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I have noticed since moving out to the country almost 6 years ago, a pretty flowering plant growing along the sides of the roads.  I wondered what it was and almost considered finding some I could plant on my property. Thankfully I never did this because I have recently discovered it is the very invasive, and damaging species, Japanese Knotweed.

Lindsay Landscape has recently been called upon to help homeowners safely clear this from their properties. I want to share some information with all of you so you can be aware of this plant, protecting your property values at the same time.

What is Japanese Knotweed?
An invasive species which is becoming a problem for Ontario, including the Ottawa Carleton region.
It has been found that Japanese Knotweed takes 20-40 years after initial planting to expansively spread. This species was introduced to North America in the late 19th century, planted for ornamental purposes as well as erosion control and forage for livestock. It has now become an aggressive plant, particularly in Ontario.                   It is considered to be one of the top 100 invasive species in the world. 

What does it look like? Japanese Knotweed has hollow, smooth stems, resembling bamboo. It has medium to large oval to triangular shaped leaves, growing in an alternate pattern. The plant produces pretty, small, white flowers in sprays near the end of the stems. The flowering occurs in Late July- August

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Where does it like to grow?

Japanese Knotweed thrives in full sun, open and exposed sites. But, this attractive, but invasive species also thrives along river edges, wetlands, ditches, along roadsides and fence lines. It can often be found on old homestead land where it may have been originally planted as an ornamental. Because it thrives along river edges, rhizome pieces can be dispersed in the moving water quickly spreading the plant. The seeds are usually spread by wind. It is salt tolerant and can survive extreme climates and site conditions.

What harm will it do if I have it on my property?

Most importantly for homeowners to know is the Knotweed rhizomes spread so vigorously that they can damage home foundations, grow up through interlock patios and driveways, or through your deck boards. This plant can also grow through asphalt up to 8 cm thick!

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

This species is known to degrade wetland and river habitats. Dense growth of Japanese Knotweed will reduce sun penetration by so much that it prevents other plants from growing. There is also some preliminary studies which suggest that it may also change the soil chemistry prohibiting the growth of native species.

This species is known to degrade wetland and river habitats. Dense growth of Japanese Knotweed will reduce sun penetration by so much that it prevents other plants from growing. There is also some preliminary studies which suggest that it may also change the soil chemistry prohibiting the growth of native species.

What should I do if I have Japanese Knotweed on my property?
Calling a professional is recommended as there is a certain protocol for removing and disposing of this aggressive plant.
Please remember if you pull any of this out of your gardens, to dispose of it properly.
Place all plant materials in thick black plastic bags. Leave the bags in the sunlight for a week then send to a landfill site. If you live in an area where burning is permitted, this is the best method to dispose of it.

For more detailed information if you think you may have this plant on your property please check this link:

Please call the office 613-293-8246 if you have Japanese Knotweed on your property to receive a quote to remove it safely and prevent the spread of this invasive species.

Although the rain has settled down slightly, according to Environment Canada, 2017 it will go down as one of the rainiest years in our recorded history.

Here are a few tips for you to help ensure your lawns can deal with another summer like 2017!


  • Try and keep your lawn well aerated. Ideally twice a year to keep the compaction to a minimum. This will help with drainage.
  • Be sure your lawn is properly graded. You want to ensure that there are no low spots where the water can puddle. You also want to make sure that water does not sit up against the foundation.
  • Over-seeding your lawn once a year once the cooler, late summer temperatures arrive. This will help keep a thicker lawn with a more complex root system, which helps your lawn absorb more water.
  • Once the lawn is very wet, try and avoid walking on the lawn. This contributes to soil compaction and therefore further worsening the drainage problem.

As we head in to August, let’s hope that the rain stays away, giving our lawns time to dry out a bit. On the other hand, we do not want it too dry, that is a whole new problem! If that happens, don’t worry we will send you some tips to help you deal with that as well.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Just as we like to cozy up in the fall when the temperatures drop so do the critters outside. Protecting your home from becoming a winter vacation property to rodents like mice and squirrels and chipmunks, not to mention raccoons, is very important. unnamed-1Having a chimney full of raccoons is no fun for the homeowner. Let’s face it, most of us don’t really even think of this until it happens to us!

