Healthy Lawn Maintenance Tips

  • At the first sign of spring when the snow is gone you should rake away all leaves, debris, and unwanted trash from your entire property.  Get behind A/C units, stair, decks and the side of your property that we tend to overlook.

  • Now we’re ready for our first cut for the season.  Set your mower between the 3 and 4 setting to ensure your not cutting too low. You should never cut the lawn so that it appears a lighter shade of green; this is not healthy and it takes time for the lawn to recover.  Once this is done we can physically start to do some work…

  • Hard rake your lawn at to remove dead or weak grass; this gives room for healthier grass to develop.

  • Fertilize in April as this is rain season, you will have less chance of burning or damaging your lawn.

  • Overseed 2 to 3 times per year. May, July and September. This will ensure your lawn is thick and healthy. The thicker your grass the less weeds you will see.

  • You should considering aerating your lawn twice a year; in the spring and fall before adding topsoil, overseeding or fertilizing.  Aerating provides better water absorption and less runoff.  You can rent an aerator machine at your local equipment rental.

The Following Information Taken from Health Canada Website:

White Grubs:
White grubs are the larvae of certain beetles, such as June beetles and chafers. Grubs are one of the most difficult lawn pests to deal with.
Grubs are white or yellowish and have fleshy, wrinkled, C-shaped bodies with tan or brown heads and six spiny legs. They are quite small upon hatching, but at maturity are from 2 to 4 cm (3/4 to 1 1/2 inches), depending on the species.
The most common white grubs infesting turf in Canada are those of the native June beetle or Junebug. Two smaller exotic species, the European chafer and the Japanese beetle have been accidentally introduced into Canada and are found primarily in the Niagara peninsula. The European chafer however, has recently migrated further north and east, and is responsible for much of the lawn damage in recent years in eastern Ontario.

June beetle adults are shiny reddish brown, up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. The adult European Chafer is light brown or tan and is about 1.3 cm (0.5 inch) long. The adult Japanese beetle is metallic green and bronze, about 1 cm (less than 0.5 inch) long.

What can they do?
Did you know...

It takes the June beetle three years to mature while the European chafer and the Japanese beetle take only a year. On their way to maturity, there are times when they are most active and most damaging to a lawn. Typically, outbreaks of white grubs occur every third year.

Signs of grub infestation:

Grubs feed on the roots of many plants, but prefer the fibrous roots of lawn grass. As the roots are destroyed, turf will wilt and turn brown. They also feed on potatoes and carrots in the garden. They cut the main stems or roots of plants below the soil surface, and tunnel into tubers and freshly rooted plants. Affected areas will feel soft and spongy to walk on, and turf in these spots can be lifted up with ease. Carefully fold back the turf and observe the number of grubs exposed. Damage is most severe in the spring and fall when moisture levels in the soil are high. During drier periods, the eggs may be killed and surviving larvae can be found deeper in the soil. Extremely dry summers destroy many eggs, and newly hatched grubs. Mature grubs can be found near the surface in late summer and early fall.

Often skunks and other small mammals will pull back the turf to feed on grubs in the spring or fall. This secondary damage to your lawn, as well as flocks of starlings and blackbirds feeding on the lawn, are signs of a grub infestation. If you have any of these natural predators digging at your grass, check for white grubs. Many people notice these indicators first.

How can I manage them?
Did you know...

White grubs do the most damage at these times:
June beetle grub:

  • Year 1 - August through September

  • Year 2 - April through September

  • Year 3 - April through May

European chafer grub:

  • Year 1 - March trough April

  • Year 2 - September through November

Janese beetle grub:

  • Year 1 - April through June

  • Year 2 - September through October

Lawn care:

