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A Letter To Our Community

Dear Members of Our Southern Alberta Community,

As we have grown our business in Lethbridge and its surrounding areas, we have had the honor to get to know you and your families. You have been generous and kind to us as our business has grown and changed, since we began in 2013. As we move into uncertainty with the development and potential spread of COVID-19, we want to make sure that you are cared for.

Out of gratitude, we want to offer ourselves in this way:

We realize that many of you are more vulnerable to serious sickness and/or are caretakers of those who are. If you find yourself in need of food, necessary items, or help, would you please let us know? Our crews travel all over Lethbridge and are willing to lend a hand or drop off necessities where needed. We feel that this is such a small way that we can love you, our neighbors, during this time, but a tangible way that we can meet your needs as we grapple with our new temporary normal. We want to be cared for and remind you that you are not alone in any of this.

In regard to your snow removal and future lawn care:

We plan to continue scheduled service as usual. If we feel unwell or if this needs to change, we promise to tell you and not come onto your property. Our team members are taking special measures to not contract or spread the virus. We want to care for your health, as well as, your yard.

During these uncertain times, one thing is certain – the snow will continue to fall and grass will continue to grow. We realize that many of our clients might experience lost income during this period and we want to walk this road with you.

How to reach us:

Contact our office 403-394-3478 or email admin@lawnandsnowbros.com and we will line up appropriate care for you. We will be running our regular office hours, for now from our office but with any potential future possibility of a quarantine, from home. Our client management system is internet based and we made a switch this winter to an online phone system, which means we can take care of your regardless of where we are.

We are thankful that we get to serve you by doing the things that we enjoy. We promise to wash our hands, and then lend them out to those in need.

All the best,

The entire team at Lawn & Snow Bros Inc.

Brr, It’s Cold Out There!

We are back around to winter, yay! We know it can get cold, gloomy, and kind of beautiful. But every winter can also be dangerous, especially if you are a driver, there is always a risk.

We wanted to give you some tips on how to be safe on the road. I think I can speak for most people when I say I am not a fan of winter driving at all, but there are ways to get around it.

1. ALWAYS allow yourself at least three (3) times the normal following distance to stop. You never know when and where that vehicle in front of you will brake.

2. This may be an obvious one but please drop your speed when the road is covered with snow. You don’t know if there is ice underneath, ice can be tricky to avoid.

3. Another tip that many don’t know is when you brake, try to do it slowly. Braking too fast will result in your vehicle sliding or skidding. Your first instinct when you know you need to stop as soon as possible is to hit the brakes, we understand. But if you follow tip number one, you will have enough time to stop at a slow and SAFE pace.

4. Always keep your headlights on so that you can be seen by others, daytime running lights will not be enough for those dark blizzard days.

5. Do not use cruise control in winter conditions. It will not allow you to brake or respond quickly if you need to, making an accident worse.

6. Keep basic supplies in your vehicle in case you get stuck. For example, a snow brush, a shovel, extra windshield washer fluid, extra winter clothing to keep warm if you need to wait for help, or even a blanket.

7. Really try to signal in advance, it’ll give the other drivers time to respond and adjust safely.  For example, if you are making a turn, the vehicle behind you needs enough time to slow down to prevent rear ending you.

8. Try to avoid sudden movements as it is easy to lose control if the road is icy and wet. Slow down and steer gently.

We recommend you follow these tips even if you have winter tires, those driving around may not have them and this way everyone, including yourself, can remain safe. There is no telling how bad a snowstorm can be, winter tires or not. Sometimes it is not enough, and we are no match for nature.

It’s Time to Blow It Out

October is here and you know what that means right? It’s time to blow out your underground sprinklers. Of course, you could always hire a professional to do this for you, but we thought we would share some tips just in case you wanted to give it a shot yourself.

1. Turn the water off. It depends on how your system is built but you should be able to do this by shutting off the master valve you find in the basement, utility room and in your garage.

2. For this step, you will most likely get wet. You’ll have to manually drain the water from the system. To do this you have to reduce the pressure flowing through the pipes by opening the hose bib. Make sure you have a large bucket handy to catch the water that is going to spurt out due to the pressure.

3. Rent or buy an air compressor from an equipment rental company. We recommend Wards Rentals here in Lethbridge if you don’t know of any off the top of your head. Charge the compressor but don’t charge it up to 120 pounds per square inch as that is too much pressure and can damage your system. The most recommended charge is 60 pounds per square inch. 

