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Why snow removal is important for Calgary residents

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Why snow removal is important for Calgary residents

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The winter season in Calgary can be extremely erratic. Snow storms and freezing temperatures to sunny chinook days are the norm. Snow removal in Calgary is extremely important to stay on top of. We have outlined some tips and tricks that will help you deal with snow removal in Calgary this winter. 

Keeping your sidewalk and walkways clear of ice and snow is the safest thing to do for your fellow neighbours in Calgary. Snow removal in Calgary is extremely important to ensure you don’t have any accidents or mishaps occur on your property. It is required by law and it is a City of Calgary bylaw to remove the snow on your property within 24 hours. If anyone slips or falls on your property and you have failed to remove the snow, it is your responsibility. 

Below are 4 simple, yet very important reasons why snow removal in Calgary is extremely important:


1. Promotes a healthy relationship with your Calgary neighbours!

Removing the snow on your walkway is a kind gesture that your neighbours will really appreciate. If they are going above and beyond to ensure the snow out the front of their home is cleared and you are failing to do the same, expect some serious issues to follow. We find that if you tend to your snow removal, your Calgary neighbour usually follows suit. 

Many snow removal services in Calgary offer a discount if you book with your neighbour!

2. Prevents unwanted accidents

Whether you live in SW Calgary, SE Calgary, NE Calgary or NW Calgary, your home is still a part of the greater Calgary community. It is important to take care of the people who live around you and who are visiting your neighbourhood. It is extremely essential to clear away the snow in your front paths and sidewalks for pedestrians to walk freely. It ensures there are no accidents or injuries occur directly outside your home. 

3. Avoids Lawsuits - Because no one wants to spend their time at the Calgary courthouse

Removing snow from such areas as sidewalks, front paths and driveways will avoid any injuries, which could result in a lawsuit. If someone falls or slips on your property (or directly out the front of your property), they can take legal action against you. 

If you feel as though your lifestyle and work schedule cannot keep up with the 24-hour City of Calgary bylaw, we recommend hiring a snow removal service in Calgary. 

4.Keep Burglars Away!

Leaving your walkways, sidewalks and driveways covered in snow is inviting more than slipping and walking hazards.  It signals to thieves who may be looking who is at home or who is away for the holidays. Keep your home free and clear of snow and ice.  If you are planning on going away on vacation having snow regularly cleared to make it look like someone home is always a good idea. 

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6 tips and tricks to deal with snow removal in Calgary

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

6 tips and tricks to deal with snow removal in Calgary

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The winter season in Calgary can be extremely erratic. Snow storms and freezing temperatures to sunny chinook days are the norm. Snow removal in Calgary is extremely important to stay on top of. We have outlined some tips and tricks that will help you deal with snow removal in Calgary this winter. 

1. Follow the City of Calgary snow removal bylaw

The most important thing when removing snow in Calgary, is following the bylaws put in place by the City. You must remove snow and ice from public sidewalks boarding your home within 24 hours of snowfall ending. This includes the paths and sidewalks directly next to and adjacent to your home. 

The penalties from failing to remove snow from your Calgary home is a fine of $250 for the first offence, $500 for the second offence and $750 for a third offence. 

You are also responsible for ensuring that no one falls or slips on your property. This means placing down ice melt after you have shovelled snow on your Calgary home. Be diligent and remove snow from your Calgary home within 24 hours of snow fall. 

2. Use a good shovel

Shovelling snow during a Calgary winter can be exhausting. It becomes even more exhausting when you have a terrible shovel. If you don’t have a high-quality shovel to work with, you’re just making it harder for yourself and your body. Purchasing a high-quality shovel like True Temper or Grant Yukon will allow you to get the job done. 

If you’re local to Calgary, please try and purchase from small local hardware stores located in Calgary. Our favourites are Gregg Distributors : they are Canadian owned and founded in Alberta, or Equipment Express – Deal in power equipment (snow throwers/blowers, Sweepers).

3. Are you a Calgary resident banking on a chinook to remove your snow? Think again!

One of the biggest perks of living in Calgary are the chinooks we receive every few days. There really is nothing like experiencing weather in the positives after a week of -20 degrees Celsius. We have heard many people banking on a chinook to “naturally” remove their snow. Although a chinook is great for melting snow, it can actually be more dangerous than you think. A chinook tends to simply melt the snow just enough for it to turn into ice again when it dips below zero. This is a recipe for disaster and makes it more difficult to remove. Freezing ice is also extremely dangerous and if you have a Calgary home in a high traffic area, you run the risk of an accident occurring on your Calgary property. It is simple, practice good snow removal immediately!

4. Invest in a good quality ice melt

There are loads of different options for effective snow removal ice melt. There is salt, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, and urea. It is important to learn about each ingredient and product you are using before purchasing them. Some ice melts can be harmful to pets, damage plants and event damage the flooring in your home. 

Rainfall Landscapes uses a unique mix that is 100% natural, does not harm your pets, plants, garden or home. 

5. Shovel snow often

This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you leave removing snow until the next day after snowfall, the snow may start to compact, stick to the ground and it may even begin to freeze. The more and quicker you shovel the snow, the easier it becomes. The snow is still light and fluffy, allowing you to remove it easier. 

6. Has the Calgary winter got you exhausted? Invest in a snow blower!

If you’re over shovelling the snow in front of your Calgary home every day, consider investing in a snow blower. Snow blowers can make the job a little easier for you. Although it is an easier option, it is definitely more expensive. Snow blowers can be $1,000 + and require routine maintenance. 

If this isn’t an option, we recommend investing in a local snow removal company located in Calgary, such as Rainfall Landscapes (cough, cough). This will allow you to not have to worry about a thing. When it snows, we are there to clean up the mess!

1. Follow the City of Calgary snow removal bylaw

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Keep your lawn looking lush this summer, with these 6 easy tips!

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RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

Share this article Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on google Summer has arrived in full force. Amongst the lake days, BBQ’s and backyard parties, it’s easy to forget about proper lawn maintenance. Summer can either make or break your lawn, so it’s important to give the nutrients and TLC it deserves. Here are 6 tips to keep your lawn looking lush and green all summer long!
1. Keep Blades Sharp

Always make sure your cutter/mower’s blades are sharp. You can easily sharpen up any blades to make them perform like new. Sharper blades will provide you with a cleaner cut and ensure that all grass grows back at an even length. Sharper blades also mean you will spend less time mowing your lawn, saving you energy, time and fuel!

Before After
2. Don’t cut grass too short!

Although we usually suggest that you mow lower during spring, we recommend cutting a little higher during summer. Cutting your lawn at least 3 inches tall all summer will ensure the grass is healthier throughout the season. The higher length keeps the soil in the shade and out of direct sunlight. This allows the roots of the grass to not suffer from the suns harsh rays and protects the nutrients in the soil, allowing the grass to grow healthier.

3. Water at dawn!

We recommend getting a rain gauge to measure the weekly water supply: which should be about one inch. For weeks when the heat is highly severe, you can supply more water to the lawn. To prepare the lawn for droughts, it is advised that you water deeply and less frequently too. Finally, make sure you are watering early in the day or just after dawn. Since the sun isn’t scorching or providing too much heat yet, the water will be absorbed better instead of evaporating.

4. Use a good fertilizer!
To fertilize, or not to fertilize. This is one of the biggest questions on the minds of homeowners tending to their lawns. You should fertilize the lawn just before summer comes knocking. Choose slow-release fertilizers and make sure you fertilize your lawn every 6 weeks. This application should keep the grass going for long into the summertime. It is important to remember that every fertilizer is different as they serve different types of grass with different purposes. We don’t recommend purchasing any old fertilizer in hopes to fix your lawn. At Rainfall Landscapes, we have an array of various fertilizers that nurture and care for your lawn. Reach out to us if you have any questions or need assistance!
5. Disease Control
Fungal diseases are common in the summertime, but you can avoid them. To avoid any fungal diseases, it would be in your best interest to not water the lawn in the evenings. Watering in the mornings allows moisture levels to remain low, which will reduce the chances of fungal diseases. No matter how much we try, though, these diseases sometimes find a way to just creep upon us. If that happens, there is no problem with applying fungicides to the lawn.
6. Weed Control
Controlling weeds throughout the summertime is the best way to decrease weeds all year round. Spotting weeds in your garden and lawn can be tricky at times. Inconsistency in color and texture of your grass is always a big sign of weed presence. It is always easier to spot weeds after you have mown the lawn, so applying weed killer post-mow will be beneficial. Spraying weed killer can also be damaging to your lawn, so finding the right spray that coincides with your lawns needs is extremely crucial. Reach out to Rainfall Landscapes if you need assistance or have any questions about weeds.

