Guelph and the surrounding areas are a sea of yellow right now as dandelions take over the grass. Now is the time to think about giving your lawn a facelift by treating the weeds, top dressing and overseeding to fill in bare spots and inspecting for unwanted pests.
FIESTA WEED SPRAY
Fiesta weed control is a selective, post-emergent, broadleaf weed killer that eliminates a variety of weeds in your lawn. While Fiesta is a form of pesticide, it is legal and approved by the province to help control, prevent and destroy broadleaf weeds such as moss, dandelions, plantain, chickweed, thistles amongst others. It is a selective herbicide which means it only kills the weeds, and doesn’t kill the surrounding grass where it is sprayed. It is also a contact herbicide which doesn’t travel into the plant so the liquid application spray needs to cover the entire plant to kill it.
Grass cutting won’t keep the dandelions in check. Since weeds grow faster than grass, it means they stand taller in the lawn making it look neglected or unkempt between lawn mowing. With a rubbery stem, the dandelion has the defensive ability to bend under the lawn mower blades and avoid being cut. They stand back up afterwards and really draw attention to themselves when the grass cutting is finished.
As sun and warm temperatures arrive, so do other pests, such as white grubs, chinch bugs, caterpillars, moths and other types of beetles. These types of bugs can cause great damage to your grass or trees if left untreated, causing brown spots, dead patches and killing the roots of grass. While difficult to treat, there are products available that can help control these lawn and tree pests. Timing of the treatment is key to increasing the effectiveness of the application. Be watchful if you see these insects and call a licensed company to treat as soon as they are noticed on your property – this is the best way to ensure the least amount of damage is done to your landscaping.
BARE SPOTS IN YOUR LAWN
Late spring and fall are great times to top dress and seed your lawn to fix bare spots and any damage from the winter. With cooler temperatures and the ground being moist, the new growth is better able to establish itself.
A BEAUTIFUL LAWN DOESN’T HAPPEN BY ITSELF
There are many options to help green up your lawn and improve the curb appeal of your property but a beautiful lawn doesn’t happen by itself these days. Make sure you have a licensed, properly trained technician to help you so you can win the war on weeds and pests this summer.
With recent warm weather, it feels like seasons are changing. For Nu Image, Spring means it’s time to start cleanups. A proper spring cleanup gives your property a fresh, neat appearance after the harsh conditions of winter.
Nu Image begins the process by removing fallen branches & twigs, leaves, pine cones & needles, newspaper, pop cans and general discarded garbage. Due to the water saturation, we stay off the lawn with our equipment until the soil begins drying out so we can avoid additional lawn stress, prevent ruts or damage to new growth. When the lawn dries, we dethatch to remove dead grass and allow space for new growth and to freshen the lawn. We use mechanical devices and blowers to provide this service without damaging the new grass growth.
Garden beds need preparation in the Spring too. Whichever perennials and grasses weren’t pruned in the fall should get a trim when the species recommends to encourage new growth. Timing of pruning is dependent on the type of plant and geographic region to ensure the health of the perennial moving into the summer. Dead plant material should be removed from the garden and soil cultivated to loosen compaction, allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate to the roots. When the beds are dry enough, Nu Image will create a fresh, clean edge along the garden bed and tree circles to remove turf growth and define where the garden starts and grass ends.
This is the perfect time of year to help new grass growth by arranging a lawn aeration, seeding and fertilization. Aeration is done when the ground is soft and to allow air, water and nutrients into the soil and alleviate soil compaction. This helps strengthen the roots for a healthier lawn.
Overseeding the lawn should be done for older lawns to help fill in bald patches and thicken the grass. When lawns are fuller and thick, weeds, disease and pest infestations are better defended against. Add topsoil and seed where the lawn is bare or there are weak patches of grass and with cooler temperatures and wet soil in the Spring, you should see new growth within 10 days. For a better result, aeration and over seeding should be done at the same time.
