How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

During the warmer months when your grass is growing, there is a mowing schedule you should follow to encourage the lawn to be green and healthy.

If yours looks "unhappy" after it's been cut (turns pale and might have some browning), you might be tempted to mow it less often.

That's the Wrong Move!

Usually, grass needs to be cut every 5 to 7 days, based on a typical growth rate.

But it matters more that you mow often enough - based on how long the grass is.

If your lawn looks yellow and dried out after you've mowed it, you probably have the blade on your mower set too low and are cutting it too short.

Some people want a super-short lawn like a putting green, but doing that requires both a specific variety of grass and a lot of extra care spent on fertilizing and other upkeep.

If you don't want to devote the extra time and money to keeping it looking like that, stick with the standard height.

Note that grass, from 2-1/2 to 3" in height, is also more comfortable to walk on barefoot than short, short grass.

The first time cutting the lawn in the spring, it's best to cut it on the longest setting. Following that, it should get cut about every 1-2 weeks, depending on how much it grows, then adjusting the lawn mower blade lower until it's on about the middle setting.

A good rule to follow to cut no more than 1/3" of the grass blade off in a single mowing.

Benefits to Keeping Your Grass at the Right Height

  • Regular cutting at the right height to stimulate shoot growth and the lateral spread of the grass plant. Your lawn will get thicker, quicker. Thicker lawns will crowd out weeds and prevent them.
  • Cutting more often means less work to do each time. You can mulch it instead of bagging or raking the clippings.
  • Weeds grow faster and higher than grass. When you don't give them the chance to grow high, they will naturally be in a weaker state.
  • Most weeds tend to flower at a taller height that is higher than grass. And once a weed flowers, it produces seed heads, which in turn produce more weeds.
  • Your lawn will simply look much better! It will be at an even height and will make your home appear tidier and well kept
  • A good rule to follow is to is to never allow your grass to grow long enough that you would be cutting no more than 1/3 of the blade off in a single mowing.
  • In a hot and dry summer, if the lawn isn’t growing as fast, so you can mow as needed using the one-third rule.

Some Pro-Tips:

Mow in an Alternate Direction

Don't always cut your lawn in the same exact direction each week.

This is to prevent rutting in the soil and to prevent grass from learning to lean a certain way. It also helps the grass to stand up straighter for a better overall appearance and a healthier lawn.

Keep your Lawn Mower Clean Underneath

Build up from grass clippings will stick to the underside of your lawn mower deck and make it a lot harder work.

Clean the deck after each use to keep your lawn mower in like-new condition and prevent clogging.

Tune-Up Your Mower

An older gas lawn mower can be an energy hog, so by keeping it well tuned, your machine will burn gas more efficiently with less emissions. It's best to start each spring by changing the spark plug, greasing the wheels, sharpening the blades, and cleaning or changing the air filter.

Now that you know how tall to keep your grass for it to look its best and be the healthiest it can be, you can grow it and mow it with confidence.

If you can't keep up with regular mowing, or you just don't like doing it... give us a call for a free estimate on weekly lawn cutting:

Greenways Landscaping    905-464-5789​

8 Most Common Weeds Infesting Your Lawn

common weeds oakville

Knowing what kind of weeds you have will help you to be more effective at dealing with them.

But regardless of the type of weed, one of the easiest and most effective way to keep weeds away is simply to keep a thick and healthy lawn.

Thick and healthy lawns require:

  • annual overseeding
  • seasonal fertilizing
  • proper watering amounts
  • cutting grass regularly at the right height
  • using a mower with sharp blades

Related Post:  How Often Should  You Mow Your Lawn?

Keeping a thick lawn means that only a few weeds will be able to invade your grass.

And if the odd one should pop up, you can simply pull it out to prevent further spreading of the root system

Be sure to walk your property with this list in hand to discover how many of these scoundrels might be infiltrating and inhibiting the lushness of your lawn.

lawn weeds

1. Crabgrass

​This is an annual weed reproducing by seed. It has branching, spreading stems.

Its coarse, blue-green to purplish leaf blades can be smooth or hairy, depending on the species.