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Featured in Calgary Business Podcast: Episode 162 | Aleks Bradasevic | Rainfall Landscapes

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

Featured in Calgary Business Podcast: Episode 162 | Aleks Bradasevic | Rainfall Landscapes

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Calgary Business Podcast is focused on meeting Calgary business owners, educators, influencers and other business leaders based in Calgary to discuss issues of importance to them. Recently, CEO and owner of Rainfall Landscapes, Aleks Bradasevic was a guest on the Calgary Business Podcast. Listen to the podcast to learn more about Rainfall Landscapes and how they navigated through the COVID pandemic.

See transcript below: 

Allen Wazny: Thanks for listening to the Calgary business podcast. During the Covid-19 crisis, everyone is negatively impacted and one sector of society that may be easily forgotten, are the clients and customers of the Calgary food bank. On 24th of February this year, I had the pleasure of having the CEO of Calgary food bank, Mr. James McAra on my podcast. From that discussion, I understand that their operation is highly dependent upon workers and volunteers handling and passing along large volumes of food supplies to its clients. Health and safety is top in mind during this pandemic and the Calgary food bank staff have taken steps to ensure that all parties, including its staff, volunteers, and clients are safe in this critical supply of food stuffs. If you’re donating or considering on making a donation to the Calgary food bank during the COVID-19 crisis, take some time to think about those excess cleaning liquids, rubber gloves, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, safety goggles, or other healthcare protective equipment that you can donate. Once again thanks for listening to the Calgary business podcast. Stay safe.

Allen Wazny: Aleks,

Aleks Bradasevic: Allen.

Allen Wazny: Good afternoon, and welcome to Calgary business podcast. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Hey, thanks for having me. 

Allen Wazny: So the classic worked from home, you got the dog barking. Mine will go probably in a few minutes. Yeah. So welcome. So I want to get your last name. Is it Bradasevic? Do I get that right? 

Aleks Bradasevic: Bradasevic. 

Allen Wazny: c’mon I thought I’d get it. So look, your company is Rainfall Landscapes and your dog is what breed? 

Aleks Bradasevic: Shih Tzu

Allen Wazny: Oh yeah. I like those little guys. Okay. So we’re getting distracted, but episode number 162, welcome. So look Aleks, just tell us a little bit about the history of Rainfall Landscapes and we’ll go from there. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Okay. Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve only been, the company was founded in 2018 by myself. Yeah, it’s just been kind of like a startup. 

Allen Wazny: But you were doing something, cause I don’t know your history. So maybe what’d you do before? Were you’re always a landscaping guy? 

Aleks Bradasevic: No, I did landscaping when I was younger, when I was 18 and then I actually went to school for chemical engineering technology.  I had to go to work into the oil field to do like process designs. But unfortunately with what happened in 2014, I ended up actually losing my job and couldn’t end up finding any work in my actual line of work. So went back… 

Allen Wazny: So you pivoted, you look for the pivot. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. I look to the pivot and I’m like, Oh, I need to find something that’s going to be kind of stable and not going to have all these like massive fluctuations and not going to have massive amounts of government interference it seems. 

Allen Wazny: So you went back to school, like you got your chemical engineering degree, that I’m ready to go work in the oil patch and then boom!  2014, the prices tanked. For me, I was working overseas in the middle East and they went from a, this was North Sea brand was $110 a barrel to $30. So Canadian oil was probably much lower.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. That’s exactly right. 

Allen Wazny: So where’d you go? So then you went back and what’d you study then the second time?

Aleks Bradasevic: I actually didn’t go back. I actually just went right into back into like lawn care landscaping. At first, I didn’t actually start rainfall. I just did some contract work for a guy that was starting his own company. And then we just kind of focused on the lawn care and maintenance side just because it was really easy to get into, not a big a gap into that. Build up your clientele that way and then just kind of do progression. 

Allen Wazny: So you must know ULS landscaping, Steve [03:58 inaudible], I don’t know if you know him. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, I actually used to work for him when I was younger. 

Allen Wazny: No way. So Steve was in one of my earlier podcasts, but him and I, we were like, we go back grade nine. I mean, when the flames came and I’m just giving you a quick history, but he went on, played hockey. I just went to the hockey school when the same one. And then we, met each other in the university, but he’d started, the guys did the hustle during the university and they were just doing whatever painting and landscaping, snow removal during the university. And I left, went overseas. And so I came back and he’s built up this massive empire. I called it an empire. Anyway so I had Steve on the podcast a lot earlier. So, I wanted to get another person like, I’m glad you’re on.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. It’s actually kind of funny. Yeah, I used to work for ULS when I was, yeah, 18, 19 before I went to school for engineering. So yeah.

Allen Wazny: So I mean literally you started the name, come on, the rainfall landscapes. I mean, you need rain, or you don’t want rain.  Where’d you come up with the name?

Aleks Bradasevic: So I wanted something that was going to be kind of different from what you kind of always see, like usually with landscaping, it’s going to be somebody’s last name or something to do with like lawn care or something along those lines. But I wanted for, I was thinking like more in terms for like SEO, if people are just kind of looking for like, the weather or rain or something like that, that, it could possibly pop up in their search.

Allen Wazny: That’s actually pretty smart. I mean, just to think of, cause you’re kind of this digital thinking, cause if you go back 2015, there were a lot of apps out there and you were already, you’re not even a tech guy and you’re thinking SEO, that’s actually quite smart actually.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. I was thinking of a name that’s going to be kind of like catchy, but also like, you know what I mean? 

Allen Wazny: Because if I Google, Well, if I Google landscape or if I Google rain, I don’t know, it’s like, it’s what you Google and you don’t know what comes up. That thing comes up, your name comes up now. I looked, I literally Googled it just to get your website and it comes up as ad. So that’s a Google ad. Is that a paid thing and just for the benefit of listeners, because maybe some people don’t know that.

Aleks Bradasevic: So I don’t really handle that portion of the business. I actually have that handed off to a friend of mine. Yeah, she’s amazing with that stuff. Like I basically said, I’m kind of looking to increase my presence online because that’s where the future is. And so she’s like, yeah, we can do all this great stuff and I’ll get you, I’ll make sure that you’re highly ranked and all this stuff. And I was like… 

Allen Wazny: Can we give her a shout out? What’s her name? 

Aleks Bradasevic: Her name’s Hannah, she’s with studio eight designs.

Allen Wazny: Okay. Oh, that’s cool. I mean, like I said, I never thought of that. I mean, just cause I Googled your name and sometimes those ads come up and then, it’ll come up with something else, like a pizza, for example, it just comes up with local. It knows where you are, but you’ve actually got an ad in there. So that’s quite good because you get the top ranking.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely trying to get top rankings just to get more exposure and whatnot. 

Allen Wazny: I guess, speaking, okay, so let’s go to Covid. Because lawn care has been something that they were opening up garden centers early on, like I guess a month ago. Or did you notice that?

Aleks Bradasevic: So for us, I actually back in like April, I was reaching out to like our local governments and all that stuff. Cause I didn’t know what they were planning for lawn care guides. Cause I’m like really, we don’t really have a lot of public engagement except for like the people that kind of peek out their houses and being like, Hey, come over here. How much to do this?  