Your first application of fertilizer will also be done in May and should be a slow release to help green up your lawn and provide nutrients, including nitrogen to aid in growth.
A spring cleanup is time consuming but brightens up your property after the snow is gone. Other items to consider to help freshen up the exterior of your business are power sweeping to remove debris from your parking lot, line painting to freshen the asphalt, crack sealing and pot hole repairs to remove safety concerns for visitors to your site. Planting should be done after the May long weekend so temperatures will be warmer and the plants will be safe from overnight frost.
Nu Image is looking forward to a new season and you’ll see us regularly when grass cutting begins.
This month we are experiencing an incredible heat wave. The grass is now dried out and dormant in many places. If your lawn areas are brown, cutting the grass is unnecessary as it isn’t growing and even walking on it should be avoided to reduce further stress.
The next round of shrub trimming, for those plants and bushes that weren’t flowering had begun. We have currently stopped most trimming to avoid further stress to the plants. Shrubs and perennials are also lacking water and you may notice leaves curling or turning brown.
We will monitor and still make weekly visits to your property to provide our other services, such as weeding, trimming grass areas that may be shaded and are still growing, etc.
As we are only cutting the grass areas that need attention, that means there are areas that will not be cut. That doesn’t mean those areas were missed or forgotten, it only means we are being intentionally selective for the above reasons.
This will not apply to you if you have an irrigation system and the lawn has been getting enough rain.
Depending on how much rain we get in the next week, it is unlikely enough will fall to create a sudden growth or greening of the lawn. The ground is dry and hard and any rain will likely run off rather than being absorbed.
Flowers, new plantings and sod should be watered every day. Check Guelph’s by-law regulations regarding watering, but this should be done to help sustain your perennials and flowers until it rains.
If you need watering services, our water truck is available and running. We are able to assist if there is need.
Due to the health and safety of the crew and advisement from the chief medical officer, our crews will not wear their masks in this heat.
Our crews are beginning earlier in the day to avoid the heat as much as possible and are finishing the day early. They have been advised about Heat Stroke and safety precautions. We appreciate anyone who has offered water, shade or anything to help them as they try to work outside during this incredible heat.
Numerous tree-planting events and reforestation projects have been organized across the country to mark National Forest Week and National Forest Day (Sept. 25). The team at Nu Image is pleased to take part in one such event in the local Guelph community and we’d love for you to come join us! (more…)
While no one wants to have to start thinking about winter this early in the fall, when the leaves have barely started to change colour, you can rest assured that the team at Nu Image is already preparing for the first snowfall. (more…)
After a long, cool, and wet spring, summer has come with a vengeance. So it’s time for a word of thanks from the staff at Nu Image Lawn Care Inc.
Thank you to our clients who understand that the heat slows us down on job sites. For the health and safety of our workers, we have to conserve our energy and take water breaks. And sometimes it’s even too hot for the lawnmowers.
Thank you to restaurants like Tim Horton’s and McDonalds, who allow outside workers to use their washrooms, fill their water bottles, and let them cool off in air-conditioned comfort.
Thank you to our clients who offer water or watermelon slices to our workers. We appreciate the kindness and consideration.
Thank you to the mosquito population, that seems to have simmered down after a frightfully, biting spring.
And finally, thank you Mother Nature. We’re grateful for the heat, because in six months, we could be cloaked in a blanket of snow.
Celebrating a new era for Nu Image!
The ‘i’s are dotted, the ‘t’s are crossed and Richard Dobson is officially the new owner of Nu Image Property Maintenance & Snow Removal Inc.
The company’s founder, Doug Seager has retired — he swears it’s for good this time — and is packing up his family and moving to Prince Edward Island.
“When Doug started talking about retiring, I saw an opportunity to grow the business,” said Richard. “We talked about it for a long time and I gave it some hard thought. But Nu Image is a long-standing business with a reputation for providing excellent service. I think it’s a good fit for me.”