Both varieties have tapered leaf blades. The base of the clump has several fingerlike spikes rising from narrow stems.

Keeping your lawn thick and healthy, as well as free of bare spots, is the best way to prevent crabgrass​.

get rid of weeds

2. Dandelion

Well, I think almost everyone knows what this weed looks like!

It's a perennial which is part of the Aster family. It is well known for the bright-yellow flowers and large leaves rising from a long, deeply penetrating taproot.

They reproduce by producing a round, white, globe shaped seed head. Dandelion favour thin turf and will flower from early Spring until late Fall.

You can make a simple home-made weed killer to treat them.

Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar + 1/4 cup salt +1/2 liquid dish soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Do your best to only spray the dandelion so as not to kill grass or plants nearby. The dandelion should wilt by the next day. 

3. White Clover

This is a perennial that used to be part of grass seed mixes.

Also called White Dutch Clover it's leaves are distinguished by three lobes with a crescent-shaped white band.

It spreads by creeping stems and does well in sparse, undernourished turf with too much moisture.

Control it by feeding your lawn nitrogen fertilizer and avoiding excessive applications of phosphorus.

4. Ground Ivy

This weed is also commonly known as Creeping Charlie.

It's part of the broadleaf perennial variety and fall in with the mint family.

It features square stems with bright green, rounded scalloped edged leaves.

This weed reproduces by seed as well as having creeping stems that root as they touch the ground.

5. Yellow Wood Sorrel

Also known as Sour Clover and Oxalis.

This is a broadleaf perennial, even though it might act as an annual in some regions.

It shows clover shaped leaves and yellow flowers - each with five uniformly shaped petals.

This plant spreads by roots and seed.

lawn weeds

6. Quackgrass

This weed will often be mistaken for Crabgrass.

It's a perennial with flat light-green to blue-green leaves which are flat and nearly smooth on top. The under part of the leaf sheaths are hairy.

At the top you will find spikelets alternating from one side of the central stalk to the other.

Each spikelet is made up of 3 to 7 florets. It spreads by seeds and aggressive rhizomes (underground stems).


7. Yellow Nutsedge

This is also known as Nut Grass and Ground Almond.

It's a grassy perennial sedge with triangular stems and numerous slender leaves near the base of the plant.  However, it is sparse near the top except for a cluster at the base of the an umbrella-like cluster of yellowish spikelets.

Preventing this weed from establishing itself is the best plan.

This weed reproduces by seed, tubers and rhizomes that grow at the root tips. Tubers often persist in the soil, making established plants difficult to control.

8. Spotted Spurge

This weed likes to grow close to the ground.

It is an annual which reproduces by seed and it will create a fast-spreading mat along the ground.

The leaves are rounded, small and green with a reddish brown or purplish spot on top. When the stems are cut they exude a milky liquid.

Want to Know More About Weeds in Ontario?​

To see the full gallery of weeds commonly found in Ontario, visit the Ontario Provincial Government site here.

There are hundreds more there to help you identify the weeds popping up around your property!

Need to tackle the weeds in your lawn? See our 9 Essential Lawn Tips article.

If you have a lawn with a lot of weeds, you should get your grass professionally treated, and begin a protocol of overseeding and fertilizing.

For professional weed treatment, including organic options, we recommend that you contact Green Blade Lawn Care Services if you reside in Oakville, Ontario or within Halton region.

You might also consider starting from scratch with a new lawn if the amount of weeds are more than the amount of good turf left.  Like in the photo below:

If you choose to have your weed infested lawn removed and to have new sod installed, your yard will look like this in not time:

In just a day or two, your yard can look fresh and tidy with a new weed-free lawn.

For a free and friendly quote to re-sod your yard, call: 905-464-5789

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7 Tips for Choosing a Lawn Cutting Service – Oakville

If you feel like cutting your lawn is a chore rather than a pleasure, you're not alone.

But a big part of maintaining a great looking turf requires that you mow and trim it properly - and on a regular basis.

If you can't keep it up on a regular, weekly schedule, or you'd simply rather leave the job for someone else to do, consider hiring a lawn care service.