Allen Wazny: That’s hilarious. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. So I was talking to them and I was like, Hey, I don’t really see that a lawn care is on here. And then obviously the people didn’t know because everything was changing. They’re like, well, if you don’t see it on there, then it’s considered non-essential and you can’t do anything. So I was like, Oh Jesus, like really? They’re like, well, if it’s not on there and so I did some more digging and I actually ended up contacting like the Alberta government, like, Hey, just want to be a hundred percent sure that I’m not going to get shut down for going out there and cutting lawns. And they’re like, yeah, no lawn care is considered essential. So you have no problems.

Allen Wazny: Was that great though? Because you kind of thinking people wanting to get out and get into, they can get in their yards. And if you can’t do any, if you can’t go to the garden center you are really stuck, the sort of mental health side of it. But I like your term that you said you did a little more digging and come on, literally, that’s what you do. That’s what you do. So online or offline right in the garden. And then you go online and dig. I think you’ve got to put that out there. We’ve got to have… If you’re digging for, you’re digging for some work on your yard. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, no, I was actually kind of very nervous because I’m like, oh man, if everybody’s at home, then no, one’s going to really be looking for these services. So I thought, but it was the complete opposite. Since everyone was at home and they can’t go on vacation, they’re like sprucing up the yard.

Allen Wazny: So go back to the Covid, the start a Covid, because there was a lot of snow in March. 

Aleks Bradasevic: And April. 

Allen Wazny: March and April.  Were you guys busy?

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. So I have ongoing yearly contracts with like residential and commercial guys. But since we were doing an end transitioning from snow over to spring, I was very, very nervous because I’m like, oh man, like if we get two extra weeks of snow, that means I’m backed up two extra weeks. 

Allen Wazny: But this was pre Covid. Like you were kind of just thinking of the logistics of things happening. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. I wasn’t even thinking about Covid. I was just thinking I’m like, oh man, like with weather, like in landscaping, like it really depends on if the weather is going to be in your favor or not, how much you can do. But yeah, well, not luckily, but since we had the two extra weeks, everything got pushed back two weeks and then just got slammed. It was literally like nothing for two weeks. And then all of a sudden everyone’s starting to call in. They’re like, oh yeah, my snow’s gone. Like I want this cleaned up. I want that cleaned up. And I’m like, Jesus, okay, Like, let’s see if we can fit you in.

Allen Wazny: I don’t think Jesus, I don’t think Jesus had any play in this. I mean, think of it, there was that messy, okay this was more late April early may, right? I meant just taking a personal side of it, the yard it’s just ugly. You got to kind of rake it and there’s this, there’s that, the snow is melted, but it’s not really, you can’t really cut it yet.

Aleks Bradasevic: That’s right. Yeah. It’s like that. Like everything’s matted down. It’s still wet. Still gross looking. You got to wait for it to finally for all the moisture to go away. So you can actually do something with it.

Allen Wazny: Cause I love, I mean, I love that land, like here Calgary is great cause it’s green in the summer and Brown in the winter. Cause you know, I’m old enough to remember the Olympics, the Brown Olympics. But when it gets green, this is a pretty lush city. But that means for you there’s more work. 

Aleks Bradasevic: That’s right. 

Allen Wazny: So you’ve got both residential and commercial because I noticed the city, maybe you have as well. There’s a lot of little overgrown, like a lot of beard. There’s a lot of hair, the city is really just kind of wild. I don’t know if, I’d driven around a bit, but not much. What did you notice?

Aleks Bradasevic: You mean like in terms of like just… 

Allen Wazny: The common kind of city. They’re starting to get to it now. Why was that delayed?

Aleks Bradasevic: I really can’t say for that stuff. I know that the city just kind of has their schedule and they just kind of, get to it when they get to it. And if people complain, they’re like, well, we’ll get to it when we get to it. They’re not really, they have no sort of risk per se, if anybody complains versus the guys who do it privately.

Allen Wazny: Well, [11:48 inaudible] I spent a lot in the last couple of weeks, my daughter is working in the South. So we go down the coach trail, are those your typical clients, those commercial industrial, you know what I mean? Like as you drive around there, they have their pieces of the grass. Is that your clients?

Aleks Bradasevic: No. I’m mostly focusing on like the smaller commercial guys. So that would be like fourplexes, condominiums like that.

Allen Wazny: So the main streets or boardwalks of the world or whatever, if you get in.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. That’s more for the bigger guys I think that have like the… 

Allen Wazny: You get the tail end. 

Aleks Bradasevic: I get the scraps. Yeah. So when the big guys are done eating, I’m like, I’ll take what’s left, you know.

Allen Wazny: So wait, but you got contracts, so you’ve got those buildings and they’re there. They’re quite, I remember it was in February. I was doing a podcast down by ATB. I don’t know if you know, in 17th ave ATB, no, no, no. It’s like 12th or 11th. Anyway, there was a woman with one-year two-year point about [12:51 inaudible] and she’s shoveling and then she was struggling, could see it. So I kind of helped her. It was just a small patch, but I’m thinking, wow. I mean, there’s thousands of those four story walk-Ups right. Where they’re just a few buildings. Those are your clients. You’re driving around and like, they’re your slim pickings or whatever, but there’s a lot.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. Like with Calgary and just the way that it is like, there’s literally thousands of landscape companies, if they’re listed or unlisted, but again, there’s so many people out there that there’s more than your fair share to go around. And everybody’s always switching from somebody else because some guys are kind of getting out of the business where new guys are coming in. So like the market’s quite large. I was actually kind of surprised by it.

Allen Wazny: I guess once you dig in you see it. Cause you just take it for granted. But going back to my podcast with Steve, Steve Wheatcroft from ULS. I mean, he’s like, I don’t care about those little things. He goes, I just focused on this and sort of, but they moved into asphalt and more, kind of industrial, like parking lot cleanups and things like that. I mean, once the big guy gets too big, he’s not interested in the smaller ones. And then as you said, you pick up the scraps, but well let’s go back to the Covid period. So in Covid were you guys, it was a tepid kind of, what do you do, you’re wondering where you should go and things like that, or how was it?

Aleks Bradasevic: Just trying to think of there, to be honest. Well the lucky thing for us was that we were already on contract for snow removal. So we had basically March and April kind of locked in. But for May we were kind of uncertain at the point. So I’m just like, whatever happens, happens. And I guess, it’s kind of hard to plan for it, but in the event that we weren’t able to work, I was already kind of getting everything kind of set up for the CRB to try and mitigate that the $2000 a month that the government would have given you. 

Allen Wazny: Okay. Yeah. For small businesses loans. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, I was already starting to call and do like all the prep work for that and just kind of make sure that I had enough money, floating money to kind of keep the company going for however long and then just kind of decide rather than do like, decide on a whim, just kind of see how it played out.

Allen Wazny: But your clients were, as you said, you were locked in, there was still work, cause that’s where you transitioned to the summer, the spring cleanup, right? And you had this, and you still have the contracts. So I guess that helps. In terms of the, you know, you don’t have to share everything, all the details, but where your client’s saying, well, we don’t want it because of, say whatever,  cause I know if you take the news and they’re saying people, tenants weren’t paying their rent and there’s this sort of period where there’s uncertainty, were your clients, were there anybody coming back to and saying, can you do this or that any changes or is it something you want to share?

Aleks Bradasevic: So for someone like the property management companies, they kind of, they scale off at the end of the snow period and they kind of let me know if we’re going to be continuing on in the spring summer. So those guys skipped off and then a couple other people who lost their jobs just kind of reached out to me and said, Hey, nothing personal, but I don’t have any more disposable income to be using your services. But I was very fortunate enough to have, the clients that I do and I’m grateful for them every single day because they’re like, yeah, Nope, I want you to just continue on with what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job. 

Allen Wazny: Is there anything creative? I mean, cause going back to your original, when you made your name, there was some creativity there. Was there anything different, maybe you and Hannah and maybe your team came up with during, sort of with that other than the CRB or whatever, but was there some ideas you were bouncing

Around? 

