5 Tips for a Healthy Happy Lawn

Once you’ve created your ideal outdoor space, how are you to keep it looking its best?
These 5 simple tips will encourage you to avoid having a dull, weed infested lawn by keeping a regular lawn maintenance routine.
Many of these techniques are best applied on an autumn lawn and in the spring, allowing the grass the best chance to repair and grow throughout the Summer.

1. Remove Weeds, Thatch and Moss

These prevent growth by blocking air and nutrients from getting to the roots.
The easiest option is to pull out the whole weed, roots included. This can be done by hand or by using a tool. However, if there is a large quantity, spraying the weeds directly with a low toxicity herbicide should manage them.
Thatch is a layer of organic matter that can build up between the leaves and the soil, consisting of dead leaves, grass and root stems. The best way to remove thatch is with a process called scarification, which is raking and removing mulch from the lawn.
Mosses thrive in areas that have excess moisture, shade and low-quality turf. If left untreated, moss will reduce the grasses ability to grow.
moss on stairs

2. Improve Drainage

The two most common causes for water build-up include low water-absorption ability and landscaping.
Lawns with poor drainage often become waterlogged for days. If drainage is not improved, this can lead to serious complications for the health of your lawn.
Depending on the extent of the problem, aeration can improve the flow of water and air to reduce surface build up.
The shape of your landscape should naturally drive water away from the house with a shallow, level slope. Pooling water can damage the grass and roots.

3. Over-Seeding

Over-seeding rejuvenates tired lawns by covering the entire space with large quantities of seed mixed with fertiliser.
This fills in damaged and thinning areas while reducing the chance of weed and moss invasions. However, before the seeds can be applied, the lawn will need to be sacrificed or aerated, mowed and well watered.

4. Mowing

The amount of mowing depends on the time of year and weather conditions in your area. To make sure your lawn stays healthy after a cut, it’s best to only remove one-third of the grass length.
Avoid mowing when the soil or grass is wet as this can cause damage to the lawn and prevent healthy growth in the future.

5. Feeding and Watering

The choice of fertilizer will depend on the soil and the weather in your location. Generally, it is recommended to treat your lawn twice annually – once in the spring with a nitrogen-rich lawn feed, and once in the autumn with a fertiliser with high levels of phosphate and potash.
Alongside feeding, watering is essential to all lawns. The amount and frequency of watering will again depend on the type of soil and weather conditions in your location, however, it’s best to water the lawn at the beginning of the day in cooler temperatures to get better results.

Essential Service

“Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.”

Sections Property Maintenance Complies With

*In reference to the “List of essential workplaces” by the Government of Ontario. https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces  (Updated April 3rd, 2020. Published: March 23, 2020)

Section 7. Maintenance
Subsection 20. Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.


Requirement that apply to J.R. Lawn Maintenance and Snow Removal Inc


  1. (1) The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall ensure that the business operates in accordance with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the regulations made under it.
    (2) The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall operate the business in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.


Why Are We Removing Snow Markers?

Due to the fact the snow clearing services that we provide are an essential service, staking the driveway correctly falls under the scope of work. To complete the work correctly, all driveways and walkways that we service between November 1st – April 15th are marked accordingly. We are removing these markers to be compliant with the City of Ottawa’s current guidelines for private snow plow contractors.

Current Guidelines:

Earliest marker installation date: October 20
Latest date markers to be removed: April 30
Prohibited location: Not on an outer boulevard (area between a sidewalk and the travelled portion of the street)
Permitted location on property: Minimum 0.61 metres (2 feet) from sidewalk (where there is a sidewalk)
Permitted location on property: Minimum 1.22 metres (4 feet) from the travelled portion of the street (where there is no sidewalk)
Maximum height of marker:  1.22 metres (4feet), measured from the ground
Maximum width of marker: 10.1 centimetres (4 inches)
Permitted material of marker: Wood, plastic, or fiberglass – cannot be supported by metal bars
Maximum number of markers: 2 (one of either side of the driveway)
Permitted information on marker: Company logo and telephone number only – no advertising or other information

Why Property Maintenance Is an Essential Service

As we begin the transition between winter to spring, property maintenance services such as grass cutting and spring/fall clean ups become essential to protecting the well-being of individuals. Without proper lawn maintenance, properties aesthetics and curb appeal diminish; affecting financial investments and creating public health concerns. Tall grass and weeds are the perfect environment for insects like mosquitos to dwell and weeds are an excellent place for several different types of rodents. Cutting your grass on a scheduled basis limits long overgrown grass to become a tripping hazard and keeps unwanted pests to a minimal.