Cultural practices are the best way to ensure the health of your lawn before any problems occur. If you can, dig or till your land one year before you seed it or lay sod. Remove old plants and weeds, rake/thatch your lawn or cultivate the soil thoroughly to expose any grubs to their predators and the weather, to reduce populations.
Healthy, vigorously growing lawns can tolerate more grub feeding than stressed lawns because damage to one root is compensated for by others. Adequate leaf tissue also provides nutrients and energy to repair root damage. Remove excessive thatch, and aerate compacted soil areas to ensure proper drainage. A mechanized soil aerator with spikes or spiked sandals can also help kill some of the grubs.
Beetles prefer to lay eggs in closely cropped lawns, so raise your summer mowing height to 6 to 8 cm (2.5 to 3 inches). Leave lawn clippings after mowing, because their slow release of nitrogen favours the decomposition of thatch by microorganisms. Use fertilizer with high potassium and adequate nitrogen.
If you detect grubs during the warm, dry periods of the growing season, irrigate and fertilize your lawn to maintain the turf vigor and to compensate for the root feeding damage. Apply a top dressing of sand and manure and overseed with grass. Deep, infrequent irrigation encourages deep-rooted drought-tolerant lawns. Water no more than once per week, and water until at least 2 cm (1 inch) of water collects in a container placed on your lawn or for about one hour.

Population control:
You can hand pick adult beetles or vacuum them using a small vacuum with a disposable bag. You can also shake beetles from plants and collect them in a cloth, placed directly below the plant. For best results, collect the beetles early in the morning when they are still sluggish. Immersing beetles in soapy water can kill them.

Beneficial predatory insects such as ants prey on the eggs of Junebugs. Certain parasitic wasps and flies help keep host Junebug or Japanese beetle populations in check. Some of these are specific to a single host, but others will control several pests in an area. Bird houses attract natural predators (starlings, blackbirds), that feed on white grubs.

Resistant varieties of plants:
Choose resistant varieties of plants. If reseeding or establishing a lawn, use grasses containing an endophytic fungus such as fescues and ryegrasses. This type of fungus repels the grubs. Companion plants such as larkspur and geranium are toxic to grubs.   Health Canada  Date Modified: 2010-12-08

Starting a Lawn:
If you're like most people, you enjoy having a healthy-looking lawn, even with all the work involved. Besides being a great place to spend time, lawns serve many functions, such as filtering pollution, buffering temperatures, absorbing water and preventing soil erosion.

Ideal conditions for growing a lawn include:

  • even ground with a gentle slope and no low spots

  • deep, fertile, well-aerated loamy soil with ample organic matter, good drainage and a slightly acidic pH (6.0 to 6.5).

  • regular supply of water.

  • Minimum of 6 hours of sunshine per day.

  • optimum air temperature of 16 to 24°C.

  • moderate foot traffic.

You will probably not have these ideal conditions at all times, so you should have realistic expectations about the appearance of your lawn.
Taking an environmentally friendly approach to lawn care starts with being practical about how you want your lawn to look.

Planning the New Lawn:

Site Assessment

Do a site assessment to determine what factors will need to be considered and what improvements to include in your course of action. First consider how you intend to use your lawn, e.g. as a play area, then check the following:

  • depth of the topsoil

  • soil type, fertility, pH and organic matter content

  • what insects, diseases or weeds are already present

You will also want to check if:

  • water drains well from the site

  • there are any steep slopes

  • there are any shady areas with less than 6 hours of sunshine

Also understand how temperature, sunlight and rainfall conditions affect your site. Your local garden centre can tell you about your region's climate and how it influences growing conditions.
Prevention is the best approach for managing any potential pest problem. Your plan should include:

  • long-term changes, such as improving drainage in wet areas or replacing grass in problem areas with other types of landscaping

  • providing good soil with ample depth and organic matter

  • choosing the right mixture of grasses for the conditions and

  • correctly identifying any problems

Be realistic when deciding to make any changes.

Getting Started:

Site and soil preparation is an important step for establishing a healthy lawn. Before adding topsoil:

  • Clear the soil of any debris--branches, concrete, plastics, large stones, etc.

  • Loosen the existing soil if it is compacted.

  • Correct the grade in areas that do not drain properly.

If your house is new, heavy equipment may have compacted the subsoil in your yard. Grass requires 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches) of good quality topsoil to grow well.

  • Work the new topsoil into the compacted layer to prevent potential drainage problems. A rototiller can be very helpful for this.

Add any required amendments to the soil to establish adequate growing conditions.

  • Compost and peat moss add organic matter to the soil and tend to acidify your soil if added often or in large quantities.

  • Compost acts as a fertilizer.

  • Lime increases soil pH, and sulphur decreases it.

Spread some starter fertilizer on your lawn. Starter fertilizer is high in phosphorus, which stimulates the growth and development of turfgrass roots. Check your soil analysis results and ask for advice at your garden centre. Firm up the soil with light rolling so that only light footprints appear when you walk on it.

