The inventory of city-owned Parks and green space continues to grow each year, as the city grows.

Currently, we maintain approximately 3,000 acres of turf across the city which differs in size, location and classification - and we spend about $1 million annually to ensure that these popular places are maintained so that our residents and visitors can enjoy them.

To ensure that we're maintaining our parks and green spaces on a regular basis throughout the warmer months, nearly 30 city staff spread out across the city to work on one of 14 grass-cutting routes.

Of course, this work depends on such variables as weather conditions (too wet or too dry), large amounts of litter and staff and equipment allocations - so we respectfully ask for your patience.

For general inquiries about the city's turf maintenance practices, please call 
            519-741-2514      .

Tips for a Healthy Lawn

A healthy lawn is the best prevention against weeds. Below are some tips you can use throughout the season to have a healthy, weed resistant, natural lawn.

In the spring:

  • Do a light raking to remove debris and some excessive thatch. Thatch can be beneficial to your lawn but can cause problems with root growth if it's too thick.
  • It's important to aerate your lawn. This process removes small cores of soil which allows water, air and nutrients to penetrate the soil to the roots.
  • Apply of a fertilizer with the right mix of nitrogen, potassium and phosphate will help feed your lawn. Consider slow release vs. fast release and apply carefully to avoid "burning" your lawn.
  • Make sure your lawn mower is properly maintained including sharpening your mower blades, and raising the mower height. This helps your lawn build healthy roots.
  • Overseeding and top-dressing help build a thicker lawn and provide increased nutrients to your lawn. This is particularly important if you have aerated.
  • Remove weeds before they go to seed. Pesticides are not necessary in many cases.

In the summer:

  • Don't cut your lawn to less than 3". Longer grass means longer roots that hold moisture better and shades soil to reduce evaporation.
  • Your lawn is the best place to compost grass clippings, so let them fall. They return valuable nutrients to the soil.
  • Continue to hand pull weeds as required. A healthy lawn will resist the intrusion of weeds.
  • Follow local water restrictions - only water your lawn when necessary. Your lawn only needs 1", once a week.

In the fall:

  • Aerating can also be done in the fall and can benefit compacted soil by helping oxygen, water and nutrients reach the roots. It is beneficial to overseed and topdress after aeration.
  • In the fall you may choose to mow your lawn at a lower height. Because of the cooler weather your grass will grow better and does not need as much protection and shade. A shorter lawn also makes leaf removal easier and mulching leaves on your lawn will provide valuable nutrients.

For healthy, pesticide free lawn:

  • Consider converting a portion of your lawn to a nitrogen fixing species such as clover.

  • Consider replacing all or part of your lawn with diverse native species such as low growing groundcovers, shrubs, trees and plants.

  • Also consider adding a vegetable, herb and fruit garden to your yard.

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