Richard Dobson in his office
Richard began as a branch manager for Nu Image about eight years ago, providing lawn cutting, garden maintenance, and snow removal services to a growing list of clients.
“Richard is very capable and gives excellent customer service,” said Doug. “He’s skilled in team-building and motivates his staff. I think Nu Image is in excellent hands.”
Doug started the company in October 1995 as a lawn treatment company and quickly expanded into year round property maintenance. In the past 24 years, he’s seen the company grow into a well-respected, full-service company that provides lawn and garden care and snow removal services to a variety of clients including malls, townhouse and condo complexes, private residences, offices, commercial and industrial sites.
“I’d like to thank the staff, clients, and suppliers for making this company a success,” Doug said. “These are relationships I will miss.”
Richard plans to expand the scope of services Nu Image provides over time. The company already does hardscaping and concrete work, landscape design and installation, line painting and sweeping services in parking lots, in addition to maintenance services.
While the changes are exciting, a lot will stay the same, including Carolyn and Deanne in the office to answer your calls, Janet overseeing the gardening crews and landscaping projects, and Jason in the construction end of things.
Clients can rest assured that the folks you have come to know on-site are sticking around, and Richard, of course, remains accessible too.
“We have a new energy and a new focus at Nu Image,” Richard said. “But I know it will be a smooth transition.”
No one is happier to see spring peeking around the corner than Nu Image’s snow removal teams. It was quite a winter, as you will know if you attempted to walk or drive or do just about anything outside over the past few months.
At Nu Image, we found that February proved to be the biggest challenge for our team.
“We had five months of weather events packed into six very intense weeks,” says Richard Dobson, current Vice President of Operations, who will take over ownership of Nu Image in April.
“We typically see one or two freezing rain events over the winter,” he says, “but, in February, there were eight freezing rain events, and three occurred in the same week. On top of that, there was snow — a total 20 of the 28 days of the month had precipitation that had to be addressed. And sometimes the winds and drifting made it nearly impossible to keep parking lots and driveways cleared.”
Ice build-up became a problem too. Despite the fact that Nu Image ordered 10 percent more salt than usual at the beginning of the season, our team still wound up having to use more.
Extreme Weather is the New Normal
Record highs, record lows, snow events day and night — yes, we’re happy to see the end of winter, and particularly this one.
According to the Weather Network, these weather anomalies are becoming the norm – part and parcel of the process of climate change. As the temperature of the Great Lakes continues to rise, we need to brace ourselves for more extreme weather year-round — heavy rains and drought, extreme high and low temperatures, wind storms and that stifling humid summer air.
The Great Lakes’ moderate air temperature in southern Ontario and the northern U.S. states already has a major influence on cloud cover, rain, and snowfall. However, between 1901 and 2016 the Great Lakes basin warmed by .89 degrees Celsius and that has caused a redistribution of weather patterns.
This explains the wicked storms that dumped snow and freezing rain this winter, and it explains why we get more scorching hot days in the summer.
How We Plan to Address These Challenges
Admittedly, scorching hot sounds pretty great right now. But, as with any business that relies on and works around the weather, Nu Image is also considering the kinds of changes it will have to make and technology it may need to meet these new demands.
The good news is that the snow will soon disappear even from the deepest, darkest corners of your property. And when the frost in the ground heaves its final goodbye, Nu Image will be ready to pounce – with spring lawn and garden clean-up, landscape design and installation, filling potholes and line painting in parking lots, installing patios and walkways, and more.
But that’s a post for another day. On this day, stay warm, think happy thoughts, and let’s turn our collective will to coaxing those crocuses and tulips out of the ground.
If you are looking for help with any spring maintenance or landscaping work on your commercial property, contact the team at Nu Image today.
Does your commercial property’s landscaping need to be improved? While most people realize that curb appeal is important to cultivate for homes, many forget that it is equally important for businesses.
If your property regularly receives customers, potential new hires, or other visitors, you want to ensure that you are making a great impression. Your commercial landscaping sends a message to people about you and your business — and you want to make sure it’s the right message.