Read these tips to ensure that the company you hire will do the job right.

​ 1.  Decide what you want from a service

Are you looking for help with the mowing, and hedge/shrub maintenance?

Or do you want fertilizing, weed and pest control, as well?

Make a list of the services you are thinking about and ask the companies you decide to interview.

They may also include some things that you might miss thinking about! ​

 2.   What are their methods and service philosophy?

What kind of cutting methods do they use? For example, how low do they usually cut the grass? Do they come once per week on the same day at about the same time?

Do they demonstrate a "customer comes first " attitude? An expample of this would to the willingness to be flexible enough to accomodating your custom requests. 

 3.  Take notice of their trucks and equipment. 

Beware of seeing them show up with a dilapidated truck hooked up to an unsafe trailer and old, unreliable equipment that isn't commercial grade.

On the flipside, when everything looks too new, take note.

Having all brand spanking new and shiny trucks with a flashy company logo, and all new equipment can be a red flag, too.

Just as the beat up old equipment might provide great service, the brand new, professional looking company may just be a bunch of amateurs with little experience and no real skill.

This leads into the next point.

 4.  Meet the owner or sales rep

Large companies with a lot of staff will have a rep come out to meet you. Smaller, owner operated companies will afford you the opportunity to deal directly with the boss.

Remember - a sales rep needs to get paid too. This adds to the cost of doing business for companies which are structured that way.

And a franchised company usually has to contend with paying annual fees and expenses that an independent company doesn't.

Dealing with an owner operated company can often save you money and result in better, more personalized service.

By speaking directly with the person in charge, you will get a feel for the level of service to expect.

Ask how long they've been in business, the type of equipment they use, how it's maintained and the customers they already look after in your area.

 5.   Ask around

Why not talk to your neighbors who use lawn cutting services. This is a good way to determine which companies operate in your area and to get a recommendation from a neighbor.

Or, if you are new to an area, ask the real estate agent who sold the home if they know of any reputable lawn care companies they can refer over to you.

 6.  Request an in-person estimate

Beware of companies that are willing to quote prices without first having seen your lawn and yard.

Ask about prices and what services are included.

Some companies might ask you to sign a yearly contract. Yet others will work on verbal agreements that can be discontinued by the customer at any time.

Understand what services the company is proposing to provide before work starts. 

 7.   You get what you pay for. Most of the time.

​Of course, there ARE exceptions to this. While you may not want to pay top, it can actually hurt more to go with the cheapest service. It's not worth a dime of your money to hire a company that provides sub-par results and/or unreliable service. 

In Summary​

​Like any other home service or significant item is going to be bought, it's important for you to do your due diligence.

Just doing a few things like checking out their website on-line, asking your neighbors, and actually speaking to the company themselves can help you to choose the right company for you.

Speaking face to face is really important.

By looking them in the eye and asking them the right questions, you will allow them to demonstrate their customer service, social etiquette and their professional knowledge.

Doing this can help you get the most for your money.

Save yourself the spent cutting and trimming the lawn. 

If your home is in Oakville, give Greenways Landscaping a call

to let your local grass cutting experts take care of it for you.

Call 905-464-5789

Spring Lawn Care Tips – Oakville Ontario Landscapes

lawn care oakville

Even if there is still snow on the ground, as a property owner you should already begin considering all of the things you should be doing for the successful revival of your grass and garden before spring is fully sprung!

You might even see a few green blades of grass beginning to sprout while there's still frost on the ground.

As lawn care experts, we recommend the following:​

Do These 2 Things for the First New Grass of Spring

1. Let it Grow

Allow it get to 3 or 3-1/2" inches in height before you give it the first cut.

Don't be afraid to really let your turf grow and be patient to allow it to get a little taller than you would later in the season.

Allowing this initial growth to be a little higher will make your grass stronger.

Note that taller grass can also ward off weeds.

The longer blades of grass will prevent those nasty springtime weeds from proliferating and stealing a larger share of the nutrients from the soil.

2. Feed Your Grass

Additionally, it's a good time to throw down a fresh application of lawn fertilizer.

This will help boost the growth of new grass that was likely depleted of essential nutrients over the winter.