Aleks Bradasevic: We were tossing around ideas such as possible like planter designs for clients. Because there was a lot, since a lot of people are going to be staying home and buying like plants and all that stuff, we started looking into just kind of good plants to keep around the house, to improve air quality or just kind of boost your mood, stuff like that. So in the event that if we weren’t going to be able to do like any sort of like landscaping outside, we’re going to start growing these essentially these plants and trying to sell them out.

Allen Wazny: So grow them in your garden or your areas wherever you could find. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. That’s right. Just something to, you know…

Allen Wazny: Did you grow that? 

Aleks Bradasevic: Luckily, no, I didn’t, but luckily, I didn’t have to. But we were still kind of like doing research on it. Cause when we were starting to put out that stuff on Instagram to everybody, just kind of trying to give people some good… 

Allen Wazny: Like a nursery. Like a nursery, you create a tree nursery or whatever. That’s actually….  But outdoor or indoor. 

Aleks Bradasevic: I think it would have to be a little bit of both. I mean, I got a lot of space in my backyard, so I was just going to either look at building up some garden beds and start doing that.

Allen Wazny: Well, Aleks, we’re breaking up here a bit. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Can you hear me? 

Allen Wazny:  There it is. Now you’re back now. It was kind of going all [18:14 inaudible]. So you’ve got space in your back. I mean, see this is what I say, Aleks, this is why we need to have these chats. Because there’s video, you’ve got a yard. Get the camera going, show the early stages. I don’t know if you’ve heard a guy called Gary Vaynerchuk. So Gary V would say, Aleks, get on the garden, start digging. You’ve already said that several times on this podcast, start digging, showing that early stages, here’s our nursery coming together, the little plants, whatever. And you know, we got some diapers on over here, but you know what I mean? And just show that real early film and then next spring, when you’ve got the plants, you can start that side business. Even if you have the landscaping going full tilt. I don’t know. I think it’s pretty cool. I’d never heard of that. It’s actually really brilliant. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. It was just kind of like a spur of the moment type of thing, really. Cause we were again trying to keep everybody positive and happy. Cause every time you like read the news or anything, it’s just like new cases, everything, this, everything that, and people are just like, oh man, like this is brutal.

Allen Wazny: Could you do Christmas trees? Could you do? Okay. Houseplants is one thing, but Christmas trees? 

Aleks Bradasevic: Probably not. It would just be something like super small and easy to kind of manage. 

Allen Wazny: It’s a side hustle. You can work on your side hustle. We can bounce ideas later. So how big is your staff, the teams, your partners, what have you got?

Aleks Bradasevic: So I’m pretty small when it comes to like landscaping people. It’s myself, obviously Hannah, who does all my marketing and then just a couple of contractors here and there. I don’t have any full-time staff just because unfortunately. Don’t have enough sustainable revenue to have another person with me full time. And as well as well, since everyone’s getting paid to stay home, you can’t really pick up guys on every now and then.

Allen Wazny: Right. But let’s look at, cause I’m looking here, I’m looking at, I’ve got your Instagram opened and I like, so do you learn the aesthetics of a yard cause you’re doing the landscaping. When someone gets a new home in certain areas of the city and have you done work like that, it looks like you got some photos up where you do the whole shaping of the yard and you do all, not just grass.

Aleks Bradasevic: So I have done like sod installs and the works for that. I do work with a landscape architect who kind of does like majority of the designs if need be. Yeah, I have done some of that work myself.

Allen Wazny: Cause you got the big chipper; do you have that big woodchipper? Do you have one of those?

Aleks Bradasevic: No. No. I only try and stick, I’m trying to keep my focus too strictly like lawn care and like monuments and property maintenance. So I’m trying to stay away from like, cutting down big trees and doing up decks, fences and all that stuff. Cause like you could literally do a million different things with landscaping

Allen Wazny: So the focus, it is just your focus and do one thing well, and then scale from there. I mean, is training a big thing for, for me I just know how to cut grass and I know how to snow and shovel, but not everyone does.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, no, it’s actually kind of funny how many people like that just kind of come in and they’re like, oh yeah, I’ve done this before. And you know, I can definitely handle this kind of stuff. Breaking up again. Sorry. How about now? 

Allen Wazny: I think that’s good. So you were saying what some guys say, yeah, I can do it, but…

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, usually when you put them out in the field to do the work…

Allen Wazny: We can keep record the two together. I’m going to reconnect you Aleks. Hey Aleks, welcome back.

Aleks Bradasevic: Hey Allen, how are you? 

Allen Wazny: Yeah, it’s better. I really want to get on this training thing. Cause I think it’s important even on something seemingly so simple as mowing the grass or shoveling the walk.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. So with me with training and all that stuff, because I typically like to do things a certain way. And just because you’re using like commercial equipment, they do tend to like skip a lot. And there, I have seen places that do get kind of, let’s just say a short haircut time and time again. So there is like, a good amount of training involved just so you can like kind of get comfortable using the equipment and having like the processes to do everything right. So that like, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Instagram photos, but like to do those stripes, perfectly straight and to do the edging perfectly and all that. So it does take some time to… 

Allen Wazny: That’s that whole thing. If you go and then there’s that cutting the grass one way and the next time you reverse, it. Do you note that down or you can just see it when you come up?

Aleks Bradasevic: Well, the program that I use typically helps me like kind of keeps track. So yeah, for me, since I do majority of the clients myself, I mow it one way, one week and then mow it the other way the other week. Cause then, the grass grows a different way each week.

Allen Wazny: So let’s go, cause you said something that you’ve got, do you have a system like a tech or is there some tech involved?

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, I have like a client relations manager called jobber. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. 

Allen Wazny: I’ve heard of jobber. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. It’s awesome. Cause it’s actually like a Canadian company. And yeah, it’s super awesome. Like it keeps track of like all your clients, it helps you with like invoicing. It helps you with like logistics, everything.  So that’s the thing that, cause the biggest thing is like in the industry guys will say, yeah, I’ll be there this day. And then, they can either completely forget unless they like, are super organized. So this just helps me like keep organized and like, eliminate so much of like the backend work when you’re a small business.

Allen Wazny: So then I guess in terms of the post Covid period, you’re not, you don’t, it’s not like common areas have to be sprayed or clean cause you’re outside anyway, your work is, you kind of benefiting from that part of it.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. Yeah. But needless to say, I do carry like, the wet wipes and the hand sanitizers and stuff for that. Cause when you are dealing with things outdoors, it can be things like trash. It could be whatever the deal may be, then you’re like, oh man, like I don’t want to.

Allen Wazny: The touching. The touching points. Like the fence, you got to grab the fence. You got equipment, you’re exchanging, well, I don’t know if they’re exchanging rakes or shovels in wintertime such as a big deal, but in the summer, you’ve got, you probably should have the gloves in and cleaning stuff as well.

Aleks Bradasevic: And then if you’re doing like cleanups and all that stuff, there’s a lot of dust out there. So obviously having like a mask tends to help.

Allen Wazny: So now you don’t look so goofy, goofy. Why is that guy wearing a mask? Cause now it’s like, his mask is really easy, got a designer mask. I think you’re going to have to get something made with the rainfall logo on it.

Aleks Bradasevic: I was actually thinking about that. Cause yeah, someone complimented me on like the mask I was wearing. I’m like, Oh, okay, well that could be another avenue. 

Allen Wazny: I always wear this mask.

Aleks Bradasevic: Mike, I was born with this mask.

Allen Wazny: So I guess with the whole sort of, small business, I liked that fact the job, I’ve seen the ads for jobs, but I didn’t realize it. Do you have an app, or would it be something, cause you can get apps now they’re virtually the same price as an easy software, like cheap? I don’t know if you’re using one or if that’s really important.

Aleks Bradasevic: So for me, I kind of wanted to, again, when I was starting out, I’m like for me, I really wanted to make it easy for clients to kind of interact and just have, where we don’t have to like exchange, ask for a check or whatever that they have like the option because everyone’s kind of going digital anyway. So I was looking for this program and jobber actually ends up having, you have like a desktop version, you also have a mobile version and the mobile version and the mobile version you can add….

Allen Wazny: It’s like an App anyway. 

