FAQs

General Questions

We have been in business since 1988.  We are a family-owned and operated Canadian company with the goal of providing superior quality and unbeatable value.

Yes, Hometurf has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 1994 and we have consistently held an A-Plus rating.

As a professional business, we are licensed by the government and hold long-term memberships with the Professional Lawn Care Association and Landscape Ontario.

Aside from feedback from our customers, we have been honoured to win several awards for excellence in our field. These awards include: Consumers Choice Award for Best Lawn Care, Homestars Best of Award for Best Lawn Maintenance, Readers’ Choice Award for the Bloor West Villager and the Top Choice award for Best Lawn Care.

Yes, our goal is to help you create the lawn you have always wanted.  Homeowner maintenance habits and the weather play a large role in our service, however if you are ever unsatisfied with an application, let us know and we will complete that application again free of charge.

Yes, if for any reason you feel your most recent weed control application has been adversely affected by weather conditions please contact our office. We will be happy to reapply it at no charge.

Many of our treatments are not adversely affected by rainfall. Some, such as fertilization and seeding, actually benefit from the irrigation it provides. In some instances the effectiveness of weed control treatments may be diminished if heavy rainfall occurs within a few hours of application. If for any reason you feel your application has been adversely affected by rain, please contact our office. We will be happy to reapply your weed control application.

No, as long as there’s no problem with access to the backyard, we’ll just go ahead and do the application as scheduled. We’ll leave a sign on the front lawn and paperwork on the door or mailbox with your application information enclosed.

Following every treatment, notification is left stating what was applied and any special instructions regarding the treatment. As a general rule, cutting should be delayed for 24 hours. Watering can be done right away and is not harmful unless extremely excessive.

Applications are scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart for optimal turf care.  We follow a precise schedule to ensure that your lawn is getting the right dose of nutrients that it needs.  There will be a schedule included with the first application outlining the time frames for the individual service. Some applications will be done together e.g. Late spring fertilizer & weed control. A general outline of a year’s service is as follows:

Our customer service staff are always available to help.  We hold consistent office hours and always have knowledgeable staff available.  If there is a problem that our customer service staff cannot solve we will send a technician to your home to follow up.

Yes, all of our products are all natural and perfectly safe for pets and animals.   For liquid weed control applications we just ask that your pet stays off the lawn until the product has time to dry.

Ordering and Payment

If you got a letter that has your address on it, that is your price, you can verify this price by using our instant online quote, you are not obligated to order.

Our pricing is based strictly on the size of your property.  The smaller the lawn, the less expensive your program will be.   Geographic location has absolutely no bearing on our pricing. If your lawn is the same size as your neighbour’s you will always pay the same price, pricing will not fluctuate.

If you got a letter with your address on it, No, we acquire lot size information using the land survey. When forming the pricing, it is taken into consideration that there is a house, driveway & patio areas. These areas have been deducted from the lot size for pricing. Larger properties have been allowed larger areas for house & driveway. Pools, home additions and other changes a homeowner may make have not been allowed for. If you had a lawn analysis done, yes they physically checked the size of the property and made modifications to the size according to what the customer has on the property.

Ordering the program is easy.   Simply call our office and confirm your information with one of our friendly staff, fill out the online order form found HERE or mail in the bottom portion of the letter that you received.

If you order at the beginning of the season, your first application will occur in April/May once the snow has melted.   If you order mid-season, you will receive your first application within 2 weeks of ordering the service.

Payment can be made at the beginning of the year or in 4 installments throughout the season.  The majority of our customers pay upfront as there is significant cost savings in doing so.

Payment is due 30 days after the first application.  We accept cheques, Visa/MasterCard as well as online banking payments.

Yes! Simply add “hometurf” as a payee through your banking institution.   Your account number for online banking is on your renewal letter as well as all your work orders. Example: 13532BU.

Services

Part of our commitment to excellence is applying only the best professional products to your lawn.   We use the highest quality slow release granular fertilizer available.   This fertilizer is manufactured specifically for our use.  A slow release fertilizer ensures that your lawn always has the right amount of nutrients.