Do this in early spring - aim for the earlier part of April for best results.

Should You Lime Your Lawn in the Spring?

Spring is a great time to test your soil, and you can apply lime in the early spring.

Checking the soil's pH level is especially a good idea if it was a winter with a heavy amount of snowfall and where salt was used to melt the ice.

When you are able to determine if your soil has the optimal pH level, you can then improve the lushness of your lawn beyond the spring, but to also be as green in the summer.

Many people never bother to check the pH level of their soil and just accept having less-than-ideal "performance" of their lawn in the spring.

Don’t think that using an extra application of fertilizer with help improve your grass when the pH is off because when the soil is too acidic, it just can’t absorb nutrients effectively.

The minimal pH level is 5.5 with most types of grass doing its best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6 and 7.

So if your soil is within that range, you can skip doing an application of lime which amends the pH.

Once the proper pH is met, you will only need to apply lime once every few years.

How to Lime a Lawn

A few simpleliming tips should be considered before you begin.

There are several types of lime and your local garden center or lawn care specialist will be able to help with to you determine the best typefor your grass.

Consider lime which is in pellet form since it is easier to apply than powder.

Once you’ve chosen your lime product, refer to the label to determine the right amount. This will depend largely on your soil pH.

Use a spreader for applying the lime, then water it in lightly after your lawn treatment to help the soil absorb the product.

Spring Clean-Ups Prevent Pests

Cleanliness is key to early lawn pest control in the spring. Don't let them get an early start by doing a thorough spring clean-up of your lawn and garden.

Although it might be tempting to get started on the first sunny spring day, make sure you wait until the ground is not too soggy - otherwise, you may compact the soil and damage tender roots.

Make sure that your yard is free from pest attractants.

Once the ground is drier, you can gently rake away dead grass, blow the leaves, twigs and other debris.

Don't want to spend hours outside doing a Spring clean-up yourself?  If your home is in Oakville, just give Greenways Landscaping a call to let your local lawn care experts take care of it for you.

Call 905-464-5789

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How to Get Rid of Weeds in the Lawn – Oakville Lawn Care

get rid of weeds

How to Free Your Lawn of Weeds

For many people, the thought of a perfect, weed-free lawn brings to mind an image of a championship golf course.

It does in mine!!!

I guess because a nearly weed-free lawn is like the stuff of dreams.

When you think about the tenacity of weeds and the limitations for using chemicals, it’s a wonder anyone can win the war against these pesky invaders.

Did you know that just a single dandelion plant will make up to 15,000 seeds – each of which can survive for 6 years in the soil?

Consider that those same seeds can each create a new plant that will grow to create 15,000 more seeds once it sprouts and matures.

For years and years, synthetic herbicides were the first and most usual way to diffuse chronic weed problems. But when not used correctly, certain chemical weed killers can be dangerous to people, pets and even the turf.

Also – if you don’t bother to get at the true underlying problem(s) that are weakening your lawn and making it easier for weeds to invade –  you might have to apply chemical herbicides quite frequently.

The best way to control dandelions and other weeds in your yard is to grow and maintain a thick, vigorous lawn.

The more dense your grass is, the more it is able to crowd out weeds.

Denser lawns will also block the sunlight from getting to the weed seeds which they need to germinate.

If only a few weeds dot your lawn, changing your maintenance tactics might be all it takes to get rid of them. And if your efforts at hand-to-hand combat haven’t worked, take heart. There really is a way to pull out even stubborn dandelions so they don’t come back.

No single herbicide, weeding technique or lawn care tactic works against all weeds. How you attack the weeds in your lawn depends on which you have. Lawn weeds fall under three broad categories: unwanted grasses; grass-like plants called sedges; and broad leaf plants. Most are annuals or perennials. Annuals complete their life cycle in one season and reproduce from seeds. Perennials live several years and spread underground as well as by seed, making them harder to control.The following guide shows examples of the different types of weeds that plague lawns throughout the country. If you’re still stumped about whether yellow nutsedge or yellow woodsorrel has invaded your turf, call the extension service in your area for help from experts.