Spring and fall clean ups become an essential part of maintaining an individual’s property as well. Nature works its way into sewer and water lines; leaves, sticks, dirt, small rocks etc…. can create blockages underground that are difficult to detect. Without removing all debris and properly disposing of it, roadway drains and city water systems will become over stressed and affected.

Proper property maintenance also protects the public safety as overgrowth and the accumulation of debris (i.e following storms and seasonal deposits) can present situational safety hazards and can directly result in physical damage or property damage that can have long lasting detrimental effects.


Who Needs Property Maintenance Services? Why Are They Essential to Them?

Many property maintenance firms house all sorts of clients but the ones who are affected the most are the ones who simply cannot complete the work themselves. Many individuals are seniors who need aid in completing these services to benefit and not overexert themselves. There are individuals who already have respiratory problems, diabetes, physical restraints etc…by removing property maintenance, what are individuals listed above supposed to do to maintain their property.

In closing, by limiting individuals who needs to hire professionals to maintain their property, we are not only putting individuals health at risk by over-exerting them, but with COVID-19 in effect, we are putting individuals who are seniors, have pre-existing health concerns and physical restraints at a higher risk of getting this virus. By not allowing individuals to hire professional firms to maintain their property, lawns will become overgrown and public health is at risk to the increase of diseases that are able to form.


Why We Need Weed Control

Despite their esteemed place as a gift for mom, dandelions are a weed. We’ve all seen their familiar yellow covering lawns when they’re left uncontrolled.

What is a Weed?

Generally, a “weed” has one or more of the following characteristics:

1. Little or no recognized value (medicinal, material, nutritional)

2. Rapid growth and/or ease of germination

3. Competitive with crops for space, light, water and nutrients

Why Weeds Are Bad?

Weeds compete with crops for space, nutrients, water and light, turning productive land into unusable scrub. In your home garden, Onions are one of the most vulnerable because they are slow to germinate and produce slender, upright stems.
Weed Control
Weeds can also be poisonous, stick you with thorns and burrs, and can host pests and diseases that can spread to crops or livestock.

How Can You Get Rid Of Weeds?

Weed control plans are typically divided into 4 methods of control:

Biological: This consists of biological control agents, like the use of grazing animals, and weed seed predators, such as ground beetles and small vertebrates.

Chemical: Selective herbicides target and kill weeds while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed.

Cultural: Crop rotation is a way to avoid the use of herbicides, but gain the benefits by rotating in crops that kill weeds by choking them out.

Physical/mechanical: Remove weeds by pulling them out of the ground, making sure to include the roots that would allow them to resprout.

The definition of a weed depends on the context. To one person, a particular plant may represent a weed, but to other people, like the kid with a fistful of dandelions, it may be seen as a flower.

Caring For Brand New Sod

After you’ve sat back for a moment to admire the new sod you’ve installed, it’s time to make sure it survives and thrives.

Watering Your New Lawn is Key

Make sure you water really well after your sod is installed. The first watering should be about 45-60 minutes where you soak through the sod into the soil below. Water again later on for 15-20 minutes to maintain even moisture on your new lawn.

For the first two weeks of lawn care, water your sod lawn two times a day for about 15-20 minutes, making sure that water is being fully absorbed by the lawn. The soil should be soaked through and water should penetrate at least 6 inches into the soil to ensure deep rooting.

Watering is most effective if done during early morning hours when sunlight and heat cannot cause excessive evaporation. Our recommended times are 7:00 am and 1 pm.

After 2 weeks, stop watering for 1-2 days and let your soil dry out until you can walk on it without sinking. When your lawn becomes established, it requires approximately 1½ inches of water per week, and ½ inch every other day during the heat of the summer.

What About Mowing a New Sod Lawn?

Mow at the highest setting on your mower. Cutting grass to a tall height, around 8.9 to 10.2 cm (3 1⁄2 to 4 inches), is important for lawn health, especially during the summer heat. Taller grass shades the ground, which blocks weed sprouts and promotes beneficial microbes.
Leaving the grass tall also allows your lawn to focus on root growth, which adds disease resistance. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing to return the nutrients to your lawn.

A beautiful lawn doesn’t require a flood of chemicals. Careful watering, mowing, and fertilization can keep your lawn healthy, along with annual dethatching and aerating. With the right approach, your lawn can be healthy enough to resist disease, weeds, and drought on its own.