Fixing Your Lawn for Fall

How To Revitalize Your Lawn for the Fall Season:

 

Step 1: Identify the problem areas in your lawn. This is the time to pull unsightly weeds before they get out of hand.

Step 2: Rake to remove thatch and any pulled weeds, exposing the surface of the soil.

Step 3: Top dress your lawn with a quality soil to maximize germination of new seeds. We recommend using VIVA LAWN® Repair Mix.

To top dress, apply a thin, even layer of the soil over the affected areas of your lawn. Evenly spread the soil ensuring the layer is no more than 1/2” deep and then work the soil into the grass until the grass peeks through.

Step 4: Overseed the area with a fertilizer and grass seed mixture best suited for your lawn. For deep, strong roots we recommend using Scotts® Turf Builder® Fall Lawn Food (32-0-10) with your grass seed of choice.

   

Step 5: Water deeply. Keep the seeded areas moist until the seed has a chance to germinate.

 

 

How to Care for a Small Backyard Pond, by Skye Black

Pond liner:

Once you have dug out the space for your pond, it is important to line it with a liner. Some good materials for pond liner are synthetic rubber and large sheets of plastic or fiberglass. Using a liner will prevent your pond from leaking. Your liner should get cleaned at least once a year to keep your pond in good shape. Once your liner is installed, cover it with a thick layer of sand to help keep it in place. Adding rocks and materials around the edge of your pond will also help keep the liner in place and prevent other water from entering the pond, so you can avoid contaminating your water.

 

Pump and filter:

It is very important to choose the right size pump for your pool. As a guideline, the pump should be circulating the entire volume of the pond every hour. Choose a location for your pump that ensures it won’t be blocked by debris or anything else that could stop the flow.

 

Your filter should also be sized to fit the volume of your pond. You should try to get a filter that is meant for a pond slightly bigger than yours to ensure the best filtration. There are different types of filters so choose the one that is best for your pond. Some are mechanical and filter out mostly debris while others use bacteria to break down waste in the water.

 

Fish:

Maintaining a healthy fish population is very important for your pond. Make sure you aren’t overpopulating your pond with fish. As a guideline, you should have 0.5”-3” of fish per 10 gallons of water. Having too many fish creates an imbalance in your pond. It is also important not to overfeed your fish as the uneaten food can cause algae blooms and unwanted waste in your pond. Choosing a food that floats on top and doesn’t sink to the bottom can also be better for cleaning out extra food.

 

Pond plants:

Ensure your pond is getting enough shade by covering half the pond or more with floating/emergent plants. This allows your pond to stay cool and stops algae blooms. They also provide protection for your fish. Add some oxygenating plants to ensure that your pond has enough oxygen. Make sure the plants are getting fertilizer as needed. For some great pond plants, check out our Benefits of Water Plants article.

 

Seasonal Care:

Your pond will need different types of care depending on the season. Here are some tips for taking care of your pond in every season.

 

Springtime:

  • Clean out the pond bottom removing any debris and muck from the bottom and washing the liner
  • Check for leaks or holes in the liner
  • Check the pump and filter to make sure they are still in good condition
  • Refill the pond and make sure it is clear of surface debris
  • Add your fish and plants back into the pond once there is no chance of frost
  • Cover most of your pond with floating plants for shade and add oxygenating plants to keep the water clear and the fish healthy
  • Feed your fish using a high carbohydrate food to get them active

 

Summertime:

  • Make sure you are checking your water level and adding water in small amounts as needed
  • Test water once a week using a testing kit. High levels of ammonia and other chemicals will kill your fish and plants
  • Remove debris and dead plants and check pumps and filters to make sure they aren’t clogged
  • The heat can reduce the oxygen in your pond. Adding a bubbler or fountain can help circulate the water and maintain proper oxygen levels.
  • Check fish health

 

Fall:

  • Keep the falling leaves out of your pond using a skimmer
  • Don’t feed your fish as often and stop feeding them once the water temperature is 50˚F
  • Remove fish and plants that are non-hardy and bring them indoors if you are keeping them for next year
  • Stop the pump and filter systems and disconnect them for the winter. Store them in a warm spot for the winter
  • Drain the water from the pipes so they don’t get damaged in the winter
  • You can also add Cold Water bacteria to keep your pond water clean and clear and reduce springtime maintenance

 

Winter:

  • Maintain a hole with some form of slow water circulation in your pond to keep leftover fish alive, allow gas exchange (fish need oxygen to survive!) and keep your pond from freezing
  • Do not feed your fish: their metabolism slows in cold water and they don’t need to eat. Feeding them will kill them.

Benefits of Water Plants: by Skye Black

No matter the size of your pond or water feature, aquatic plants will spruce it right up! Not only will they make it look great, but they have amazing benefits for your pond’s ecosystem. They are essential in preventing algae blooms, providing habitats, acting as a food source and filtering the water.

There are four types of aquatic plants: Floating, Submerged, Emergent and Shoreline.

 

Floating Plants

These are plants that float on top of the water or just below it. They have roots that either float or are in the soil at the bottom of the pond. Floating plants are best for reducing algae and improving water quality in your pond. They grow very quickly and because of this, they outcompete algae by using up nutrients and preventing light from entering the pond. Their roots are also a key habitat for fish eggs and they also help to protect newborn fish. Some awesome examples of floaters are: Water Hyacinths, Water Lettuce, Duckweed and Fairy Moss (Azolla).

