This has to be one of the strangest Winters that we have experienced. We are seeing Facebook memories of snow on the ground, our bodies are twitching with muscle memory of shoveling and cold -- and yet, we are plugging away at Fall clean ups and counting rain days.
Mind you, we are not complaining, it is just a bit confusing to our systems.
We have our snow client lists complete (and full), our trucks are oil sprayed, the plows repaired, and the shop bay has a mountain of salt at the ready! However, it is nice to be able to sleep through the night and not wake every couple hours to check the forecast and perhaps jump into our snow pants to madly clear a sudden squall.
But time is flying! We cannot believe that the count down to Christmas and Hannukah is on, deadlines for year end are approaching, and... we certainly feel unprepared. With all our concern over the weather and being ready to clear roads, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks, it feels as though we have forgotten about the life outside of work. As we have previously mentioned, Jody himself is very focused on his customers and meeting their needs - he is just lucky to have his wonderful wife Celia to help provide a bit of balance and reminder of his other joys (including their two children). Thanks to Celia, Jody is not as behind on being prepared for the holiday season as he perhaps would be if left to his own devices. Phew.
Not sure what we can say about the rest of our staff...
Katie certainly feels unprepared. There is a test for her pesticide license on the horizon and she is still madly trying to get through the second manual - the sand is running out of the hourglass! All the holidays can wait until after this is off the docket.
Donna seems fairly ready, plans have been made with her family members. The schedules for the kids are known and accounted for. She's got this.
Chris is looking forward to the time with his adorable daughter, and already has plans for spoiling her rotten - he is prepped.
Jeremy is super chill about the whole affair. He knows the routine, knows where he has to be when, has already started prepping for the family shindigs. Surprisingly (sorry Jerm) he seems to be on target.
We know the rest of the team are looking forward to a break from the madness. Time to recoup, recharge, and get ready for the next season. We are grateful to our customers who rely on us to look after their properties - and we know they understand how much energy goes into our services.
So for now... we stand at the ready and wait. See what Winter throws at us next.
We are excited this week! We are into the last stretch for our Fiesta applications - getting them done before the leaves fall. This heavy iron supplement spray is a safe herbicide that attacks primarily broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions, plantains, and clover). As we discussed in previous blog posts, this all falls under the cosmetic lawn care practices - although these weeds are harmless, they are undersirable in most communities. The crab grass seems to be subsiding, but clover is definitely taking up the slack. Thankfully, Fiesta seems to hit clover decently, so we should be able to beat it back. (Katie will have it noted that she is a fan of clover, especially as part of a pasture mix and its natural Nitrogen fixating properties for soil health)
Our teams have also been busy applying granular fertilizer; again, our goal is to get it all done before the leaves fall! The early frost was a surprise for us, and we are glad we have gotten our seeding done - seed needs warmth to germinate. The cooler temperatures, although refreshing, warn us again that the clock is ticking until the snow comes.
The employment shortage has had an impact on us, and we are still hoping to hire some crew members for the snow season - those that are willing and able to shovel snow would be very welcome to work for the Winter. We will be pulling all our team members that we can into the cold this coming Winter, and unfortunately not all of it is done from the warmth of the interior of a snow plow -- but still! Needs must! We know the demand for snow removal is huge, with a lot of other companies being unable to survive Covid impacts, so we will do what it takes to provide services for our customers. We are not able to take on new residential customers however, as we must reserve ourselves for current clientele. We apologize for this disappointment, but hope everyone understands we must be loyal and not overstretch ourselves.
Although we at Jody's Lawn Care live and breathe lawns and property maintencance, it is just a job.
In our off time our employees do lots of different activities that are a far cry from lawn maintenance.
Take Jeremy, our team manager, for example. He is an avid guitar player and vocalist for his band Lower Ground. He also enjoys camping with his family in Algonquin park.
Carrie, our horticultural specialist, loves to bowl!
Dave, one of our long-time cutting crew, enjoys riding his motorcycle.
Gabe, another one of our cutting crew, plays bass guitar in a band as well.
Kyle, an ex-farm boy turned grass cutter for us, loves to be out on the lake fishing.
Katie, our receptionist, is crazy about her dogs and often spends weekends at conformation dog shows and other dog events. She also pampers her horse and occasionally has time for a trail ride.
Celia too loves dog events, taking the Kirk Great Pyrenees to not only conformation events, but lure courses and sprinter trials as well! She and Jody are also big fans of their hottub.
Jody is the one team member we have the hardest time dragging away from the properties we look after. He is dedicated to maintaining the JLC level of expectation, and often works evenings and weekends to ensure that we meet this goal. On rainy days he grumbles about not being able to complete the jobs he had planned, on hot days he is out working until he nearly drops, and it is a rare, rare occurence that he does NOT do some lawn care for our clients on the weekend.
The JLC team is determined to keep you and your lawns happy, but we do some other tasks to keep us happy too - except Jody. I sometime think his happiness is in direct correlation with the health of your lawn and our customer satisfaction.
Although the Fall Equinox does not occur until September 22 this year, we can already feel the change in season. The nights are cool (we were able to see our breath on the weekend!), the bees are drunkenly buzzing around, and for those of us with long-coated pets – the fur is flying!
Although our general growing season is coming to an end, there are still things you can be doing in the garden and on your property.
Those with gourds are already beginning to reap the fruits of their labour – roadside stands have pie pumpkins, decorative gourds, and squashes available. Be sure to shop local and enjoy the Fall delicacies.
For those with a more flowery thumb, Fall Mums are available in your local garden centres. These large bloomed perennials are a great investment for Fall décor, surviving for years if well Wintered and cared for. Be sure to dead head them to extend their blooming period.
Your lawn would appreciate a little prepping for next year too. We are currently applying grub suppression nematodes to help break the cycle of Japanese Beetles. If you want to learn more about grubs and how to tell if they are a concern for your lawn, check out this website White Grub life cycle and how to control them – wonderful, thorough information. Our nematode product is a living bacterium, and as such requires water to stay alive. We try to ensure that our customers are aware of their applications and keep their properties moist for the following 7-10 days give these little creatures the best chance. Remembering to water the lawn can be tricky, but we know the investment pans out.
You can also take advantage of the cooler temperatures to clean up garden beds, raking out dead plants/stalks and putting them into your composter to start great soil for next year. Rucking up the soil also allows more air and moisture to get in, encouraging the mineral and nutrient content for root systems.
Soon we will begin planning our overseeding program, utilizing the more dormant period to start seed and reduce area availability for weeds in the coming year. Although the growth of grass is slower in the Fall, we can utilize the soil availability due to the thinning grass for the seeds to get a good start.
‘The still-warm earth and natural rainfall that tends to arrive in September will help to nourish and stimulate the newly sown seed, as well as reduce the time you’ll have to spend watering or trying to beat any hosepipe bans,’ says Guy Jenkins consumer manager for Johnson’s Lawn Seed. ‘By waiting until later in the year you will avoid the summer droughts which spell death for tender young seedlings that haven’t managed to reach deeper groundwater.’
Contact us now if you want to incorporate overseeding into your lawn’s Fall plans!