Aleks Bradasevic: So you can add people. So like it’s really good for when you are having either contractors or employees, you can keep track of like how they’re progressing throughout the day. If they’re having any issues. You can kind of, this was really handy for us, especially in the snow time, because if one guy was getting super bogged up and the other guy was working, at a decent pace, then you can just kind of move some jobs from one guy to the other guy. And then that way everything’s just kind of… 

Allen Wazny: So it’s like, yeah, it’s like an efficiency or look at productivity. Then you can kind of shift your resources that way. If I was looking bigger and if I was ULS or someone, I would look at the data and telling me what you just said but looking at the analytics on a workforce of 10, 15, 20 guys, and then you shifting. So predicting, you know, cause if you take, I’m not going to get too off track here for you, but that AI or machine learning, it says, Aleks, look what you did last six months. Here’s where your people and it forecasts or predicts where you guys should move. And you’re a small team. It’s not a big issue. But if you just scale that up, how could Aleks scale? Well Aleks, I would think of, you run a bunch of videos and showing how to do that trimming. Cause it’s not easy. I’m telling you; I’m looking at you and I’m looking at your website or your Instagram, those whippersnappers, they’re not people cut, you can see when they cut it too short. 

Aleks Bradasevic: That’s right. Yep. 

Allen Wazny: I still have no clue how to get that right. Or that changing that stupid, what is it? Plastic, the wire. What size fits, I’m telling you, that’s an age-old problem. Like you can’t Google it. I mean, maybe you can now. But it’s difficult, how to bump it, when you bump it and then it spits out the next level of the wire, how to get that perfect.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. No, I actually never thought about going to that simplicity of a level, but it’s definitely something to explore for sure. 

Allen Wazny: Well you tag it on, you can tag it onto your website or whatever it is. Here’s how to the small things. Cause if you help that guy who’s, just whatever he’s busy and doesn’t have the time or, but he just wants to get it done, later he’s going to remember that. If he sees, Aleks said that little clip and like, and then when he’s got a bigger yard and he moves up, he moves from downtown into a bigger place. There’s suddenly he remembers your name. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, exactly. That’s actually a really good idea.

Allen Wazny: Cause that’s just a simple, stupid thing. How do you get it off? Like you twist it, the Briggs and Stratton, those yellow orange, they’re kind of, and I’m like, wow, I literally, Aleks, I’m just reliving a nightmare. And I don’t know if there’s many guys like me and maybe they’re not, but I love garden work. I love that how to…

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, no for sure. I mean, the equipment that we use is obviously like commercial grade. So it tends to be a little less, a little more simpler and less complex. Like I’ve seen some of like the residential trimmers and all that stuff. And they have that like weird arch in it and people are just kind of awkwardly using it. So I was just like, oh man, like I would just end up just getting one that’s completely straight. And then that way you kind of avoid that awkwardness when you’re trimming. Cause I think that’s where people struggle the most because they’re like, I don’t even know why they have that to be honest. 

Allen Wazny: The curve at the end. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah like that unnecessary curve in my opinion.

Allen Wazny: Well then, I’m looking okay, I’m sorry to belabor this, but I’m looking at you, you said industrial and you know, some of them, they have this big, heavy, cause they’re the kind of on the lower back, the longer you use those weedeaters you’re holding that thing. Cause that thing is bottom heavy, whatever, that one part is really heavy. Cause it’s the engine and the tank. Do you have something special for the lower back?

Aleks Bradasevic: You can get like straps for it. There’s products that are available, but I haven’t found any that will ship up to Canada unfortunately. There’s a bunch of stuff like, cause I follow a bunch of guys in the States and they have like access to like a whole arsenal of landscape products and all these like different attachments and whatnot. And I’m like, Oh, it’d be great to have that up here. But unfortunately, I haven’t found any company that kind of…

Allen Wazny: What about an extendable one? Like an extendable so that you don’t have to bend over and it’s just this comfort movement. I don’t know. Cause I’m looking at you, it’s seamless, but if you’re short guy or tall guy or you are little, whatever it is, holding that weedeater for a long time, long period of stretch, and I’m thinking really long periods of places where you got a lot of grass, industrial kind of zone. 

Aleks Bradasevic: So for those places you would definitely get a different kind of weedeater. They would be like one that kind of it basically has two straps that go around your back and then it has, what do you want to call them little handles on both sides and you just, Jesus and you just…

Allen Wazny: Well you got to work. I know you have to work. Yeah. So it’s kind of like this big one where you’re kind of, it’s got two handles and you’re gripping like a little different than a little, I understand what you’re saying. And it’s more favorable to your muscles or whatever. 

Aleks Bradasevic: It alleviates all the pressure from like your shoulders and just kind of puts it more towards your like your back and then you can just kind of pivot and rotate to cut all those. Yeah. I’ve seen guys doing that.

Allen Wazny: So Aleks, [32:10 inaudible] of your time, the phone’s ringing for you. You’ve got SMS’s coming and all that. But look, any final words, like some words of wisdom for landscaping people out there or people at home? I don’t know clients, your potential clients.

Aleks Bradasevic: So with like potential clients, I would just kind of let them know that like, because of the landscape industry is so broad and diverse, you are going to get a range of different types of skill levels with guys. And that will kind of like vary with, big companies, small companies. So I would say at the end of the day, just kind of be open to like meeting with people and just kind of like getting to know who they are and how they do processes. Cause if they’re just kind of looking to like kind of get in and out, then that’s exactly the kind of quality you’re probably going to get from them. And if they actually take the time to like meet with you and do all this stuff and their pricing is a little bit more than the other guy, but they’re putting in the effort, then you kind of know what you’re going to be getting for the price that you’re paying.

Allen Wazny: It’s funny because if you think of, here’s what I’ve done.  So you showcase that, that’s one thing. But I heard that in terms of, so let’s say your yard, you’re great for his yard, but what about my yard? So people’s yards are different. So you might show visuals for the 10 different yards. And the guy’s like, well, I’ve got this edge over here and I’ve got this grade. How are you going to deal with that, Aleks? And it’s like, well the picture show the work. No, from what you just said is, you kind of, I think you’re meeting them and you’re talking through that. It gives that different edge as opposed to, well, my photos say enough, but my yard’s not like those 10 photos or whatever it is.

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah. I mean, obviously every yard is different. There are yards that I cut that are like complete almost like 45-degree inclines. So in order to get like, everything looking smooth and dandy, you do have to like kind of be wary of that. But that’s unfortunately the way the cookie crumbles. 

Allen Wazny: So you just remind me, because the golf courses, and I know, they use, the guys [34:17 inaudible], they drive in the machine, they have the big ride mower thing.  Do you have ride mowers?

Aleks Bradasevic: We don’t have any large clients enough to kind of justify purchasing a large Ride on Mower. 

Allen Wazny: But those are fun. Come on.

Aleks Bradasevic: Those are the best. If you got clients that are all ride on mowers, like you’re on easy street. 

Allen Wazny: Well Aleks really thanks for your time today and your dog and everyone else. And Hannah, Hannah, when you listen to this, I love the visuals. And I think the work you guys are, I don’t really have much I can say, but I think really, I like this profession, I don’t know what it is about what you guys do, but it gets me excited, but I guess it’s just that the shovel and pick or axes or whatever it is, is it’s great. And that you’re in a great profession. And I think you’re always, there’s always a need for you. 

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, and that’s the beauty thing, right? So the grass is always going to grow. You’re always going to get snow.

Allen Wazny: The grass is always greener. The grass is greener on this side. Don’t worry about it over there. We got it. We got you covered

On this side. That’s actually great. Okay Aleks we are good. Stay safe and good luck with the rest of the [35:31 inaudible].

Aleks Bradasevic: Yeah, for sure. Thank you for having me on here.

Allen Wazny: My pleasure. Take care. Bye bye.

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Want a lush green lawn all summer long? Follow this Spring Cleanup checklist for Calgary!

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

Want a lush green lawn all summer long? Follow this Spring Cleanup checklist for Calgary!