Just like with our fertilizer, our grass seed goes through an extensive research process to ensure that we plant only the best grass seed on your lawn.   All of our seed mixtures are a 100% certified Canada grade A mixture.  Certified grass seed is more expensive but ensures only the best seed is in the mix.   A certified seed guarantees a no weed presence.   Our seed will germinate within 2 weeks if it receives adequate moisture.  Just like our fertilizer, our grass seed is blended specifically for our use, you cannot buy it in stores!

We would never deter a customer from planting a good quality seed to repair heavy traffic areas or areas in need of repair.   Yes, we have small bags of seed available to our customers.  Just ask one of our staff.

AERATORROUNDThis is a non-chemical application where a machine is taken over the lawn pulling plugs or cores. This process loosens compacted soil allowing air, water and other nutrients to more easily reach the root zone. Cores breakdown over a two week period and help reduce thatch build up. Aerations are done from May to October excluding July or August depending on moisture levels, and grass growth rate.

Aeration is always beneficial even to an already healthy lawn. It is especially helpful to lawns that have been laid on mainly clay surfaces, most new lawns don’t have much topsoil. It is helpful to previously neglected lawns, not watered or cut properly. Any lawn that doesn’t seem to grow at a normal rate or grass that doesn’t seem to turn green even after being fertilized. It can be done on a yearly basis to help reduce thatch build up. It is not recommended for lawns with a high sand content, unless the sand is severely compacted.

Fiesta is a liquid selective herbicide (Reg. NO. 29535 P.C.P Act) which is derived from iron. Fiesta has no odour, works quickly, is rain-fast in 3 hours and works in cool weather.

DETHATCHINGROUNDDe-thatching is done with a machine that cuts vertically into the grass to loosen & remove dead grass build up. The removed thatch is then raked by hand, bagged in clear garbage bags and left at the curb. This process is quite traumatic for the grass and usually takes a few weeks to recover. De-thatching is usually performed in the fall. De-thatching in spring is not recommended as the ground is usually too soft and may cause damage.

Lawn Information - Common Weeds and Pest Grasses

CRABGRASSROUNDCrabgrass is not visible in early spring; it will start to appear in late spring depending on how hot spring has been. It is also not visible in the late fall. Crabgrass is a lime green colour starting off with short stubby leaves and is particularly noticeable around the boulevards and sides of driveways. It is easily recognizable in late summer when it sends off long shoots and may turn a red or purplish colour. Crabgrass is commonly confused with Quack or Field grass. These are green all season. Because Quack or Field grass is usually mixed with the good grasses it is impossible to kill these without damaging the good surrounding grasses. All lawns have some Quack or Field grass.

QUACKGRASSROUNDQuackgrass is a type of field grass that is present in varying quantities on almost every home lawn. This hardy, cool-season grass is one of the most difficult to eradicate and is commonly confused with crabgrass. It is clearly visible in early spring and fall, whereas crabgrass will not be present until June and die off at the end of the season. Since it is very closely related to the desirable grasses found in lawns, there is no non-selective control that will eliminate the quackgrass and leave the other good grasses untouched. If quackgrass presence is minimal, we recommend that the customers’ best recourse is to remove it by hand. Make sure to get all the roots, and replace the bare spots with seed. If quackgrass has taken over the entire lawn, then a non-selective control can be applied, killing everything on the lawn. After the waiting period has passed, then lawn renovation can begin.

thatchThatch is a build up of dead grass that creates a barrier between the surface and the soil. This makes it difficult for water and other nutrients to reach the soil level. Minor thatch problems can be kept under control by raking. We recommend that the customer rake the lawn twice per season, once in the spring and again in the fall, even if you have a mulching mower. Your lawn should receive 1- 1 1/2 inches of water per week, either by rainfall or irrigation. Watering in the morning is most beneficial. Cutting should be done on a regular basis making sure to never remove more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade in a single cutting. Aeration will also help to reduce thatch build up. If thatch is a serious problem de-thatching can be done for an extra charge.

