Friday, May 18, 2012

What is the difference between Synthetic and Organic Fertilizer?

The main difference between Synthetic and the Natural & Organic is how the turf grass absorbs the nutrients. Synthetics require water to break down the fertilizer into nutrients which is then absorbed quickly by the lawn. 

Organic Fertilizers are made up of raw, natural proteins such as bone, blood, fish and feathers. In order to break down these raw materials, it requires microbial decomposition to break down the fertilizer into nutrients. Through a process called "decay cycle," microbes break down complex compounds into forms that plants can absorb. This natural recycling process that takes place enriches the soil. 

Using organic fertilizer in the Durham Region results in a slower, sustained feeding for the lawn as opposed to the quick feed associated with synthetics. This will help improve the soil's structure and it's ability to hold water and nutrients. This in turn creates healthier soil which builds a stronger lawn.

Fertilizing your own lawn is possible. However, hiring landscaping specialists in the GTA like Copper Ridge Property Management can provide your lawn with the proper care.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Type of Fungus Found to be a Weed Killer

A recent study by Agriculture Canada have found a fungus that could potentially be an effective weed killer.

According to the study, the fungus attacks dandelions and other weeds, but leaves grass alone. This could be the future in weed killing as chemical pesticides had been banned in Ontario since April 22, 2009.

The fungus, which is applied to the soil in a granular form, produces a toxin in the soil. This toxin attacks clover, chickweed and ragweed. It attacks the roots directly therefore making it an effective weed killer.

Lead researcher, Karen Bailey said that the fungus, phoma macrostoma, could be on the market in two years.

Health Canada has given its approval for use in turf grass and licensed by Scott's for bringing it into the market.

Researchers are now working on increasing production of the fungus in order to get it out to the public especially in areas like the GTA and the Durham Region. Many homeowners would benefit from non-chemical weed killers for the benefit of the environment and their own health.

Homeowners who want to have healthy looking lawns in the GTA and Durham Region should consider this product. However, it is best to consult a lawncare professional first for more information.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Questions to ask when choosing a snow removal company

Renovating and landscaping are big decisions for any household. Just like you would do when renovating the inside of your house, your outside landscaping and snow removal needs proper planning. You want to ensure that you select a good company that is reliable and knowledgeable in their trade.

Here are tips in choosing a snow removal company in the Uxbridge Area.

1. Talk to a minimum of 3 or 4 Snow Removal Companies before making a decision

2. Verify if the company has insurance. Do they have General liability insurance specifically covering snow removal operations?

3. How long have they been operating in the area?

4. Does the company have references in your area?

5. How do they communicate with their customers?

6. Do they have a back up in case of emergencies?

7. What type of equipment will they used?

8. Do they specify when the snow removal will occur?

9. Do they specify after how much snow has fallen before they will be out to remove it?

10. Is salting included and if not what is the cost of salting?

Once you have chosen a company that suits your needs, it is important to get everything in writing. Do not rely on verbal agreements. Keeping these tips in mind will help you choose the best snow removal company for your needs.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lawn Rolling for a Lush and Healthy Look

Lawn rolling can be more damaging if done on a healthy, established lawn. This process of lawn rolling compresses the soil that may prevent good air and moisture flow to the roots. The best time to do lawn rolling in the Durham Region is for newly sodded or seeded lawn.

Before seeding, lawn roll the area in order to even out the soil and then lightly roll the area again after seeding. This lawn rolling technique will allow seeds to establish good contact with the soil. Lawn rolling encourages
even and smooth growth which gives your lawn a lush and healthy look.

For even better results, ask your lawn care company about getting your lawn aerated at least once per season and get them to provide you with an effective natural weed or insect control program. You should also inquire about the benefits of getting your soil tested. A healthy soil helps to create a healthy lawn in any city in the Greater Toronto Area.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Overseeding for a Healthy Looking Lawn

Over-seeding means sowing grass seed over your existing lawn. A seed mixture that contains one or more modern varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass is recommended. Kentucky bluegrass provides a lush, dark green lawn. Fine fescue is a lighter green grass that blends well with bluegrass and tolerates shadier parts of your lawn. Perennial ryegrass is added because it germinates quickly and is more resistant to turfgrass diseases. Before overseeding, consider the following steps:

Preparing for Overseeding

1. Mow the lawn to about the height of 1.5"-2"
2. Rake up and bag the clippings
3. Aerate the lawn which reduces lawn thatch
4. Add a layer of topsoil especially if the topsoil is too thing such as areas with shallow tree roots. This is optional. However, majority of people do this anyway.

To properly overseed the lawn, use a spreader. This way the seeds will be evenly spread. The grass seeds need to be kept moist until germination. When watering don't allow the water to puddle or run off as this will wash your seeds away. It is recommended to use a fine spray to avoid a run off. This is a good time to apply a starter fertilizer. Once the grass blades sprout, water it a couple times per day. You can apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer after about five weeks.

The best time to overseed lawns in the Greater Toronto Area and Durham Region including Uxbridge is in early September or in the spring (April or May). Successful overseeding will allow you to cover patches in the lawn and have a healthy looking lawn for the summer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Benefits of Topdressing to Improve Soil Composition

Topdressing is a method of adding compost or other materials to improve soil composition as well as to level out sections of the existing soil. This involves spreading a thin layer of compost and soil over the lawn, 1/2" to 1" thick. Large clumps of topdressing should be broken down for an even spread. In the Greater Toronto Area, leveling the soil to repair low spots is normally done with loam or topsoil.

The benefits of topdressing are to feed the soil with essential nutrients and microbes that keeps your lawn healthy. This method allows an increase of microorganism activity that reduces the thatch layer in the lawn. Regular topdressing in the Durham Region can also help improve drainage in clay soils or moisture retention for sandy soils.

Topdressing works best after aerating or dethatching.  This can be done either by hand or by machine. It is recommended that topdressing be done as long as the lawn is actively growing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What Causes Lawn Blow Out and How to Avoid It

Lawn blow out around a tree

Lawn blow out is a consequence of high humidity, rapid growth, insufficient watering, and inadequate mowing. In the Greater Toronto Area, lawn will typically go into a state where blades of grass turn brown. Most would think that the lawn is dying due to cinch bugs, other bugs, or chemicals that could have burned the lawn. This is not the case at all.

Lawn blow out could happen when people mow their lawn and do not realize that the grass has not been watered for a few days. Perhaps the person thought that since it rained days before, that it would be appropriate to mow the lawn even if the weather has been dry for days after. This causes stress on the lawn. Lawn blow out in the Durham Region will normally appear 24-48 hours after mowing. In Uxbridge and Oshawa, signs of a lawn blowout would be grass blades with brown tips in sunny areas as well as around trees. It can often show in mower wheels or mower swaths in shaded areas of the lawn.

When this happens, don’t fret! There is a fix for lawn blow out. A good shot of kelp can help recover the lawn’s health in Whitby and Ajax. Proper maintenance of the lawn can also help with preventing lawn blowout. Use the “footprint” test, to check if the lawn is healthy. Footprints that remain on
the grass show that the lawn is under stress. Ensure that the lawn gets sufficient water. Fertilizing should be done to ensure your lawn is receiving the proper nutrients. Lawns where methylene urea with slow release has been used show less drought stress than other types of fertilizer. See pictures. 

Proper care and maintenance for your lawn will allow you to enjoy a beautiful healthy lawn yearly.

Notice bleached tips and leaf blades

The lawn on the left was fertilized with Methylene Urea slow release blend. A PCU blend was used on the right. The lawn on the right shows drought stress, well before the MU lawn