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We have just come out of hibernation (with what feels like a 9-month winter), and we are so excited to experience long summer days in the backyard. Calgary winters can be extremely harsh on your lawn, ice can really damage your grass. A Calgary spring cleanup is an extremely crucial step in revitalizing and preparing your yard for summer. As the weather warms up and the days become longer, all we want is a healthy, lush green lawn (that neighbours will be jealous of). Skipping your Calgary Spring Cleanup, means your Summer lawn is essentially forgotten about too. If you are after the perfect lawn this summer, follow this fool-proof checklist below.

SUMMER lawn

The Calgary Spring Cleanup Checklist and the benefits it will bring: 

  1. Leaf cleanup and removal
    Removing old, damp leaves and other debris that smother your lawn, is extremely important. Besides from aesthetic reasons, removing old leaves and debris can allow your lawn to breathe and see the light of day again. If you leave your lawn with a thick layer of old leaves, you are essentially smothering it, that means any new grass that want’s to come up physically can’t, it also means the grass can’t harness the suns energy for photosynthesis. 
  2. Power Raking
    Power Raking (or de-thatching) is an extremely crucial step in the Spring Cleanup process because it removes thatch. Thatch is a build up of organic material, mostly dead grass, that often sits above the surface of the soil. If this isn’t removed properly it will hinder new growth and even block water and nutrients from reaching the rootzone. Removing thatch increases the effectiveness of fertilization and water absorption which in turn promotes a healthy growing lawn throughout the year.
     
  3. First Lawn cut & trim The first mow and trim is crucial in ensuring your lawn is set up to grow effectively throughout the summer months. Not only will it make your lawn look manicured and immaculate, but the trim also removes any left over growth from the fall and winter months makes it easier for new growth by giving a clean-slate for your grass to begin growing.
  4. Core Aeration 
    Aerating your lawn is highly recommended and should be done a minimum of once a year in the spring or fall. Calgary’s climate results in long winters which compact your lawn over the winter this element is often forgotten with many homeowners who do their own lawn maintenance. It can result in, a worndown looking lawn, even with proper watering and mowing. An aeration machine punches holes into the turf to remove small plugs of soil called “Cores” that are left on top of the lawn, to decompose back into the soil acting as a natural fertilizer. Aerating allows oxygen, water, and other nutrients to reach directly to the rootzone of the grass, which results in thicker and stronger roots . The effects are your lawn is nourished and hydrated, which helps in keeping a lush green lawn all summer long!
  5. Fertilizer & Seeding
    Premium slow release fertilizer is recommended to ensure your lawn gets the nutrients it needs after a long winter. If you are after a thick, lush, healthy lawn this summer, then a good quality fertilizer is exactly what you need! Add seeding and aerating to give your yard. new youthful grass and stronger roots.

Spring Cleanups are more essential than what many think. It may take up to a full weekend to clean, mow, rake and aerate your lawn, but it is well worth it in the end. Without a top-quality spring cleanup, your lawn will not exceed throughout the summer months. 

If you are in the Calgary region and would like to book a Spring Cleanup, fill out the easy quoting system to receive an instant quote. 

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The top 10 air purifying plants for your new home office!

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

The top 10 air purifying plants for your new home office!

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Now that we are all spending more time in our humble abodes, it’s important to take care of our homes health. Due to many products such as paint, synthetics, furniture and more, we all have harsh chemicals and toxins surrounding us, that we are breathing in everyday. Finding natural and organic ways to detoxify and purify the air, is an essential part of keeping you and your family healthy. 

NASA’s Clean Air Study investigated multiple plants and found that there are many air purifying plants available that detoxify and purify your home. From airborne toxins, germs and dusts found in carpets, furniture and upholstery, purifying plants work to eliminate any of these nasty elements that we are surrounded by, everyday. 

Below is a list of plants that not only NASA have recommended to use within your home, but have been proven and tested to successfully purify your living space. 

1. Areca Palm – Ranked by NASA as the #1 plant air purifier, the Areca Palm is an absolute must-have plant. Named as “the most efficient humidifier” by Meta Efficient, this incredible palm tree works at continuously removing chemical toxins from the air. Not only does it purify the air, but it acts as a natural humidifier, meaning that in winter it adds moisture to your living space, which could ultimately replace electrical humidifiers completely! 

2. Rubber Plant – Rubber Plants are a bittersweet air purify. They are one of the most effective plants in removing any chemical toxins (especially formaldehyde) from the air, however they are also toxic to household pets. If you wish to use a Rubber Plant in your home to detoxify, be sure to place it on a high shelf or table where your furry friends cannot get access to the leaves. 

3. English Ivy – This evergreen, climbing vine is usually found outside, however after rigorous studies and scientific research, this plant immediately made its way indoors. WebMD describes this plant to be a fix for mold allergies as they found that 60% of airborne mold vanished after 6 hours when English Ivy was brought into the room. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, introducing English Ivy into your home will really benefit your health. 

4. Dwarf Date Palm – This 8-10 foot plant is best known to remove air pollutants, specifically xylene, which is a synthetic chemical. This chemical is found in petroleum and coal, however it can often be found in the home through such things as car exhausts or leak into surface water and soil. Placing this hardy, long-lived plant into your home will assist with clearing xylene toxins in the air. 

5. Spider Plant – With the potential of removing up to 90% of cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air, the Spider Plant has been named as one of the best air purifiers by NASA. If you don’t have a very good green thumb, this plant will be your new best friend. Almost impossible to kill, this lengthy plant aids in bringing fresh oxygen into your home.  

6. Ficus / Weeping Fig – This low-maintenance, evergreen tree is one of the best plants at combatting multiple chemicals and toxins in the air. According to NASA, this plant is effective as cleansing airborne toluene, xylene and formaldehyde. The chemicals of xylene and formaldehyde were mentioned above, however the Toluene chemical is found in paints, glues, nail polish, ink and stain removers. It is extremely easy to have these kind of chemicals floating around in the air, so finding natural, organic ways to purify the air in which we breath in, is essential. 

7. Boston Fern – Ranked as the “most efficient filtering plant” by Meta Efficient, this wild fern has been tested for its ability to expel mold and toxins from your home. 

8. Snake Plant – Trying to find the perfect plant for the bedroom? Look no further than the Snake Plant! Majority of other plants tend to release carbon dioxide at night time, the snake plant continues to produce oxygen 24 hours a day. Place a snake plant inside your bedroom, to purify the air while you sleep & ensure plenty of oxygen is being produced all night long. 

9. Aloe Vera – The Aloe Vera plant is a common plant to be found in homes due to its incredible healing ability. The gel inside the plant is a miracle worker for sunburn, cuts, water burns and wounds, however the plant itself also has amazing benefits. The plant works hard at removing benzene in the air, which is an industrial chemical found in paints, plastics, resins, detergents and synthetic fibres. Extremely hard to kill, the Aloe plant is a must-own plant in every home! 

10. Dracaena – The Dracaena Plant is one of the most common household plants. Found at IKEA, Home Depot or any of your household stores, this bright and radiant plant works extremely well at purifying the air.

The Clean Air Study conducted by NASA also came to the conclusion that the best plant practices to follow are to have 1 plant for every 100 square metres. This rule of (green) thumb means that your entire home will be free of nasty, dangerous chemicals in the air and you’re left with a purified, detoxified environment. 

Happy Planting!

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Featured in ‘Top 8 Snow Removal Companies in Calgary!’

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

Featured in ‘Top 8 Snow Removal Companies in Calgary!’

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Recently, Rainfall Landscapes was featured in the “Top 8 best Snow Removal Companies in Calgary”, by The Best Calgary. Below is an outline of our feature:

Rainfall Landscapes aims to help households, offices and complexes in resolving their property maintenance needs for their natural landscapes. As such, they offer year-round services. From lawn care and fertilization, to mowing and trimming to leaf and debris cleanup during spring-summer months.

Of course, during winter, the company provides timely snow removal service. They make sure to keep your pathways clear from snow and/or ice, using professional grade equipment and traction control products when required.