Lawn Information – Turf Damaging Insects

GRUBSROUND“Grubs” typically refers to the larvae of the June Beetle, European Chafer or Japanese Beetle. These flying beetles lay their eggs on moist, healthy lawns mid- summer. During late summer and into the fall these grubs feed below the soil on the fibrous roots of turf grasses. As the root system is destroyed, sections of turf wilt, turn brown and can easily be pulled back to reveal grubs beneath.

grubsWhite grubs feed on the roots of the grass, so lawns will show wilting and browning of irregular shaped areas. Certainly there could be many reasons for lawns browning, especially in late summer when most grub damage occurs. Always check the root zone of affected areas for the white, c-shaped grubs. Carefully pull back the sod in suspect areas, in particular the marginal areas where brown grass meets green grass, and look for the grubs. Grub damaged turf will fold back easily. Secondary damage can be caused by skunks and raccoons digging up lawns in search of grubs to eat.

If a lawn is damaged by grub feeding or by skunks and raccoons feeding on grubs the lawn can be re- seeded. The best time to do this is in spring after the majority of the grub damage is done. Rake damaged area to remove dead grass. Uniformly broadcast a good quality lawn seed. Ensure that the seed is in contact with the soil by raking it in. Spread topsoil or compost over the seeded area. The seedbed should be kept moist until the seeds have germinated and the seedlings are well established. This may require a light sprinkling several times a day. Once the seedlings are established, routine mowing and lawn maintenance can resume.

Skunks and raccoons can make a mess of your lawn digging for grubs. You can help deter these creatures by placing moth balls or cayenne pepper over the damaged areas. Raccoons may also be scared away by motion activated sprinklers or porch lights.

The adult life stage of a grub is a flying beetle which can travel great distances before selecting a place to lay its eggs. These beetles typically select healthy areas of grass with full-sun exposure and adequate moisture levels. When these conditions exist, there is a possibility that at some point or another that a grub problem may arise.

LEATHERJKTROUNDLeather-jackets resemble short worms that are light grey to greenish brown with a black back. In the spring and summer this larvae will feed on the crowns, stems, roots and blades of turf. Watch for irregular shaped brown patches during April and May. The larvae can be found washed onto sidewalks after heavy rainfalls. The adult Crane Fly looks like a giant mosquito and is noticeable in mid September. Eggs are laid immediately and will hatch 10-15 days later. Newly hatched leatherjackets can be found by late September and will grow rapidly feeding until preparing to overwinter. Feeding will begin again in April and continue until mid June. There is no activity during the summer months. Treatments can be applied in the fall or early spring.

The adult Crane Fly looks like a giant mosquito but does not bite and is noticeable in mid September. Eggs are laid immediately and will hatch 10-15 days later. Newly hatched leatherjackets can be found in late September and will grow rapidly, feeding until time to over-winter. Feeding will begin in April and continue until mid June. There is no activity during the summer months. Treatments can be applied in the early spring or fall.

Please contact us if you require a quotation to have leatherjackets treated.

CHINCHBUGROUNDThe adult, a tiny black insect that kills the lawn by sucking on the grass stems. They enjoy hot dry weather conditions and can be found more often in the sunny areas of the lawn. Treatment time is July or August, keeping soil moist during this time can help deter the insect. Damage appears as dead irregular shaped patches occurring in hot, dry locations, but can spread to other areas. The dead grass in still firmly attached to the ground.

Lawn Information – Common Lawn Fungus

Some fungi which commonly effect Ontario lawns are listed in the FAQs below. These fungi can be challenging to eradicate and require time and care to successfully control them. No chemical treatments are available for these fungi/lawn diseases, fortunately these problems usually cause minimal lasting damage to the lawn. The best solution is to remedy the underlying environmental conditions which allows the fungi to flourish; removing thatch and reducing soil compaction with aeration, and following the tips listed below.