4. Next, connect the compressor to the hose bib once you confirm that the compressor is OFF first. Sometimes the fittings don’t match so you may have to figure out a way to make a secure seal between the hose and compressor, but it will still work. 

5. Starting from the furthest zone from you, working your way to the nearest, turn on the compressor to empty the hoses. You should keep the sprinkler on for at least 2 minutes in each zone. Once the water turns from mist to air that is when you know to move onto the next zone. 

Blowing out your sprinkler system is a must as it prevents future headaches and saves you a lot of money as repairs are costly. If your sprinkler system does not get blown out you risk cracked pipes, ruined seals and broken valves due to water left pooled in the pipes. This water left behind has potential to destroy any plastic or metal as it expands in freezing temperatures.

Stay Strong!

It is about that time again isn’t it. Mowing season will soon come to an end. The weather will begin to get cooler. Everything will be pumpkin spice flavored, and you’ll have to start pulling out your warm hoodies. You prepare yourself for the cooler weather but what do you do to prepare your lawn?

Just a few steps to help your lawn survive this fall and winter.

First, aeration is something we strongly recommend for winter preparation. It is like allowing your lawn to take one deep breath before all the snow arrives to cover it up. Similar to how you take a breath before going under water.

Second, fertilizing your lawn in the fall before the winter helps revive itself after the hot summer sun, the grass has a chance to build stamina before the chilly weather and it will lead to a healthier lawn in the spring. Plus, there is just something about that fall morning dew that provides moisture and helps absorb the fertilizer a lot better.

Third, seeding. This one is optional and not everyone does it but it will definitely help keep your lawn healthy during the winter. If you are planning on doing some fall seeding, make sure you let your provider know if your lawn gets a lot of foot traffic or if it is shady so they can help you choose the right type of seed. Be sure to rake up leaves if you have enough will prevent the seeds from reaching the soil.

Also, many are concerned that if they do not rake up leaves before the snow comes, the layer of leaves will smother the lawn. In some cases, this is a possibility, but it also depends on how many leaves you have. If you are not a fan of raking, you can also mow over the leaves to shred them into smaller pieces. This will decrease the chance of smothering your lawn over the winter.

Deep Root Fertilization, What’s That?

We just have one question for you – do your trees look sick? If they do, we have the best solution to your problem!

One of the things trees and people have in common is we both require proper nutrition to prevent and recover from sickness or injury.

That is why we strongly recommend deep root fertilization.

If you are unsure of whether your tree is healthy or not and there are no leaves to help you identify a problem, look at the branches. A tree typically dies from the tips of the branches first, if you try breaking a twig that has not already fallen to the ground and it instantly snaps like dry wood, the branch is dead.

Even if your tree is not dying, fertilizing will ensure that the chances of that happening are significantly decreased.

Here are a few benefits of deep root fertilizing your tree:

  • Fertilization programs can be personalized and customized as per the need of the tree; it is slow release so the tree is fertilized all season long.
  • Your tree will be more resistant to disease and insect infestation.
  • Fertilizing your tree can help reduce soil compaction.
  • The healthier your trees are the more attractive they will be.
  • Your healthy and fertilized tree will also help by providing much needed oxygen and taking in the bad air. Not only are you helping yourself, but the survival of everyone around you.

The best time to fertilize is early spring or late fall. So, don’t wait any longer.

No Mushrooms Please!

It’s time to talk about mushrooms, and no we don’t mean the kind you put on your Canadian pizza. We are talking the mushrooms on your lawn!

Unfortunately, we can’t help too much chemically with this issue but that is why we did our research and found a way you could get rid of those unsightly mushrooms without spending loads of money on weed control applications, only to end up with no results.

It all starts with a common household product…vinegar! If you mix in a spray bottle 3/4 water and 1/4 vinegar, you have your very own homemade mushroom killer. Be sure to wear gloves and spot spray ONLY the mushrooms, as it can kill the grass as well.

Mushrooms feed off animal waste, old mulch or even rotting trees, but the most common cause of mushrooms is too much moisture. Think about it, how does mold usually grow?

Well, it is very similar to mushrooms on the lawn since it is a fungus. If you over water on a day where we only have a couple hours of sun, that doesn’t leave “mushroom” for drying time so the water won’t absorb as fast as it should.

One of the best ways to prevent them from growing is to monitor your watering, making sure to water less in areas with shade. If you do find that you have an unsightly patch of mushrooms you just can’t get rid of, aerating the lawn will also help bring more oxygen into your soil and help the grass better manage watering.

