Monthly Lawn & Garden To-Do checklists

Monthly Lawn & Garden To-Do checklists


Monthly “Gardening To-Do List” Tips
APRIL    MAY    JUNE    JULY   AUGUST   SEPTEMBER   OCTOBER


APRIL

  • Rake sand & salt from curb areas and boulevard with a leaf rake.
  • Rake up matted areas throughout lawn that were weighed down by snow to reduce snow mould
  • begin to Over-Seed the entire lawn paying special attention to bare areas.
  • Kill moss and weeds in interlock with Vegetation Control or fill bottle with 3 parts horticultural vinegar – 1 part dish-washing soap and spray into cracks
  • Ensure your lawn mower is in top form and tuned up for the first cut in late April (weather permitting) Make sure the blade is professionally sharpened.
  • Connect and test your sprinkler system in April / May.  Ensure all heads are facing their intended target areas and all heads and rotors are functioning properly.  Adjust Controller for proper schedule through wetter Spring months.
  • If you have vole damage- simply rake out the affected areas with a leaf rake and see our article on mole and voles below!
  • Begin Aeration in late April once excess moisture is out of ground
  • Dethatch lawn only if severe thatch is found.

Help! What’s Ripping Up My Lawn?
What Do I Do?

When Spring comes and the snow melts, everything’s supposed to be coming up roses, Right?   Well if your like most people as soon as the snow recedes – it reveals big problems on your lawn!
Don’t worry,  the fact is there isn’t much you can do about it right now.   However, with a few tips, You can help improve your lawns chances of survival.
First we have to understand what we’re up against.  The first step is to understand the problem.

What Does the Problem Look Like?

“We are fielding a ton of calls this Spring about vole damage” says Kyle Tobin, Chief Lawn Expert atLawnSavers.   “If you see tracks running all through your yard that are approximately 2-3 inches wide, then you’ve hosted a family of voles for the winter.”   These tracks look kind of like lightning and are typically bordered with dead grass that has been nested in by the voles.   The reason this problem occurs is due to an exceptionally longer period of snow coverage this winter.   The snow acts as an insulation blanket for these animals.   The voles will burrow underneath and build up their tunnels with thatch and grass from your lawn.

What is the Difference Between Moles and Voles?

Simply put, Moles burrow in tunnels- typically underground and you will see mountains of dirt as evidence.  Moles sometimes eat insects.  Voles typically create tunnels throughout the grass but do not eat insects.  They only eat stems and leaves from plants.  They will however leave behind mounds of vegetation.

If it is raccoons and skunks, they are simply looking for grubs underneath the grass, and toss it up throughout the lawn looking for them.  More on that later.

What Do I Do?

Normally, the roots will still be in tact.   Be sure to lightly rake your entire lawn with a fan rake.   Just hard enough to lift up the dead grass.   If it hurts your back, your pushing too hard.   Be sure to have your lawn properly fertilized by your local LawnSavers professional.   Your lawn will survive.   Once the grass gets growing again, you’ll find that it will repair most of the damage on its own, if there are still some bare patches, you may need to spot seed those areas. (see: lawn repair) or call us for more information.

You have a bigger problem if the lawn is being torn up by animals!  If the grass has been upended and looks like its been torn up by a roto-tiller, then chances are YOU’VE GOT GRUBS!

This problem is caused by raccoons, skunks and squirrels digging up your lawn for this fine delicacy!  These animals are creatures of habit and will normally move on past your house in time.   The problem is you have a little more work to do to fix this situation.   However, there is nothing you can do to get rid of them right now, apart from a few small tips to make the job easier (and less expensive later).   Grubs eat the roots of your lawn in the fall causing considerable damage.

Here’s what you need to do if you have critters digging:

  • Replace the torn up grass into its rightful home then ‘Step on it’! & keep it moist.
  • Try to deter the critters by scattering mothballs around the yard or animal repellent- both are available at your local Canadian Tire store. (Do not use inhumane methods like cayenne pepper)
  • Call LawnSavers right away to book your Nematode Grub treatment for early fall.  Nematodes are applied according to weather conditions and should be done proactively each year to keep their populations high enough to control grubs as effectively as possible.
  • Order a Scarecrow Sprinkler from LawnSavers today (we ship direct)
  • Prepare to do some lawn repair in mid-May (see: lawn repair), or give us a call for a free estimate.
  • Pour yourself a cold drink, sit out in the sun and relax!

MAY

  • Aerate to loosen up compacted soil and let it breath.
  • Fertilize with balanced organic based fertilizer
  • Sow LawnSavers Certified custom blended seed in bare spots (due to popular demand, Now available in 1 kg bags for do it yourselfers)
  • Finish Topdressing with LawnSavers Premium Quality enriched finished compost
  • Scout for Grubs and record where damage is present for proper IPM treatment.
  • Apply Pre-emergent Crabgrass control where previous infestation has been noted if not already done in April.  (Corn Gluten takes up to 3 years to achieve a high enough protein level for 50-60% percent control)
  • 2nd Fertilizer treatment begins in Late May
  • manually remove weed growth whenever possible.

JUNE

  • Monitor for Crabgrass outbreaks
  • Second Fertilizer Treatment continues
  • Monitor Trees and shrubs for insect activity
  • manually remove weed and crabgrass growth whenever possible.

JULY

  • Apply Chinch bug treatment where chinch bug infestation is found.
  • Pull young crabgrass plants when crabgrass is actively growing before it sets seed.
  • Adjust irrigation system to reduce wasted and mis-directed water, and also ensure plants are getting proper watering according to hotter weather demands
  • manually remove weed and crabgrass growth whenever possible.

AUGUST

  • Apply Late Summer Fertilizer any time now.
  • Begin Nematode treatments according to weather (growing degree days) in late August and throughout September.  Begin heavy watering to allow Nematodes best chance of survival.
  • manually remove weed and crabgrass growth whenever possible.

SEPTEMBER

  • Apply Fiesta Weed Management as necessary
  • Assess Grub Activity for Nematode treatment.
  • Book irrigation system winterizing and blow-out to be done in October or November
  • Overseed lawns with certified grass seed to introduce hardier varieties
  • Aerate lawns in Spring or Fall when turf is actively growing and under less stress
  • manually remove weed and crabgrass growth whenever possible.

OCTOBER

  • Winterize irrigation systems with compressed air to prevent system damage
  • Apply Winterizer Fertilizer to prepare lawn for Spring Green up
  • Rake leaves often to prevent matting down turf.
  • last mowing of the year usually occurs- Mow at regular height 2.5-3 inches. (do NOT mow lower contrary to popular myth)
  • Mound roses but do not cut back
  • cut excess perennial growth back
  • Deep Root Fertilize trees and shrubs once leaves begin senescence (turning to fall colours) to focus fertilize on root growth only.
  • manually remove weed and crabgrass growth whenever possible.

NOVEMBER

  • Start thinking about Christmas Parties and delighting your guests with a spectacular Christmas Display (but this time, stop thinking about it and just do it!
  • Call LawnSavers Christmas and Holiday Decorating specialists to plan your holiday decorating displays.
  • If you already called us last year, just call & schedule your re-installation and we’ll take care of the rest, using commercial LED lights, plump garlands and large beautiful wreaths.