up. Will graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, with a concentration in Land, Air and Water Resources.

Lawn Chick invites a broad spectrum of professionals to contribute their insights and expertise to our ‘Expert Perspectives’ editorial series. Although the viewpoints expressed in these articles may not always reflect our own, we recognize the importance of presenting a diverse range of experiences and knowledge. Our hope is to offer these expert opinions as a valuable resource to you, our readers. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

Our Sunday Lawn Care Interview

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Lawn Chick Editorial: How do turfgrass lawns’ nutritional needs change during the year, and why is it important for homeowners to provide different nutrients in different combinations at key points in the growing season?

Maggie Reiter, Senior Scientist at Sunday: We get the best results when we fertilize our lawns during periods when it’s actively growing, because the growing grass can take up the nutrients we apply. The Sunday program provides custom application dates for every single lawn, based on the climate, grass species, and lawn size.

Lawn Chick Editorial: Why is maintaining a thick, healthy lawn one of the best ways to prevent weeds naturally?

Will Seip, Expert Lawn Advisor at Sunday: Keep those buggers out! By maintaining a thick lawn, you’ll be able to limit the amount of ground available for these weeds to take hold, all while promoting the lawn of your dreams and avoiding unnecessary harsh chemicals or preventative herbicide applications.

Lawn Chick Editorial: How does soil pH impact a lawn’s ability to utilize the fertilizer you apply and the nutrients available in your yard’s soil?

Teri Valenzuela, Natural Science Manager at Sunday: Soil pH is a crucial indicator of soil acidity, and tells us if your yard has the ideal pH for the plants (like grass) you’re growing. It also impacts how well grass utilizes applied fertilizer and absorbs soil nutrients. The sweet spot for lawn pH is between 6.5 and 7.0, but most lawns are adaptable, typically ranging from pH 4.0 to 9.0.

If your lawn is thriving but the pH isn’t in the ideal range, there’s no need to adjust it. It’s typically difficult to adjust pH levels, but if pH is too high, you can try adding organic matter like compost, and if it’s too low, applying lime can help.

Lawn Chick Editorial: What strategies can homeowners use to avoid nutrient runoff and the eutrophication of local waterways while fertilizing their lawns?

Will Seip, Expert Lawn Advisor at Sunday: Phosphorus from fertilizer is known for its negative effects on water health. When applied in excess it can run off into water bodies and cause eutrophication, or excessive nutrients in a body of water. Eutrophication leads to low oxygen levels and can result in dead zones that can no longer support life.

Being mindful of both the type of fertilizer you’re using, and the timing of its application can greatly minimize nutrient runoff. Sunday’s lawn plan fertilizers typically exclude phosphorus, helping to reduce runoff and lessen eutrophication concerns. We only include our phosphorus fertilizer pouch if soil tests indicate a deficiency. Our extensive soil test database shows that most lawns aren’t lacking in phosphorus.

Additionally, following fertilizer blackout dates, often during the rainy season in coastal states, is another effective way to minimize runoff.

Lawn Chick Editorial: Please speak to the importance of testing your lawn’s soil and using those test results to build a comprehensive lawn care plan.

Maggie Reiter, Senior Scientist at Sunday: Healthy, functional soils are required to support grass growth. A soil test is an easy way to generate a load of data about your lawn, and identify any underlying problems with soil chemistry, like nutrient deficiencies.

Lawn Chick Editorial: I’m wondering if you could speak to the specific science-backed benefits of some of the natural ingredients used in Sunday’s line of liquid fertilizers and why you chose to include them.

Trent Lewis, Head of R&D at Sunday: Sunday utilizes a hybrid approach to effectively fertilize the lawn while also providing other beneficial ingredients for long-term plant and soil health.

For example, in our Grass Powerhouse formula, we utilize proven effective fertilizers such as Urea and Potassium Acetate to provide a baseline of solid plant-available nutrients. We then add Seaweed extract, which is harvested from off the coast of Maine. Seaweed extract offers a host of beneficial plant compounds that improve root mass, help plants handle stress (such as heat and drought), and provide a host of micronutrients.

Maggie Reiter, Senior Scientist at Sunday: Sunday fertilizers are designed to work WITH the lawn and soil. We use nitrogen, iron, seaweed, and a range of natural ingredients at precise times of year to strengthen the grass and foster healthy soil. This approach is intentionally designed and constantly tested (by us) to deliver the best lawn health.

Lawn Chick Editorial: We’re fans of Sunday’s commitment to sustainability in sourcing these ingredients, shipping, etc. Could you tell our readers more about that?

Trent Lewis, Head of R&D at Sunday: Sustainability is core to why Sunday exists at all. It was created in response to the blanket chemical and pesticide applications so often prescribed to the American lawn.

We saw a need to do this in a more thoughtful, science-driven, and regional format. With our approach, we have reduced fertilizer use by over 2 million pounds, and pesticide use by over 80,000 pounds – that’s a lot of bad stuff not being released into the environment.

Before You Go

If you enjoyed this brief Sunday lawn care interview, we invite you to browse other articles in our ‘Expert Perspectives’ editorial series. In it, you’ll find interviews like this one alongside interesting articles written by hand-picked professionals with a wide range of experience and areas of expertise we feel align with the interests and landscaping goals of our readers.

And if you would like to learn more about Sunday lawn care, we invite you to read our review here.


As the managing editor of Lawn Chick, Joe brings nearly 20 years of experience in marketing and digital publishing to the team. He earned his M.F.A from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and has served as an editor, copywriter, and publisher for a variety of digital and print publications over the course of his career. His strong background in writing, editing, and marketing is leveraged in a leadership role at, where he helps to set and manage our editorial calendar, and works with reputable brands to build strong partnerships that offer immediate value to our readership. Joe is a passionate and experienced gardener and member of The American Horticultural Society.

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