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The news of the impending salt shortage is out. After an active winter of precipitation last year that already depleted salt supplies before the spring, along with the unexpected ice storm in April which spanned several days, a recent press release from Landscape Ontario points out that the current effects of the salt inventory shortage are real and being realized in the Central to Mid-West United States as well as throughout the entire province of Ontario.

Here’s how we got here:

Goderich, Ontario is home to the world’s largest mine producing road salt. But according to Total Landscape Care, after a 12-week strike from April to July, the amount of salt harvested has been reduced by almost 40 percent which significantly diminishes the distribution to those who work in snow management. According to the Independent Free Press, government municipalities like the town of Halton Hills have a set contract with their salt supplier that will last until the 2021-2022 season. These contracts take precedence over private landscape contractors and commercial owners due to liability issues on sidewalks and public areas.

Cargill, another salt mine in Cleveland, Ohio, also has depleted salt reserves due to a leak that disrupted their ability to extract the salt. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, salt prices have already almost doubled. And those companies who do not have enough salt secured before the winter will see even greater price increases from salt suppliers as more and more private companies scramble to purchase the needed amounts through the long winter months, thus passing those price increases onto their customers. Salt is currently being brought in from all over the world to try to meet the demand, which is further adding to the already higher costs.

Here is what we’re doing at Garden Grove:
With our dedication to best practices and salt supply management, along with our investment in relationships within Landscape Ontario, the Snow and Ice Association (SIMA) and the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA), we maintain current and accurate information on matters and are able to plan months in advance so that we can be proactive concerning our commitment to serving our clients better.

As a Garden Grove team we are working very closely with industry and salt producers/suppliers to secure the necessary salt inventory resources needed as we prepare for this coming winter, which is including sourcing salt from unconventional sources at higher prices.

While we know that salt is essential to ensure safety, we continue to work on creative solutions to curb our consumption and need for salt. For years now we’ve been working to increase our ability and use of liquid deicer’s by either mixing them with bulk material or, in some cases, replacing salt with them altogether. Our snow teams have the appropriate training, experience, and expertise to properly administer salt and deicing products and equipment as needed for our client properties. Proper use ensures the correct application rate is applied to pavement at the correct time, helping to eliminate waste and extend the life of our existing salt resources. We are also working with our clients to confirm service areas to eliminate waste, as well as developing a multi-pronged strategy involving both technology and best-management practices that will ensure we can properly handle everyones needs.

We are committed to working tirelessly through these challenges to ensure the success of our client properties and relationships. In the coming weeks we will be sharing more on the status of our salt supply and what we have done to secure resources at updated pricing for this coming winter. We look forward to our continued partnership with our clients and working together to win the winter of the 2018-19 season!

Your Garden Grove Snow Team!

Written by David Lammers

David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at david@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post The Salt Scramble – End of September Update appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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We’ve done it again! As of August 20, 2018, Garden Grove Landscaping Inc. has been certified to the SN 9001:2016 International Quality Standard.

What do all those numbers mean? The SN 9001:2016 International Quality Standard is a certification given by a third party auditor to evaluate a company’s commitment to a process which produces quality products or services, provides on-time delivery and meets customer expectations. Through this process, we are also given independent feedback to ensure that we are constantly improving in our business and providing the very best we have to offer.

In 2015, we were Canada’s 1st snow management company to receive this certification. The evaluation process cycles every three years, and we were pleased to adhere to the updated certification standards this year.

What does this mean to Garden Grove clients? As our valued client, this certification backs up our dedication to excellent customer service and reliable job satisfaction. In the coming winter months, snow management becomes top priority. Garden Grove Landscaping knows our clients concerns and individual needs vary with each specific property. We welcome the challenges each unique property brings – to provide exemplary safe snow removal and management.

Our ISO 9001 certification highlights the strengths of our company as we daily serve our customers. Please call today and see how Garden Grove Landscaping can turn your commercial or multi-residential “snow problem” into “no problem”.

Garden Grove SN Certification Snow & Ice Management

Written by David Lammers

David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at david@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post Garden Grove Re-certified as (#ISO9001 ) -Certified Organization appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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Most people know that composting is good for the earth, but most people don’t know exactly what it means to compost and how or when to use it. We know it’s good…but that’s about it!

Garden Grove is working to reduce our carbon footprint by producing our own onsite compost. The decomposition of organics in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas that, according to the EPA, is 70 times more effective at trapping radiant heat than carbon dioxide.

Compost is decayed organic matter used as a plant fertilizer. Any compost should have a good mix of brown and green plant matter, (as landscapers, we’ve got a good line on this stuff!).

Compost helps loosen clay soils, helps retain water in sandy soils, and adds nutrients almost anywhere it is used. Whether dug into the topsoil or placed periodically on top (a practice called top dressing), compost should lessen the need for chemical fertilizers.

Compost will help the soil retain moisture and will increase your overall earthworm and microbial population, which serve as biological controls against unwanted pests, so seeing earthworms or other insects is a good sign, because it shows it can support life.

Compost can be used on commercial or multi-residential properties. It is good for flower beds, vegetable gardens, containers, tree beds, and even raked onto lawns to boost fertilization of the grass. And there’s no bad time for us to add it. Fall is a great time to replenish the ground to prepare plants for the harsh winter, and Spring is a logical time to get new life off to a good start with the right nutrients. If you have any questions, please ask us how composting can benefit the health and look of your exterior any time of the year.

Written by David Lammers

David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at david@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post The Right Stuff appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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What a glorious Canada Day weekend we had! The weather couldn’t have been better or hotter to celebrate our nation’s birthday! We hope you were able to get outside with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors and explore (or relax) in all the beauty our country has to offer.

