Winter Maintenance

How often do you come out?

Sidewalk clearing

For a set monthly rate based on the areas being cleared, crews will keep the specified areas free and clear of snow. They will come out at each snowfall an unlimited number of times per month up to once every 24 hours.

Roadway Plowing

Snow removal of roadways, entrances, parking lots, and parking stalls, are generally only cleaned during heavier snowfalls (i.e. four centimeters (4cm) accumulation or more )

Summer Maintenance

How high should I cut my lawn?

Mowing is one of the most important operations in the maintenance of a fine lawn. Proper mowing will make a good lawn look even better, improper mowing can ruin a good lawn in just a few weeks. The most important point to remember is to keep the mower blades sharp. Nothing defaces grass more quickly than a dull mower. Remove all objects from the lawn before you mow, to prevent injury to others and to prevent damage to the mower.

(Don't let your lawn grow so tall that it falls over, for it will be difficult to mow and it will smother out.)

Never remove more than 3 cm. of the leaf at any one time. We recommend mowing at a height of 4 cm. You can determine the height of your mower blades by placing it on the driveway or sidewalk and measuring the distance between the blade and the sidewalk. You should remove clippings that clump so that they don't smother the grass.

How much should I water?

A good rule to follow is this: if you water, do it regularly. Apply 25 mm. every week (including rain) at one setting of the sprinkler. Water evenly and slowly enough so that it penetrates without run off.

Too much water can be as harmful as not enough. Soil that is continually soaked does not allow air to reach the root zone where it is required. Avoid frequent light watering which results in shallow rooting.

Controlling Weeds

The best weed control is good, healthy turf. When your lawn is thick and vigorous, weeds simply have no place to get started and you should have no problem. In renovating lawns, however, or even in established lawns that have had lapses in maintenance, weeds do have a way of intruding.

Two types of chemical weed controls are available - one type kills the weed (post-emergent) and the other type prevents seed germination (pre-emergent).

To eradicate broad leaf weeds, hormone type post emergent chemicals are used. They are available under many trade names and can be purchased in combination with fertilizer. You simply mix them with water and apply as directed or apply with the fertilizer. They are most effective when weeds are growing vigorously in the early part of the season and temperatures are in the 20 C range.

Relieving Compact Turf

Soil compaction is a problem, which develops naturally under many conditions. Heavy soil and heavy traffic zones are particularly subject to compaction. If soil is trampled, especially when it is wet, compaction will very likely occur.

To relieve compaction without excessive injury to grass plants has been a formidable chore until recent years when power driven aerators were developed. Today, aerators of many types and sizes are available.

They usually have prongs or knives which piece the sod to a depth of 5 cm. to 7 cm. or they have hollow tines that extract plugs of soil. In either case, the effect is to open or aerate the soil, allowing water, air and nutrients to reach the turf roots.

The gratifying results achieved from aeration - plus the savings realized in water and fertilizer, will easily justify the cost.

Thatch and Thatch Control

Thatch turf is the accumulation of old leaves, clippings, stems, roots and other organic material which has failed to decay. Thatch sheds water rather than letting if percolate into the grass root zone. It may harbour fungus and other diseases, as well as insect pests and may make fertilizer applications ineffective.

One of the answers to the thatch problem is a vigorous raking. This is difficult to do by hand. A much easier way is to use a powered vertical mower which is self propelled and equipped with hardened steel blades. It cuts out the thatch and thins matted growth. If desired, you can set the base low enough to touch the soil; the scarifying action is an ideal pre-seeding treatment for bare or thin areas that need over-seeding.

Lawn Maintenance Troubleshooting


Healthy soil is full of life and this includes a vast network of underground fungi. When there is enough moisture, fungi send up mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi. Fungi help decompose and recycle nutrients in the soil. Mushrooms will disappear after things dry up.

They only troublesome fungi in lawns is the “Fairy Ring”. Fairy Rings make circles in the turf. The grass is abnormally green on the outside of the ring and often brown inside the ring. This is because the fungi mat is so dense that water is not getting to the grass.