Damage to beams, walls, and wires are a real hazard that needs to be addressed. Rodents in search of food can find their way in and create havoc in your home. Keep in mind, mice only need a quarter of an inch to get in and squirrels only need about two and a half inches. The most common entry points for smaller critters are around windows and doors. Raccoons love the cozy chimney! Add weather stripping, check door sweeps and your screens for holes, add a chimney cap. With a few preventative measures you can ensure that your home will be safe.

According to the Insurance Hotline website these tips should help:

  • Don’t leave food out.
  • Secure your trash.
  • Cover up any cracks or holes inside and outside your home.
  • Install a chimney cap.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier.
  • Clear away wood, mulch or plant material from the base of the home.

Many people don’t realize that if they have a major infestation and damage to their home, their insurance may not cover them. Just another reason to keep your home and yard clean, tidy and shrubs and bushes well trimmed away from the house.


Beautiful tulips, the result of planting fall bulbs!

Living in the Ottawa area we are treated every spring to an amazing show of tulips all over the capital region showcased during the Tulip Festival. For the home owner planting fall bulbs is an easy way to enjoy beautiful colour on your own property.

Lindsay Landscape plants bulbs for some clients every year. Planting  should be done anytime from late September in to late November or even December if the ground is not yet frozen solid. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and crocus are spring flowering and considered hardy. They need to have the dormant rest during the winter. Once the snow begins to melt in the spring the bulbs are watered with the melting snow and they begin to grow.

Plant in well drained soil, adding bonemeal to the planting bed may help keep squirrels from stealing the bulbs. We would recommend mulching to help prevent weeds, retain moisture and if there is a severe winter, some mulch will help protect them from damage. Planting in clumps is an attractive option, giving the best hit of colour in the spring when the bulbs flower.

Once blooming has finished let the leaves die back, then carefully remove. You can leave the bulbs in the ground but many gardeners suggest after 3 years, removing and splitting them. Some well thought out planning in your garden will ensure that there are other plants growing up to disguise the dying leaves of your finished tulips or whichever flower you planted.

Whether you choose to plant bulbs yourself or want some help from Lindsay Landscape, planting bulbs is a great way to plan ahead for an early and colourful start to your gardening season.


Whether or not you are selling your home curb appeal is very important. We all want to drive up to our home a feel good about what we see, but if you are selling it goes way beyond our feelings.

Lindsay Landscape has been called in numerous times for an overhaul on a property that the owners were looking at selling. Beyond the regular lawn mowing, keeping your property well maintained includes weeding and re-edging your gardens beds and adding mulch as well as trimming your shrubs and hedges. Keeping any painted surfaces on the exterior of your property in good shape, and in an updated colour will go a long way in improving the curb appeal. Potted flowers, a comfy chair on the porch or a bench in the garden are welcoming to visitors.DSC_0041

If you have large trees on your property be sure they are kept trimmed as dead branches can be a hazard to people and property, not to mention a broken limb hanging down is definitely not appealing. Fences and retaining walls should be kept in good repair. Decks can often be greatly improved by a good power washing.

Curb appeal is going to draw in potential buyers who might otherwise just drive on by, or in this day and age, click on the next property’s picture. Often overlooked is your house number. Is it easy to read from the road? Consider replacing the numbers so your house is easy to spot to potential buyers. Keep your walkway clear to the door. Plant some flowers and keep them watered.

Your real estate agent will thank you for these preparations.

November was a busy month preparing for snow clearing. We had a small dusting of snow early in the month but thanks to Mother Nature the snow has melted and we are starting with a clean slate! According to The Weather Network, Ontario should experience an average winter snow fall, but with the east coast expecting heavier than average we could easily be affected by this. With the fronts coming just a little farther west and north things could easily change for us in Ottawa.

Being prepared for our clients entails a lot of equipment maintenance and training for our employees. IMG_5192Trucks, salters, plows, tractors and snow blowers all must be ready to go. We have been working on this since late September and things are in to place. Learning the routes takes a bit of time but practice runs have been done by our new employees. Stakes are placed to help the drivers know where the edges of the driveways are as well as making it easier to identify the properties that we maintain.