Generally, mushrooms are harmless to your lawn. Believe it or not, some even say that mushrooms on your lawn can be a sign of healthy soil. However, that doesn’t mean you want to be looking a them everyday, we understand.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

How about that sun eh? June is always the hottest month of the year, and this is the time when you are more likely to experience dehydration, not just you, but your lawn too. Here are some things that should help you defeat the heat this summer.
Only water in the early mornings, before the sun is out or before it starts to get hot. This will give the water some time to soak into the soil instead of drying up too soon from the hot sun mid day.

We also don’t recommend night watering as it can promote lawn diseases due to the water clinging to grass blades and not evaporating fast enough overnight.

Limit the amount of lawn traffic, think pets or kids. We know they need their outside time too but just for this month at least to prevent the soil from becoming compacted and not allowing air to get to the roots.

If you mow your lawn yourself, try not to cut it short this month. Leaving your grass at longer heights will help allow the roots to extend deeper and prevent weeds from showing up. Longer grass also holds moisture a lot better so it won’t dry out as fast as shorter grass on those hot days of June

Try to resist the urge to fertilize your lawn during this month. Generally, it is most likely to burn from the sun and if you apply fertilizer, it may burn your lawn even more and can result in dark brown spots.

More importantly, do not forget to keep yourself hydrated!

If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour, set an alarm if you have to.

If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding a lemon or lime. Also, when you are hungry and you know it is not the usual time you’d eat, try drinking water first. The human body often confuses thirst with hunger.

Signs of dehyration:
– Little to no bathroom breaks
– Dry mouth.
– Sleepiness or fatigue.
– Extreme thirst.
– Headache.
– Confusion.
– Dizziness or light-headedness.
– No tears when crying.

Are You Fighting The Lawn?

As mowing season is starting up with this warmer weather (finally!) we wanted to set you off with a few tips on making sure your lawn is cared for in the best possible way!

1. If possible, change your mowing direction every week to prevent ruts and burn lines in your lawn. It will also help more upright growth of your grass blades as the grass develops a grain based on the direction you mow (if you mow the same direction each week it will start to ‘lean’ that direction).

2. Reduce mowing frequency and raise the mowing height of cool-season grasses when hot, as the dry weather slows their growth rate.

3. Mow when the grass is dry. Mowing wet grass can cause the mower wheels to leave ruts in your yard, and you could leave behind clumps of clippings that could smother the grass beneath.

4. Don’t cut the grass too short. Shorter grass blades just can’t generate as much food as long blades. Long grass blades also shade and cool the soil. That means weed seeds are less likely to sprout, and you won’t have to water as often because water won’t evaporate as fast.

If you feel the lawn has won and you’d rather give that task to someone else give us a call today at (403) 394-DIRT (3478) or fill out an estimate request!

Do You Have Underground Sprinklers?

Now is the time you want to start thinking about starting your underground sprinkler system back up after the winter season.

If you use a professional to start up your sprinkler system, you can save yourself some time, stress, and in some cases, even money depending on if your system will need repairing and new parts. However, it is not impossible to do it yourself. If you want to give it a shot, here are some things you should know before you begin.

  1. Turn on the main water source – this is usually a valve located in the basement close to where the water meter is for homes with municipal water.
  2. This valve must be opened slowly. Opening the valve to quickly can create a surge of water that can potentially damage the master valve of the system
  3. Watering Schedule- Early morning hours are best. Avoid evening or mid-day watering.  Mid-day watering loses most of the water to evaporation, evening watering can lead to turf disease.
  4. Deep, infrequent watering is essential to developing a healthy root zone. Three times a week is often enough to allow for this.

We are so excited for the warmer weather to be here and can imagine you are as well. If you’d like a hand with your start up give us a call.

(403) 394-DIRT (3478)
www.LAWNANDSNOWBROS.com

Lawn Care Lethbridge, AB Specialists’ Guide on Early Fall Maintenance Activities

Before we engage in snow removal and winter preparations, we have to take care of your property now that fall takes over the land. This is a slower and versatile season, and you should make sure everything is ready for winter. You might think that you should put on hold many lawn care activities in fall, but you could not be further from the truth. In fact, this is the season to engage in intense preparations and projects. Every root, every flower, every patch of land should be thoroughly prepared in order to face the cold season and have a good chance at revival next spring. Let us see today a short lawn care Lethbridge AB guide on early fall lawn and landscape preparations! Continue reading

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