Highlights

  • Homestars Best of Awards Winner 2020
  • Standing Member with SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association) and ASET (Association of Science and Engineering Technology)
  • Professional Grade Equipment
  • WCB & Commercial Liability Coverage
  • Electronic Quoting and Online Payment Systems

Customer Reviews

The mark of a great service company is the knowledge and understanding of their clients needs and Rainfall Landscapes aims to be a leader within the industry. Having a 4.8 star average on Google and 10 star rating on Homestars, clients can enjoy piece of mind knowing that they made the right choice.

“Love these guys. easy and quick to deal with, excellent workmanship. Come home one day to a clean yard!! Love it!”
– Zane. W

“Polite, professional, prompt and great work! Can’t ask for anything more. Highly recommended.”
– Jill. T

“I arranged for Rainfall to come cut our lawn as we were going away for the weekend. He was able to come by on short notice and take care of the front and back lawn. Efficient and flexible! Great service.”
– Kelsey. M

“Doing a great job. Snow removal is done in a timely fashion. Very professional and efficient. Would recommend Rainfall Landscapes to everyone.”
-Gary. C

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8 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 outbreak!

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

8 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 outbreak!

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1. Local Distilleries are making hand sanitizer instead of booze! 

The World Health Organization has stated that cleaning your hands with hand sanitizer is the best thing to help kill viruses and germs during this time. With the main ingredient in hand sanitizer being alcohol, many local distilleries are jumping on board to assist with the national shortage. 

Burwood Distillery is just one of the Calgary producers that quickly altered their business model to help assist with the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did they use their own product and time, but they donated their first thousand bottles to those who needed it. 

2. Air Pollution decreases 

Only 4 months ago, the world was focused on climate change and implementing strategies to help combat the rising global warming crisis. In the last few months, air pollution levels have declined drastically, particular across China. 

Photo credit: NASA 

The Satellite image above suggests that China’s forced quarantine has saved a huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere. Currently, we have seen a 40% decrease in global emissions in China alone. 

3. Some of our dirtiest waterways are clean!

The pandemic has crippled Italy over the last few months. However, the country-wide quarantine has allowed for one positive consequence. The canal’s of Venice are finally clear, unpolluted and pristine. With an immediate stop of all canal boats, the once dirty, polluted, mirky waters and now crystal clear. They even had a recent visit of a dolphin, enjoying it’s new clean playground. 

Photo Credit: Classic FM / Getty 

4. Large Canadian companies shifting their business models to assist with donations

Although the COVID-19 outbreak is an awful pandemic, it’s always heartening to see the Canadian companies rallying together to help support our health care workers. With a global shortage of medical equipment, N95 masks, scrubs and sanitizing essentials, many of our favourites have altered their business models to assist. 

Canada Goose have started manufacturing medical gear such as scrubs for frontline workers and gowns for patients. Bauer has also shifted from manufacturing hockey masks, to medical shields this week. And a Vancouver-based shoe company, Vessi, has donated thousands of shoes to frontline healthcare workers. 

5. University of Saskatchewan students and scientists work together to combat COVID-19 

Noah Little was unable to effectively find an accurate and timely tracker that allowed him to monitor the daily updates on the Coronavirus. By using basic HTML coding, he took matters into his own hands and developed the COVID-19 Tracker Canada. 

Earlier this week, the scientists and researchers at the University of Saskatchewan also created Canada’s first COVID-19 vaccine. They are now in testing stages of the vaccination. 

6. Calgary residents provide community support 

Across the country, there has been wide community support during the pandemic. Various Facebook groups and Kijiji postings are offering individuals support, from grocery deliveries, financial advice, and quarantine tips. 

In another heartwarming story, a local Nurse’s five-year old daughter has started creating get well cards for patients. Tiffany Fossum is an emergency department nurse in Calgary & she mentioned to her daughter that she was looking after many sick people at work. Tiffany came home late one night, to a stack of handmade cards her daughter had created. 

7. YYC small businesses help community, despite closure of businesses 

The last few weeks have seen many of our loved small businesses close their doors due to COVID-19. Despite the negative impact this will have on their own businesses, many are rallying together to support the Calgary community. 

Local sock company, Friday Sock Co. have created special COVID-19 inspired socks with 100 percent of their proceeds going to Canadian Food Banks. The Crowfoot, Royal Oak and Tuscany Dominos franchises are also provided free pizza to all frontline workers and hospital staff. And Calgary Co-Op are offering free care packages to those in need. Packages contain non-perishable food items such as canned meat, pasta sauce and juice, and are delivered in the Calgary area. 

8. Calgary Flames Foundation donates $1.15 million 

The Calgary Flames Foundation announced on Saturday that they are donating $1.15 million to various Calgary organizations. From the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, to the Calgary Food Bank, to the Calgary Mustard Seed – the Flames are doing everything they can to support the local community at this time. 

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7 Tips for End of Winter and Early Spring Lawn Care in Calgary

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

7 Tips for End of Winter and Early Spring Lawn Care in Calgary

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With the crazy weather we’ve been getting this winter, Summer lawn care may be the furthest thing from your mind. But beautiful, healthy grass requires special attention in all seasons. There are ways that you can prepare your lawn for the cold weather and help it bounce back from the long, harsh winter. The good news is that grass is resilient; with a little assistance – it can be back to its lush, green self in no time. So, what do homeowners need to do in the winter to ensure a great looking lawn in the spring? Here are seven key tips for keeping your grass strong through the cold months and helping it to perk up as soon as the snow melts.

1. Keep the Yard Clear Throughout the Calgary Winter.

As you’re wrapping up yardwork in the Calgary fall, be sure not to leave anything behind. Rake away all the leaves and put away sprinklers, hoses, garden furniture, yard toys and decorations. If something is left on the surface, the grass will get matted down during the winter months. With the added moisture of rain and snow, this can also make the perfect environment for pests and mold to sneak in and damage the turf or kill it.

2. Protect the Lawn During the Last Weeks of Calgary Winter.

Don’t give into late-winter fatigue. It’s important to protect your grass from regular traffic and snow piles through the last stretch of the season. Keep your driveway, sidewalks and paths clear of snow so that people have a safe place to walk. You should avoid shoveling snow onto the lawn or making snow piles that get in the way, forcing people to trample down the grass. At the end of winter, break up piles of ice and spread the snow around to help it melt away quicker.

As winter shifts to spring in Calgary, new grass growth can easily be damaged by the pressure from feet or piled snow. Plus, piles of snow take longer to melt and can block the grass from getting those first warm rays of sun in the early spring. This results in the grass taking longer to turn green and start growing.

3. Groom the Grass at the Beginning of the Season.

Don’t be surprised if your grass looks sad and worn down when the snow clears. The winter is a harsh challenge for any lawn. In the early spring, lightly rake the lawn to help perk up the turf ahead of the growing season. As soon as the soil dries out a bit, carefully clear away leaves and dead grass using a regular leaf rake. This will break up any matted areas and improve airflow the surface of the blades.

Wait to begin raking until the ground has dried out and firmed up in the spring. If the soil is muddy, you risk damaging the grass by walking and working on it. Also remember to be gentle. The old grass and new growth are fragile, plus moist soil makes it easier to pull the blades out of the ground.

4. Help the Grass Get Some Fresh Air.

It’s important to Aerate and Seed the lawn in peak growing season so that the grass can bounce back quickly. An aerator tool bores small, shallow holes into the ground. The purpose is to break up compact soil, provide adequate space for grass to grow, and allow the roots access to fresh air and nutrients more efficiently.

By aerating in the early spring, you will give the turf more space to flourish and prevent the grass from getting overly compacted during the spring and summer. Aerating your yard will also help it recover after an unusual winter season, like this year, when temperatures fluctuate and the ground freezes and thaws multiple times.

5. Encourage New Growth in the Spring with Over-seeding.

Many homeowners don’t know that grass likes company. Cool-season grasses look best when it is aerated in the Fall. The next step is to spread grass seed over the existing turf to counteract the natural thinning process through the winter. It will also introduce fresh growth to keep it looking lush all year.