For our residential clients we recommend parking your cars in your garage if at all possible and if you do not have a garage we suggest pulling your car up to the front of the driveway as far as you can. Our driver will pull as close as they can to the back of the car to clear the driveway. Returning to clear the windrow left by the city plows is completed once the city has finished plowing the neighbourhood streets. Timing for sending our crews out depends on the particular storm. If it is going to be a shorter storm we will wait until the snow finishes and then send the crews out to clear. If it is a big event with snow fall lasting over 12 hours we will do two runs. One half way through the storm and head out again once the storm has finished. All walkway clearing is done at the end of the snow fall regardless of the timing.

I was going to end with “stay warm”, but after this last few weeks, how about “stay dry”?

Clearing a driveway in Elmvale Acres

Clearing a driveway in Elmvale Acres

Snow shoveling can be a risky job. Every winter many people are injured while shoveling snow. Heart attacks are also common during this time as well. Some careful planning and a few safety tips may help you stay healthy. Advances in snow shovel design over the last few years have help many people who do their own snow shoveling. With a slight bend in the handle the new shovel design means you can stay more upright, putting less stress on your lower back. FullSizeRenderLarge shovels designed just to push the snow are common place and make it easier to push a larger amounts of snow. Using a smaller shovel to then throw it up on the pile. Before heading out to shovel physiotherapists recommend some doing some stretching. Working in the cold is hard on the muscles until they get warmed up. Clearing the snow in a few stages instead of waiting until there is a large accumulation, is also a good idea if possible. Also remember to drink lots of water. Even though you are probably a bit cold and drinking cold water isn’t too appealing, it is important to keep hydrated. Snow shoveling is a trigger for heart attacks. Many people just don’t think about the dangers of snow shovelling. According to Patrick J. Skerrett, editor of Harvard Health : “What’s the connection? Many people who shovel snow rarely exercise. Picking up a shovel and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, particularly after doing nothing physical for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower can do the same thing. Cold weather is another contributor because it can boost blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to part of the heart, and make blood more likely to form clots. When a clot forms inside a coronary artery (a vessel that nourishes the heart), it can completely block blood flow to part of the heart. Cut off from their supply of life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients, heart muscle cells begin to shut down, and then die. This is what doctors call a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome. The rest of us call it a heart attack.”


It is easy to forget how much snow we get!

So when you head out to shovel that walkway or driveway, please remember to stretch, drink plenty of water and take your time. Also consider spreading a little ice melt to keep the walks from being too slippery.


Love them or hate them we have been forced in to using the Green Bin Program in Ottawa with the reduction of garbage pick up to biweekly. Admittedly, using the green bin is a bit of a pain, but in our house we have adjusted and jam it full every week. In the news this week, certain councillors running in the upcoming election have suggested that if they run they will end the green bin program and return to weekly garbage pick up. It has been suggested this could cost the city millions of dollars, so I suggest the we get used to biweekly pickup and using the Green Bin.

All this talk of green bins got me thinking about how I never used to compost until the biweekly pickup started, now it is routine. A few tips to help you get used to using the green bin.

1. Keep a small covered compost bin in the kitchen and line it with purchased bags or homemade liners. Like these:

2. In the warm weather keep meat scraps in it’s own lined bin in the freezer until pick up day. This helps with the control of maggots.

3. If you are going to be prepping a large amount of veggies and fruits at one time, prep them right on to a few sheets of newspaper, then wrap and put in the Green Bin.

Many people are still not sure what can go in to the Green Bin. You can of course dispose of the expected items of food scraps and yard waste, you can also dispose of BBQ and fireplace ashes (cooled of course), kitty litter, pet fur, hair and feathers, to name a just few items. Check the City of Ottawa website for a full list here:

Naturally, as a landscape company we are keenly aware of the requirement of good organic matter for the gardens we build and maintain. As a homeowner, you can benefit directly from the city’s composting endeavors by purchasing (very inexpensively) compost which has been produced from matter the city has collected. It is a “serve yourself” at the Trail Road facility in the city’s west end.

Think green and keep on composting!