Be advised that this fungus spreads easily and is very difficult to control. They are darker green and faster growing than the surrounding grass. These bands can be between four and twelve inches wide. A tell tale sign of Fairy Ring is the presence of toadstools or mushrooms in the affected area, especially during times of abundant moisture.

To control Fairy Ring, use a garden fork or an aerating tool to poke holes deep into the fairy ring to prevent the spread of this fungus to other areas of your lawn. Make sure you disinfect your gardening tools with a solution of house hold bleach or Lysol, containing chlorine after treating your Fairy Ring affected areas. Make sure you water the affected area thoroughly then apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to the affected area. Water this area deeply throughout the summer. One final alternative is to dig the fairy ring out. Keep in mind that the grass and soil must be removed from the distance of 12” away from the outside edge of the ring and 12 – 18” deep. Take care not to spill any of this affected soil as you do not want to infect another area of your lawn. Make sure you clean your tools thoroughly after you complete this procedure.

Dog Spots

Your dog can sometimes be unfriendly to your lawn when your dog urinates on your lawn; the nitrogen in the urine can be so strong that it can burn a brown spot in your lawn. If you see your dog urinate on the grass, immediately flush the area with water. If you do not see it happen you will soon see a brown spot in a few days. You will want to flush the area with water and immediately re-seed the area. As a last resort, removal and replacement of the sod can be preformed; you should be forewarned that if you still have the dog, these spots can continue to appear, unless you take proper care of your lawn

What is preferred, seed or sod?

This is a personal preference. Seeding can take up to 2 years to become fully established, but can be more cost effective in extremely large areas such as acreages. With sodding you get the instant lawn and is less maintenance than seeding.

Is there a particular time of the day that is best for watering?

The early morning is the best time to water your lawn. The wind is calmest usually at that time of day and there will be less evaporation due to lower temperatures.

Thatch Control

Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed organic matter that builds up in between the lawn and soil surface and is a common problem in mature lawns.

To minimize thatch development:

  • Frequent mowing, avoiding over-watering and over-fertilizing.
  • Mechanical removal with a dethatching machine should be done gradually.
  • Machines can be rented or you can hire a professional lawn care company.


This is the mechanical removal of soil cores.

Some indications that you need to aerate are:

  • Ground is hard and compacted
  • Weeds such as prostrate knotweed and clover are present.
  • Water does not penetrate when you irrigate.

Aerating or coring can:

  • Help with heavy traffic areas such as pathways or sport fields.
  • Reduce thatch.
  • Be most beneficial when penetration is 2 to 3” deep and when 20 to 40 holes are punched per square foot.
  • Aerification should be done in the fall, (September), or in the spring (April) when the turf is actively growing.

Fairy Rings

Fairy rings are circular or semicircular patches of dead grass with an inner green ring.

Usually appear in lawns 5 to 15 years old and can be caused by a number of different fungi.

The fungus feeds on the thatch and the ring grows outward. The fungus is not toxic to the grass, but it prevents water from penetrating into the grass root area causing the grass to die and allowing that area to become infested with weeds.

To remove a fairy ring:

  • Repeated spiking with a garden fork (just outside the dead ring)
  • Soaking with soapy water and frequent watering to increase moisture can slow the ring's development.
  • Reseed or re-sod the dead areas.


Moles and Voles (field mice) can tunnel in your yard in search of food. Tunneling by voles exposes root systems, which are then eaten. Prevent problems by eliminating potential food sources around the yard.

In cases of burnt lawn caused by dog urine, dilution with water can help the problem.


Diseases in Kentucky Blue Grass are very rare in Alberta, however diseases such as powdery mildew and necrotic ring spot may affect your lawn in the absence of good mowing and watering practices.

Good mowing and watering practices, as well as balanced fertilization with adequate potassium levels and not too much nitrogen, help in preventing lawn diseases. Removing thatch and increasing air flow near the surface are common practices for controlling turfgrass diseases.