Which Grass?

Lawns in Canada consist mostly of cool season turfgrass, which have their main growth periods in the spring and fall.

  • Kentucky bluegrass requires more sun, especially morning sun, than many other grasses.

  • Fine fescues are more shade tolerant and will do well on sites with only 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day or only late day sunlight.

  • Ryegrass has very good tolerance to wear and is suitable for sport or play areas.

  • Bentgrass species are not suitable for most home lawn situations because they require high maintenance.

  • Some cool season grass varieties (e.g. tall fescues, fine fescues, perennial ryegrass) may contain beneficial fungi called endophytes and may be more resistant to some common insect pests.

Lawns can include a mix of many different plants and grasses.

  • A lawn made up of a variety of grass species can tolerate a range of growing conditions and may be less susceptible to pest damage than a lawn of a single grass variety.

  • Having a variety of plant types may also prevent pest problems from spreading to the whole lawn.

Your yard may be steep or be heavily shaded by trees or buildings. These special conditions require different types of grass or ground covers.

  • Where conditions are not suitable for a lawn, try growing other ground cover plants more adapted to the area.

To Seed or to Sod


  • provides an instant lawn

  • is more expensive than seeding

  • requires daily watering to ensure good establishment

The sod varieties available in your area may not necessarily be the best for your site conditions.

If you decide to use sod...

Get a few pointers from the supplier on how to lay down sod for best results. For large areas, it may be advantageous to have professionals lay the sod.

  • Use a roller to press the sod for good sod-to-soil contact.

  • Keep the new sod well-watered and don't walk on it while it's wet.


  • contains a greater variety of grass species than sod

  • initially needs to be watered more and for a longer time than sod

Grass started from seed can be more susceptible to competition from other plants in its first year than at any other time.

If you decide to use seed...

Choose the best possible seed mixture based on your site assessment.

  • Seed in mid-August to early September. Weeds grow slowly in the early fall and will compete less with the newly germinated grass seed.

  • Follow the directions for your seed mix. Your site conditions will determine how much seed to use. Note that germination decreases as the seed gets older.

  • Spread the seed, then lightly rake and roll it.

  • Water lightly and frequently to maintain even moisture on the seeds in the top layer.

  • Avoid creating puddles.

Above Taken from Health Canada Website
Health Canada – Grubs

Shrubs and Hedges:

  • May add volume to your properties landscape

  • Can reduces wind and debris 

  • Increases beauty around your garden or lawn

  • May creates a privacy and noise barrier

  • Environmentally friendly

The Following Info Taken from the City Of Brampton’s website:

Yard Maintenance

The City of Brampton wants to ensure that residents maintain their neighbourhoods. Be a good neighbour by preventing unsightly or hazardous conditions.
Inoperable Car:
The City does not allow you to store on residential property cars that don’t work or that someone has abandoned. Twice each year, the City's Enforcement staff look for these vehicles and issues orders to the property owners to remove or repair them. The City's Enforcement staff also respond when people complain about these vehicles. If you don’t remove these vehicles after the City has ordered you to do so, the City will remove them at your expense. The City may also prosecute you, which may result in a court requiring you to pay both a fine and the City’s cost of removing the vehicles.

Additions to Your Home:

Before you build an addition, deck, shed or fence, or attach anything to your home, visit building permits.

Trees, Grass & Standing Water:

  • Remove dead, decayed or damaged trees. Maintain trees and hedges to avoid overgrowth that may affect safety and visibility or block members of the public from walking on the sidewalk beside your house

  • Store firewood, building materials and garden equipment neatly in your back yard, so that no one can see them from the street.

  • Cut grass and weeds regularly to make sure that they don’t grow higher than 20 centimetres (8 inches).  If you don’t cut your grass and weeds, the City will cut them at your expense. They cost for this is at least $313.

  • You must not park on landscaping. Keep your property free from holes, ruts and excavations.

  • Remove standing water from your property. Standing water often accumulates in children’s toys and pools, buckets, unopened pools and pool covers. It may also attract mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile and other viruses.

  • A City bylaw protects trees on private property. Before you remove any trees from your property, please contact the Parks Maintenance and Operations Division at 905-874-2906 Mondays through Fridays (except for holidays), between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The above was taken from the City Of Brampton’s website.
City of Brampton – Yard Maintenance