Most lawn weeds are opportunists that take root wherever they can find the space and catch a few rays of sunlight. These interlopers stand little chance of establishing themselves in healthy grass. That’s why a sensible lawn care plan will help stop weed problems before they have a chance to start.Fertilize enough, but not too much. Too little fertilizer can lead to sparse lawn that loses the competition with weeds. Too much helps nurture certain weeds, notably annual bluegrass, Bermuda grass and crabgrass. Strike a balance by following the application rates on the package. And use a fertilizer with a high percentage of controlled-release nitrogen, such as sulfur-coated urea, ureaform or IBDU. These provide a slow, steady nutrient supply.The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy lawns. Both vary depending on your lawn type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need only one or two applications of fertilizer annually—once in fall and sometimes a second time in spring. Southern grasses might require three feedings—early to midspring just after the grass greens up, early summer and again in early fall.Water grass infrequently and deeply. Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps annual bluegrass, crabgrass, chickweed, sedges and other weed seeds germinate. If you water too little, the lawn suffers while spotted spurge, Bermuda grass, quackgrass and other weeds adapted to drier soil thrive. Instead, provide your lawn with infrequent, deep soakings. Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Set an empty tuna can on the lawn to determine when you have applied 1 inch of water.Mow higher. Mowing too low weakens turf by reducing the ability of a grass leaf to produce enough nutrients. It also lets light hit the soil surface, which helps crabgrass and goosegrass seeds sprout and grow. Check with your local extension service for the recommended range of mowing heights for your grass type. Then mow at the highest level—usually between 2 and 4 inches.

Learn to read weeds. Sometimes weeds are a clue to soil or site problems. Correct them so your landscape favors lawn grasses and discourages weeds. For example, ground ivy grows best where the soil surface remains damp. It also thrives in areas too shady for good grass growth. So consider improving soil drainage by aerating—removing small cores of soil—if ground ivy is a problem. And, to allow more light to reach the surface of the soil, selectively remove tree branches in shady areas


Growing a healthy lawn with proper mowing and watering can keep weeds from sprouting. Here’s how to go after the weeds you have:

Hand-weeding is still the best defense on small lawns where the number of weeds isn’t overwhelming. It’s most effective against annual broad-leaf weeds. Pulling them while they’re young—before they flower and seed—is the simplest way to prevent them from spreading.

Catching perennial weeds early is crucial. Dandelions, for example, develop deep taproots that are hard to pull once they mature. Yank the entire plant, including the root—any root pieces left underground will grow new plants. If new sprouts grow, pull them repeatedly to eventually starve and kill the weed.

Weeding is easiest when the soil is moist. Tools like the dandelion digger help get at the root by probing deep into the soil. Once the weed is out, promptly reseed the bare spot; otherwise, new weeds will fill it in.

Perennial weeds such as dandelions should be pulled when they are young. When soil is moist, push a sharp spade or dandelion digger into the soil, angled downward toward the center of the plant, and loosen the soil around it. Use the tool to pry the weed upward while pulling it; try not to break off the roots. Once the weed and roots are out, smooth the soil, work in some compost, and patch the area with lawn seed. Keep the soil evenly moist until the grass is 1 inch high.

Use herbicides as a last resort—when nothing else works on a particular weed or when your lawn is completely overrun. And follow directions carefully. Used incorrectly, herbicides can injure or kill turf and other desirable plants.

If you use an herbicide, choose one that’s labeled as safe for the type of turf you’re growing and effective against the weeds you’ve got. The label states when and in which conditions to use the product. Some herbicides work only within a certain temperature range; others work only when applied at a specific time of year.

Herbicides fall into three major categories:

Preemergence herbicides kill germinating seeds before seedlings break through the soil. Crabgrass is the primary target. The most common preemergence herbicides are synthetic. Natural, nontoxic preemergence herbicides made from corn gluten are safer, though you might have to apply them for several seasons for them to be fully effective. Three quality products are Concern Weed Prevention Plus, WOW! and WeedzSTOP. A drawback to these and most other preemergence herbicides is that they kill germinating lawn seed. Check product labels carefully.