Aerating and Over-Seeding in the spring is OK but Fall is the ideal time, so you don’t have to compete with weather, weeds, and crabgrass problems. If you do seed in the spring, you need to do have to monitor it more frequently and water it when needed to speed up growth before any heat waves. The 1st week of April is an ideal time.

6. Give it Nutrients to Grow in the Spring.

Plants go dormant in Calgary’s winter climate, so fertilizer isn’t necessary during the coldest months. This is true even for cool season grasses. But you can help your lawn recover from the harsh weather with fertilizer treatment first thing in the spring. After aerating, as soon as the snow melts and outside temperatures reach an average of 55°, give your grass a healthy snack to energize growth for the spring. Lawn fertilizer is a special mix of nutrients that the roots absorb. Then, the plant stores or uses it as food over time. If you use a spreader, fertilizing can be a quick and easy way to care for the lawn.

7. Don’t Wait Too Long to Mow the Lawn.

Finally, it may seem early, but in most parts of Calgary, grass will be ready for its first trim sometime in April. We recommend that grass be mowed once it reaches about 3 inches in height. By mowing the new green blades when they get to this point, you will prevent the grass from getting overgrown and stimulate continual growth.

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How To Make Your Yard Kid and Pet-Friendly

RAINFALL LANDSCAPES BLOG

How To Make Your Yard Kid and Pet-Friendly

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When summer rolls around, it’s nice to have a beautiful lawn to spend time on, enjoying the warm weather. However, having a lush lawn requires some upkeep, especially if you have children and pets. Follow these steps to achieve a healthier lawn that is safe for the whole family:

1. Use Natural Weed Killers

Limit use of synthetic herbicide, which can cause soil damage over time and can be dangerous to children and pets.

Here are a few ideas:

  • For a completely natural weed killer that poses no threat to your lawn or your family, pour boiling water on the weeds to shrivel even the toughest weeds in just a few days.
  • Like most commercial herbicides, vinegar is nonselective. It doesn’t care if it kills weeds or if it kills your flowers. Unlike other herbicides, vinegar is eco-friendly and won’t harm your children, pets or the environment. Vinegar works well for weeds with long taproots like dandelions. Putting dish soap in your vinegar mixture will make it stick better to the weeds.
  • Another natural weed killer can be made from orange oil, vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Again, this weed killer doesn’t discriminate between good plants and bad, so spray before planting or be very careful with your application. These weed killers have no residual action, so will not provide any long-term weed control.
  • Water-powered weeder is what I consider to be the most fun you can have while weeding your lawn. This tool creates a powerful blast of water that makes a small hole near the weed’s root, loosening the root so it can be easily picked.
  • Crabgrass germinates when the soil temperature reaches about 56 degrees F, which happens in mid-April in many regions. Wait until your soil reaches this mark for a few consecutive days before treating with a pre-emergent product. It doesn’t grow well in shaded areas, so no need to treat areas that are well shaded.

2. Take Care of Your Lawnmower

Make sure your mower is in tip-top condition. Dull mower blades tear at grass rather than cutting it cleanly, and this leaves the grass with ragged edges that can invite disease. Here on tips on caring for your lawnmower:

  • When grass is growing, you should sharpen the blade after every 8 hours of use.
  • If you hit something while mowing, sharpen nicked edges immediately.
  • Always disconnect the spark plug when touching the blade or working on your mower to prevent the mower from accidentally starting. Use a pair of work gloves to protect your hands while you hold the mower blades.
  • Monitor the oil level in your mower and look for floating debris or oil that is old. To change the oil, remove the drain plug underneath the mower and allow to drain completely into a safe container. Many auto shops will dispose of old oil safely for a small fee.
  • Clean out the undercarriage. Use a wire brush to scrape dirt and grass that can get caked under the mower. Spray away any remaining debris with a hose.
  • Inspect the air filter to make sure it isn’t clogged or dirty. Dirty filters will put stress on the mower and cause it to burn gas less efficiently.

3. Let Your Grass Grow

Follow the ⅓ rule. Never cut more than ⅓ of the blade height. If you only fertilize once a year, do it in the fall. Here are more tips on growing grass:

  • Let it grow to around 3 to 3 ½ inches and maintain that length for the season. This allows the grass to grow enough to prevent weeds from germinating, and it reduces evaporation.
  • When fall comes, you can cut your lawn short again since weeds are less of a concern. Cutting grass too short stresses it and reduces its ability to resist pest infestation.
  • if you want to keep your grass green the entire summer, water your lawn infrequently but deeply. It’s better to water your lawn once every week or two for an hour than watering for ten minutes every day.
  • Deep, infrequent watering encourages deep roots that are more resistant to drought and disease. Use a well-trusted organic fertilizer like Lawn Restore II, which works on several different kinds of warm- or cool-season grasses, including Kentucky bluegrass, centipede grass, Bermuda grass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and St. Augustine grass.

Once your lawn has been established, composting can be done two or three times a year. Composting is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your lawn stays healthy, lush and green. Regularly examine your lawn for signs of disease or insects.

4. Choose the Right Grass

Find the right grass for your climate and lawn. Have a lot of trees that shade your lawn? Keep that in mind when trying to make the perfect lawn. Not sure which kind of grass is best for your area? Check out this map from This Old House that shows which grass is best suited for your zone. Consider these other steps as well:

  • Kentucky bluegrass is great for a high-traffic lawn. If you have children, this is an ideal grass for you. It handles cold and drought well, too.
  • Tall fescue is another high-traffic grass, with deep roots to help it survive drought.
  • Zoysia grass tolerates insects, disease, dryness and shade well but doesn’t like the cold. It will go brown as soon as cold weather hits.
  • Bermuda grass loves full sun and will spread aggressively; it’s one of the most drought-tolerant grasses.

If you’re just starting your lawn, spring is the perfect time to put down sod. There’s time for your grass to take root and the weather is still cool. Your sod should be fresh, avoiding rolls that have been sitting outside for a while.

When you purchase your sod, ask someone at the garden center for information about which grass best suits the conditions of your yard and what your watering schedule should be. And pH test your soil, this will tell you a lot about the health of your soil and what it needs to properly nourish your lawn.

5. Fertilize Naturally

Considering using a mulching lawnmower, which leaves organic matter on the lawn and boosts nitrogen levels. Never mow when wet. Synthetic chemicals in fertilizers are harmful to your pets, children, soil health and the environment in general. The chemicals can run off into other water supplies.

Keep these tips about fertilizer in mind:

  • Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for growth, but too much nitrogen can lead to discoloration and yard burn. Leaving your grass clippings can contribute up to 25% of your lawn’s yearly fertilizer needs, and since grass clippings break down so quickly they won’t cause thatch.
  • Too much quick-release fertilizer combined with spring rains can create overly lush growth, which increases fungus problems. Use a slow-release fertilizer instead.
  • Organic lawn fertilizer doesn’t provide immediate results like a synthetic fertilizer but improves the quality of the lawn over time, reducing the need for future applications

Fall is the best time for aerating and dethatching. Even though they are a time-consuming hassle, they really makes a major difference in the health of your lawn. They open up the soil so it can get water and oxygen more efficiently

6. Natural Pest Control

Only use natural products to control pests. Keep in mind these tips:

  • For controlling the pest population in the fall, such as mole crickets, neem oil is a natural insecticide you can dilute with water and spread with a pump sprayer. Neem oil also prevents powdery mildew on plants.
  • Beneficial nematodes will control soil-dwelling pests like grubs, Japanese beetles and cutworms.

With the foot traffic children can create, and the unsightly nitrogen burns that dog urine can leave behind, keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful may seem like an impossible task, but regular maintenance will help your lawn reach its full potential. Prevent nitrogen burn by pouring water on the area where your dog went, and repair by planting new seed to fill in dead grass.

It may seem easier to use synthetic herbicides and fertilizers for faster results, but doing things naturally will lead to more reward in the long run. Your time and effort will create a lawn that is healthy and safe for your family, your pets and the environment.

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