  • Water once per week for 2-3 hours at a time from 6am – 11am. This will give the lawn ample moisture at the soil level, while not allowing water to sit on the grass blades for a long period of time. With Necrotic Ring additional light watering in the afternoon is recommended.
  • Make sure to cut at regular intervals not allowing the grass to exceed three inches in length. If the grass becomes long it will begin to hang over capturing moisture and encouraging fungus disease.
  • Check your mower blade for sharpness. The average mower will require re-sharpening every six to eight cuttings. A dull blade will rip at the grass blades allowing fungus to be picked up on the frayed tips. Keeping the mower blade sharp will help in the prevention of leaf spot.
  • Rake out the lawn in late spring and early fall concentrating on the affected areas.
  • Re-seed the dead spots with rye grass and tall fescue, these are less susceptible to fungus damage. Apply seed generously and if necessary, add small amounts of topsoil to keep the seed in place.

Necrotic-Ring

Necrotic Ring
Appears as Brown rings 10cm to 1m in diameter. Grass inside the ring remains healthy. Affected grass will turn yellow, with traces of red/purple on the stem before dying out. Appears in cool, wet weather in spring and fall. Washing out affected areas with soapy water mixed with 3oz of Listerine can be helpful to disinfect the Necrotic Ring. This can be done every 4 weeks.

Summer-Patch-(Fusiarium-Blythe) 

Summer Patch (Fusiarium Blythe) 
Irregular brown patch on the lawn, often confused with fertilizer burns. Usually effects Kentucky Blue Grass between June and September, appearing when weather is dry/humid and warm.

rust

Rusts
Alternating weather patterns of cool and wet to hot and dry can cause Rusts, which appears as light yellow flecks on the leaves and sheaths, followed by reddish‐brown coloured spores. Rusts spores can be rubbed off easily, giving a reddish tinge to shoes and equipment.

Pythium-Blight

Pythium Blight 

When weather turns hot and humid, this fungi can grow extremely rapidly causing infection and discoloration in a matter of hours. Early symptoms include small dark spots about 2″ in diameter with a slimy or greasy texture and these spots can increase rapidly in size. During damp periods, such as early morning, the water soaked leaves collapse and become matted together by a fluffy white mass called mycelium. As the grass dries, the mycelium disappears and dead blades turn brown. Damaged areas will often appear as long streaks due to the spread of spores and mycelium by mowing equipment.

Leaf-Spot

Leaf Spot 
Leaf Spot occurs spring through summer during warm humid weather. Leaf spots are small dark purple to black spots on leaf blades. As the spots get larger the center turns a tan colour. As the temperature increases (above 28 C) the entire blade can appear dry and straw coloured. Leaf spots occur most often in lawns that are mowed too short.

Mushroom-1Mushrooms are found on almost every home lawn at one time or another. They will pop up after a heavy rainfall and may persist in areas where there is excess moisture. Most will dry up on their own once mowed or when weather conditions change. If mushrooms remain a problem, try raking out the affected area to allow better airflow, or rectify the drainage problem.

Drought will most likely effect every lawn at some point. With increasing water shortages during the driest summer months, watering bans will escalate the instances of drought stress in home lawns. You can prepare your lawn for the inevitable drought period by reducing thatch and compaction so that the maximum amount of water reaches the soil surface. Water in the early morning, once per week to a depth of 1-1½ inches. Use a pop or soup can to measure how much water the grass is receiving. Maintain these moisture levels for a month prior to the expected drought. When mowing never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single cutting, maintaining a height of 2-2½ inches. Early signs that the drought has hit include colour change to a dull gray or blue-green, footprints and mower wheel tracks remain for a period of time. Reduce traffic on the lawn, raise the mowing height to 3 inches, and increase watering on areas near buildings and other heat-reflecting surfaces.

If water-use restrictions are implemented, avoid mowing if signs of drought stress are present and the grass is not growing. This may result in permanent damage. Eliminate all traffic on the lawn.

Accept that your lawn will be dormant and brown until conditions improve. A healthy lawn can withstand regular periods of dormancy from 4-6 weeks and recover in 7-10 days with minimal damage when rains return.

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