Every town has their own special way of celebrating Canada Day, and here in Waterdown, we have our annual Canada Day Waterdown Ribfest. Vendors come from all over to serve up the best ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and BBQ chicken with all the fixings. Bands play music to keep the crowd dancing and enjoying themselves. Rides and bouncy castles are set up for the kids, and bubble soccer fills the local baseball diamond for the young or the young-at-heart to have some fun.

Every year, locals and out-of-towners enjoy all aspects of the Ribfest. This year, Garden Grove sponsored the VIP tent at the Ribfest and hosted clients and staff to enjoy the festivities. The Waterdown Rotary put on a great time for everyone who attended. Staff were able to kick back and enjoy some downtime after a busy and difficult spring schedule. Thanks to our Garden Grove community for all your hard work and dedication throughout the year! You are very appreciated!

Written by David Lammers

David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at david@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post Garden Grove at the Canada Day Ribfest appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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Since the ban on pesticides, dandelions are having their way with our lawns. And the bigger the property, the bigger the problem. Some people might think we’re fighting a losing battle, but with the right arsenal, weeds can be eliminated. Here is a three-fold plan of attack every property manager needs to win the war on weeds.

One: The Root of the Problem
Weeds thrive on weak, thin soil. Unhealthy soil is the perfect breeding ground for dandelions. So the first line of defence is a combination of aerating, top dressing and over seeding. This one, two, three punch can do wonders in preparing your soil to fight off the weeds that are desperate to overtake your lawn.

Two: Healthy Living
Like other plants, grass needs to be nourished. Soil fertility and pH levels impact the health of your lawn. When the calcium levels and pH are low and the potassium and nitrogen levels are high, dandelions thrive. Too much nitrogen (i.e. fertilizer) can be ineffective because weeds absorb the fertilizer better that grass and can make the problem even worse. Soil fertility varies from place to place. Have a landscape maintenance professional properly check these levels to assess what your ground needs, working towards the goal of long-term sustainable results.

Three: The Perfect Weapon
The final blow to weeds is an effective weed killer. Companies have been getting creative in coming up with eco-friendly yet powerful products that get the job done. Neudorff North America are specialists in low-risk, environmentally friendly pest control and have developed an innovative, iron-based weed killer called Fiesta. We have experienced great results with this product, and it works quickly. This weed killer in conjunction with healthy soil and a regular, recurring spring and fall plan, is the perfect combination to fight neglected lawns.

Pesky dandelions don’t have to ruin the look of your property. Garden Grove will help you put an end to your weed problem and leave you with a beautiful, healthy expanse of green.

Written by Joel Smith

Joel Smith is a Client Care Manager at Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Joel may be contacted at joel@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post The War on Weeds appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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With warm weather we can rely on, leaves on the trees and flowers in the ground, everyone is enjoying their time outdoors. It takes a lot of hard work to get your property up to snuff after the harsh winter and the unpredictability of early spring, so maintaining your look is a huge priority. Now onto the next battle…weeds!

To keep your plants healthy, always cover the flower beds with mulch. Mulch discourages weed growth. It’s the fight every gardener faces. And while the mulch inhibits weeds from growing, it also locks moisture into the ground and prevents the moisture from evaporating. This give plants a better environment to grow and improves the fertility of the soil. Less weeds and better soil? Sign me up! The only caution with mulching is not to mulch around newly planted young annuals as this will inhibit their growth.

There are many different varieties and colours of mulch. Popular choices are brown, black and cedar or red colours. Any of these options add a pop of colour to the garden areas and choosing one is really just based on personal preference. Black or brown blend in more and have a natural look, while red is eye-catching and can provide a striking contrast to plants and shrubbery.

Mulch sizes vary from thin strands to large coarse chunks. Laying it two to three inches deep will provide a good barrier for the soil and keep the mulch in place to prevent it from eroding away.

When an area is mulched properly, the property looks neater. The edges are better defined and once summer starts to really heat up, it keeps the gardens from looking dried out and parched. Whatever option you pick, mulching is the best way to protect your gardens and keep them looking fresh all season long.

Written by David Lammers

David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at david@gardengrove.ca or 1-866-996-1099.

The post Magic Mulch appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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Spring has sprung, and gardeners – amateurs and professionals alike – are outside making the most of the beautiful weather. As Canadians, we’re known for our love of the outdoors, and beautifully landscaped areas are one way to show the love.

The benefits of a colourful and well-maintained garden aren’t tangible but they are unmistakeable. Eye-catching landscape design shows that the property owners care about welcoming others, and that’s felt in both residential and commercial settings.

While we’re waiting around for our perennials to blossom, annuals can inspire us with their eager blooms. And since annuals only last one season, each year you can try something new to keep things fresh and fun. Try monochromatic one year, and use complementary colours the next. This year, use tall blooms and next year use plants that stay low to the ground. Even with one particular type of flower there are a host of different colours to choose from to keep things interesting.

Annuals allow for a lot of creativity and experimentation. Express yourself and inspire those around you in a simple yet effective way. Your garden can become a destination that observers look forward to seeing change from year to year!

Pick the highest traffic areas of your building such as the entrance way and frontage areas with signage. These areas make a great first impression when visitors come on your property. Make these areas pop with a combination of bright annuals mixed in with your perennials. Containers are great for displaying your annuals too, and can be adapted as the seasons change.

When planting in the ground, finding the right annual depends on the type of soil and sun available. Observe your property during the day to see where the sun is strongest. What is your soil like? Is it a dark, rich colour or is it dry and dusty? Speak with a professional about your vision for your garden and how to make it a reality. After only a few quick decisions and some time spent outside, you’ll create a space that you can be proud of and others can enjoy.

The post Planting an Annual Tradition appeared first on Garden Grove Landscaping.

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