Postemergence herbicides kill existing weeds that are actively growing. These come in two basic forms: contact and systemic. Contact herbicides kill only the part of the plant they touch. Most act quickly and work best against annual weeds. Systemic herbicides circulate inside the plant, killing the whole thing. They’re more effective than contact herbicides on perennial weeds, though repeat treatments might be needed.

You also need to choose between selective and nonselective versions of systemic herbicides. Selective herbicides kill only certain weeds, while nonselective herbicides kill any green, growing plant, whether it’s a weed or not. Most broad-leaf herbicides, including products like Weed-Away and Weed Warrior, are systemic and selective to kill broadleaf weeds only. They won’t kill weedy grasses. Glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup and other products—is an example of a systemic, nonselective herbicide that kills broadleaf weeds and weedy grasses. But because it also kills turf and other desirable plants, it’s safest to use it on your lawn when you want to kill an entire section and then replant it. Finale, in which the active ingredient is gluphosinate ammonium, is another nonselective used for this purpose.

When using any postemergence herbicide, don’t apply them over your entire lawn, if possible. Instead, spot-treat isolated weeds or weedy patches.

Weed-and-feed products combine fertilizer and herbicides to do two jobs at once. But their promised labor savings can backfire if the recommended time for weed control doesn’t coincide with the best time and rates for fertilizing. Most also pose an herbicide-overdose risk when used for follow-up fertilizing. WOW Plus!, corn gluten with added organic fertilizer, is the safest weed-and-feed.

Whichever herbicide you use, follow the directions. Address the causes of weeds at the same time to keep new ones from growing. And reseed the bare spots left by dead weeds. The bottom line in the war against weeds: Care for your lawn and apply only what it needs—and only when necessary.


How to Prevent & Fix Dog Damage to Your Lawn

fix dog damage to grass

Plenty of Oakville homeowners have dogs.  One of the most common questions I hear is how to keep a beautiful looking lawn when you have a dog?

Well, if your dog is always going pee on your grass, you are going to see damage to your lawn.

Dog urine will cause yellow round spots caused by burns. It’s more of a problem with female dogs because of the way that they urinate. They squat!

Mature male dogs tend to like to lift their leg and pee on a bush, or around poles, and fence posts. They do this to mark their territory.

But females normally squat while urinating, and this causes a greater concentration on one area. Due to the high concentration of salt and urea, it causes a circular dead spot.

Normally a ring of healthy grass will surround the dead patch. This is caused by nitrogen in the dog’s urine, which acts as a fertilizer.

Best Way to Prevent Doggy Damage to Your Lawn

Create and keep one area in your yard where the dog can go to the bathroom. Having a graveled dog run will go a long way to help keep the majority of your lawn green and healthy.

If a dog run is not an option, keep a hose handy!

By watering the peed on grass immediately after your dog is done doing his/her business will dilute the urine and can prevent the burning damage from happening. But you need to do this pretty soon after the dog urinates, or it just won’t work.

And beware of drought.

When your lawn is very dry due to drought, the roots are just waiting to suck up moisture. So they will instantly absorb the urine and watering it right after may not mitigate the damage.

Nitrogen is the principle cause of lawn dog damage from pet urine. Roots are often waiting for water and will instantly absorb as much liquid as possible.

To prevent lawn dog damage, implement proper lawn irrigation techniques during dry periods to help lower incidents of burned spots.

Effects of Heavy Clay Soil and Dog Damage to Your Lawn

If your soil is compacted or is heavy clay – the soil doesn’t drain as well and this will lead to more lawn dog damage. This is due to the clay and compacted soil holding more moisture and nutrients in contact with roots longer.

On the other hand, by having well-draining soil – the type with a higher amount of sand and/or organic matter, will absorb moisture quickly and also allow it to seep down below the root zone faster.

Very sandy soils do not hold moisture for long, so the nutrients will also leach away from the roots more quickly.

To remedy clay soil, you need to add organic matter, such as compost. However, we do not recommend adding sand to clay soil. Unless the sand is added in the right amounts, you could actually create more problems than you solve. Adding too little sand can actually make clay rock hard.

So stick with compost.