In this article, we’ll go over some quick commercial landscape design ideas for your building. These ideas will help you start thinking about and determining what kind of message you want your commercial landscaping to send.
Focus On Your Signage
When you start thinking about the landscape design for your commercial property, one of the things that you should prioritize is your external signage.
If you have a roadside sign, then it’s important that you accentuate it with attractive landscaping features to help catch the eyes of passing customers. You want to make sure that your business stands out and is easy to find for clients.
Your signage will be one of the first things that a customer will see, so it should be easily visible and attractively highlighted.
Add Colour to Match Your Brand
If you have signature brand colours in your logo, adding a few splashes of matching colours throughout your flower beds is a great way to help your commercial property stand out from your neighbours.
Bright flowers are a welcome addition to many commercial landscapes, especially annuals and perennials. Make sure that you pay attention to soil and light conditions for your property, as you want to pick flowers that will thrive in order to avoid the costs associated with updating your landscaping on a regular basis.
Complement Your Building’s Architecture
Make sure that your landscape design complements the style and natural contours of your building. If you have a beautiful windows or a wide entranceway, you want your landscaping to frame and highlight these features for your guests.
Your landscape design should also fit the architectural style of your building. For example, if your building has a sleek, modern look to it, you may want to avoid overly colourful flower beds and choose a more minimal design instead.
Ensure that your landscaping matches the architecture of your commercial property and accentuates its best features, rather than hiding or detracting from them.
Design Your Landscape to Direct Traffic
As much as you want to enhance your commercial property’s curb appeal with beautiful features, you also want your landscaping to be functional. Your landscaping should help direct new visitors to the most important parts of your building — likely the main entrance — as well as helping them find appropriate parking and drop-off spots.
One easy way to direct traffic is to create walkways with rows of plants, trees, or flower beds that direct them from the parking lot to the entrance. You can also use retaining walls and hedges to block the line of sight on areas where you don’t want visitors to go, or that are for employee use only.
Keep Parking Lots Separate & Well-Maintained
One important design tip for a commercial property is to keep parking lots separate from the main entrance, or have different visitors’ and employees’ lots. Parking lots can be a eyesore for many people, so you may want to consider hiding your parking spaces out of sight behind shrubs, retaining walls, or other landscaping features, in order to improve your visitors’ experience.
Of course, if you have a retail business, then you will want to do the opposite and prioritize accessibility. In this case, you should make sure that your parking lots are the first thing that visitors will see.
Whatever the case, one thing that’s important is parking lot maintenance. Asphalt parking lots in Canada, in particular, are prone to getting potholes and suffering from cracking during the winter. Make sure that your parking lots are kept in good repair and any hazards to drivers are quickly fixed.
In the end, your landscape decisions need to be flexible, depending on your industry and the goals you’re trying to achieve with your landscaping.
Use Native Plants to Reduce Maintenance
If you’re interested in ways to reduce costs for your commercial landscaping, then one way to achieve this is by planting native plants. Native plants are a great landscaping choice for a number of reasons:
- They fit into the natural landscape.
- They are well-suited for the climate.
- They require less upkeep from your maintenance team.
Selecting native plants for your landscape design will send a message to customers about your company and will help your landscaping become more self-sustaining.
Reflect Your Company’s Values
When considering your landscape design, the most important thing is for your design to reflect your company and its value. Think about the message that you want to send to prospective customers, visitors, and employees. What is important to you and how should your property reflect this?
Do you want to be seen as an environmentally-friendly company? If so, then make sure that you are selecting native plants that will be easily sustainable and that you are incorporating green features, like rainwater reclamation devices and solar panels.
Are you trying to present yourself as focused on quality or professionalism? If so, then your lawns, gardens, and flower beds should be professionally maintained, in order to give that same impression to your visitors.
We hope that these commercial landscape design ideas have been helpful! If you’re looking for help with your landscaping and property maintenance, contact the team at Nu Image today.