Water Hyacinth                                                  Water Lettuce

 

Submerged Plants

Submerged plants grow beneath the surface of the water. They are also known as oxygenating plants because they filter pond water and keep it clear and algae free. In addition, they filter out pollutants in the water to keep it safe for all the different species that live in ponds. Their leaves provide shelter for fish and release oxygen into the water. Animals also use submerged plants as a source of food and their waste is reabsorbed by the plants to outcompete algae blooms. Some must have oxygenating plants are: Hornwort, Water Thyme (Elodea), Camboda, Eelgrass, Pondweed, Egeria and Parrot Feather.

Eelgrass                                                                  Pondweed

 

Emergent Plants

Emergent plants have roots in the soil at the bottom of the pond, but their leaves and stems are visible above the water surface. They are usually found closer to the edge or shore of the pond. They can help improve the look of your pond as quite a few of them have spectacular flowers. They are extremely important to pond ecosystems as they provide habitats and are a source of food for animals like fish, birds and insects. They also help to filter soil and absorb important nutrients. If you want flowering emergent plants, try: Water Lilies, Canna Lilies, Pickerel Rush, Cattails, Bulrushes or Arrowheads.

Water Lily                                           Canna Lily

 

Shoreline Plants

Shoreline plants prefer that their roots are not in water, but they can handle being very moist or flooded. They are common around bigger ponds and lakes but can also be planted around small ponds as well. They protect and surround the water and help stop erosion and harmful runoff. They are another great habitat for animals and provide great areas for spawning. Some awesome native shoreline plants are listed below:

Trees:

Balsam Fir

Red, Silver and Sugar Maples

White Birch

Larch

Hemlock

White Spruce

White and Red Pine

White Cedar

 

Shrubs:

Serviceberry

Black Elderberry

Sumac

Ninebark

Juniper

Winterberry

Witchhazel

Dogwood (Red-Twig and Alternate-Leaf)

Canada Yew

 

Vines:

Virginia Creeper

Riverbank Grape

Virgin’s Bower

 

Perennials:

Beebalm

Beardtongue

Foamflower

Cardinal Flower

Joe Pye Weed

Wood Fern

Coreopsis

Tickweed

Milkweed

Wild Columbine

Anemone

Hyssop

It is very important when choosing water plants and shoreline plants that you avoid invasive species. These can be detrimental to ecosystems as they outcompete native plants and are usually very fast-growing and quickly take over ponds and surrounding areas.

 

Preventing Algae Blooms using Water Plants

 Algae is the product of an imbalanced ecosystem in your pond. Algae develops from feeding on excess nutrients in the water and sunlight. The first step is to have a developed shoreline area to stop runoff into your pond. This drastically reduces phosphorous in your pond which is essential for algae growth. To reduce sunlight, plant fast growing floaters in your pond to provide shade. Make sure you have lots of submerged plants to provide oxygen for your pond and to absorb the excess nutrients that the algae needs to grow. If there are fish in your pond, do not over feed them because those nutrients can promote algal growth.

Having a pond in your backyard is a great way to give back to the environment. You are creating an ecosystem and by keeping your pond healthy you create habitats and an area where all sorts of species can thrive and grow!

July Update: Covid-19 Shopping Guidelines

As the province gradually re-opens and lifts restrictions, we will continue to make changes to our Covid-19 Shopping Guidelines.

*Masks are required to shop at this point. However, if you do not have one, we are now able to offer them at the entrance for $2, with all profits donated to our local food bank.  If you are unable to wear a mask, we will do our very best to bring the items you need to the exit/checkout for payment so you don’t have to enter the store.  Or please call and we can arrange for non-contact curbside pick-up.

*We are now processing credit vouchers for dead plant guarantees. There is a **NEW PROCEDURE*** this year. Please bring in a good quality picture of your dead plant and your RECEIPT for an in-store credit voucher.  Please DO NOT BRING IN YOUR DEAD PLANT.  You will not be able to leave it at Canadale.  If you’re not sure what guarantees your plant has, see a copy of our guarantee policy at https://canadale.ca/store-policies/

*Our public washrooms are still unavailable but we have provided a port-a-potty for customer emergency use in the parking lot.

Store Hours

Mon – Sat. 9am – 5pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm 

(These hours allow us some time before and after your shopping experience to sanitize and restock. Thank you for your patience).

To Do List: August in the Garden

Perennial Garden Summer

During these lazy days of summer it may seem like our work in the garden is done and we can now sit back and enjoy all the hard work we put into our yard earlier in the year. For those gardening die hards, that would be terrible news! Luckily, there’s always something that can be done in the garden. In fact, there are several tasks that should be done now to prepare for the lovely autumn season.

  • Continue watering your plants. The arrival of cooler weather doesn’t mean your trees and shrubs don’t need to be watered. They should, in fact, be well watered!
  • Continue weeding your plants so they don’t have to compete for water and nutrients.
  • Refresh mulch in dry and spare areas of your garden.
  • Remove diseased foliage now and dispose of it in the garbage. You don’t want that hanging around and getting mixed into your fall leaves (especially if you use them as compost or mulch!).
  • Start pruning summer flowering shrubs as he flowers die off.
  • Add plants for fall colour (like Rudbeckia, Burning Bush or Boston Ivy).
  • Label plants, especially perennials that die back over winter.
  • Continue to deadhead as needed.
  • Continue to water and fertilize annuals. Replace tired and spent annuals with garden mums or other fall plantables.
  • Start planning where you’ll plant your spring bulbs and which you’d like to try this year (tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc).
  • Continue harvesting your vegetables. Keep staking those huge tomato and bean plants. And sow any fall crops you’d like to enjoy (kale, cabbage, spinach, radish, etc).
  • Pick herbs for using fresh or for preserving {INSERT https://canadale.ca/drying-herbs/   Learn more about extending the harvest!}
  • Aerate and dethatch your lawn. Reseed any bare spots. If it’s been a wet summer it’s a good time to fertilize it as well.