Spring Cleaup FAQ


Why should my lawn be cleaned up in the spring?

The fall and winter months often leave a lawn matted and compacted, which may promote pests and disease.  The best looking and healthiest lawns are raked, aerated and fertilized each year.  This gives grass the healthiest growing environment and supports a lush green lawn.


When should my spring cleanup be done?

Depending on the weather, spring cleanup should be done anytime from mid to late April up until the end of May.


Why should my lawn be aerated?

By removing cores from the turf, aeration opens up the soil to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the root zone.  It helps to reduce problems associated with compacted soil. Aeration performs a similar function as tilling to prepare a garden in spring or cultivating a field before sowing seed.  Aeration also “prunes” the roots of the grass plant, which stimulates growth.


How often should my lawn be aerated?

Depending on traffic and soil conditions a lawn should be aerated on an annual basis.  For lawns that are grown on sandy soil less frequent aeration is required whereas heavy clay soils will require more frequent aeration.


What are the “droppings” I see on my lawn after a yard cleanup?

The “droppings” you see after a yard cleanup are plugs left behind by the aerator.  These plugs consist of soil, roots, and thatch (if you look closely you can see the layers in each plug).  These plugs break down in a few weeks, turning to compost.


Should the plugs left behind by the aerator be picked up?

Although some people find them unsightly the plugs should be left behind to turn to compost and feed the lawn.  They will usually break down within two or three mowings.


Why should my lawn be power raked?

Power raking removes dead grass and thatch that can keep nutrients and water reaching the root zone.  Excessive thatch buildup may create an environment favorable for pests and disease.


Why should by lawn be fertilized?

Fertilizing replaces nutrients that are consumed by the lawn as part of its growth process or lost as water moves down through the soil and out of the root zone.  Ideally a fertilizer should not only replace the nutrients, but it should help to feed soil organisms which are beneficial to the grass plant.  A quality organic-based fertilizer will promote healthy micro-organisms in the soil.


How often should my lawn be fertilized?

Fertilizing practices my vary depending on the type of fertilizer, irrigation practices, and the type of growing season we have.  Mowing practices will also have an impact on fertilizer requirements:  a lawn where the clippings are mulched will require less fertilizer than a lawn where the clippings are bagged and removed.  A lawn should be fertilized at least two to three times per year.


What kind of fertilizer do you use?

Our fertilizer is a premium golf-course grade organic based product. The fertilizer particles are coated to release nutrients at a controlled pace for continual feeding and to reduce the chance of burning. It contains iron for a quick, deep greening-up of your lawn, while the organic matter conditions the soil, stimulating microorganisms.


Is the fertilizer you use safe for pets?

The fertilizer is non-toxic and will not harm pets.


Should I water my lawn right after you fertilize?

Yes.  Watering activates the fertilizer and distributes the nutrients to the root zone.


Do you use a “weed and feed” type fertilizer?

No. There are several disadvantages associated with these fertilizers that combine fertilizers and herbicides.  First it is more difficult to control the application of the fertilizer and the product can accidentally contaminate flower beds, gardens, and downstream water bodies. Second, these types of fertilizers will no longer be available to the public due to environmental concerns. Third, if one is overseeding a lawn, the herbicide component is detrimental to the new seed.


Should my lawn be overseeded?

It is a good idea to overseed a lawn every few years.  This allows lawns to be seeded with newer varieties of grass that can be chosen to be site specific.  Often these newer varieties will be hardier and have better growth characteristics than the original lawn.


What happens to all the lawn clippings you collect?

Each season Pioneer Landscaping collects almost 200m3 of lawn clippings.  Instead of disposing of our lawn clippings at the landfill, Pioneer Landscaping has made the environmentally responsible choice to collect and compost all the clippings.  Once the they have composted for approximately two seasons they are blended with loam, screened, and then used in various landscaping projects or sold to consumers as a premium growing medium.


Can you provide lawn maintenance services for acreages and farms?

Yes.  Mileage may apply.  Pioneer Landscaping has the right equipment to provide turf services for large areas.


Do you collect pet droppings when you do the yard cleanup?

Yes, however a fee of $80 will apply.


Lawn Problem FAQ


What can I do to fix “dog spots” in my lawn?

Dog spots are areas of the lawn that have been killed due to the high amount of salts contained in pet urine.  The best treatment is to water the effected areas to dilute the salts, remove the dead grass, overseed and topdress (topdressing is the application of a thin layer of compost, loam, or peat moss to protect the grass plant as it germinates and grows).


How can I get rid of dandelions?

Turf weeds are a sign of an unhealthy lawn.  Lawns that are stressed, lack nutrients, or are diseased or infested with pests permit the propagation of weeds. Spraying weeds is only one component of a healthy lawn.  The healthiest lawns have an integrated system of care that includes proper mowing and watering practices, an effective fertilizing program, and if necessary, chemical control of weeds and pests.


How can I get rid of fairy rings in my lawn?

Fairy rings are caused by fungi in the soil.  Few treatments are commercially available but aerating the lawn and fertilizing it with an organic based fertilizer will help to restore moisture and nutrients to the root zone of the effected area.


My lawn is old and patchy and full of weeds, should I till it up and re-sod?

No.  The most economical and effective way of renovating a lawn is to overseed or place sod on top of the old lawn.  If the lawn is heavily weeded it should be sprayed with a non-selective, non-residual herbicide.  The dead grass should be mowed as short as possible, vertisliced, then overseeded and topdressed.  Alternatively, a thin layer of quality, screened topsoil can be placed on top of the old lawn and new sod laid on top.


Services FAQ


What other services do you provide?

Pioneer Landscaping is a full service landscaping company and our services include: tree trimming, hedge trimming, stump removal, hydroseeding, lawn renovation, residential and commercial landscaping, skid steer service, regular lawn maintenance, and snow removal. Check out our www.gopioneer.ca website to see what we offer or call the office for product and pricing.