Frequently Asked Questions

Q? What is a Turf Fertilization & Weed Control Programs?


3 Application Fertilization & Weed Control Program: This program is designed to give your lawn a balanced feeding for the top growth (green up) and healthy root development, in addition to helping with the control of broad leaf weeds. It typically starts in the month of May with applications being scheduled at approximately 6-8 week intervals. With the final application is usually applied in the month of September. A minimal amount of is used and it is our goal to provide you with a healthy, safe, and trouble free lawn, while minimizing our environmental footprint. RTL supports the City of Calgary integrated pest management program (IPM).

The organic program is designed to give your lawn both top growth/green up and healthy root development. This program consists of no herbicides, unless spot spraying for weeds is specifically requested. It is also recommended for older lawns, or lawns which are high in biotic activity. Typically starting in the month of May applications are scheduled at approximately 6-8 week internals. The final application is typically applied in the month of September. Please note the premise behind this program is to eliminate the use of herbicides on your lawn, while introducing organic materials to support growth. If you are still concerned with weeds we can spot spray for them as needed, this will significantly reduce the use of herbicides.

Applicators will make every effort to minimize over spraying/spreading fertilizer onto any areas other than designated turf.

All unwanted vegetation will be sprayed in and around hardscapes at the discretion of the applicator.

Alleyways will be checked and treated for minor infestation of broadleaf weeds. Any alleys with large amounts of unwanted vegetation will be trimmed down, raked up/ removed, and sprayed with appropriate products upon the property owner’s request at an additional charge.

All granular fertilizer will be swept/blown off of hardscapes after application process has been completed.

All lawns will be marked with an application sign to signal that fertilizer/herbicide has been applied. Signs shall be placed no further than 8 feet from the city sidewalk and within close proximity to homeowner’s front entrance walkway or driveway.

Condo complexes and public parks will need to have information signs posted five days before commencement of any weed control process. A RTL representative will do the posting of signs after consulting property owners or managers on appropriate time frames for application.  

Please note that the first application of weed control should eliminate approximately 65%-75% of the visible and non-visible weeds in your turf. The second application of weed control should eliminate the majority of the remaining weeds, which will give us the ability to reduce or eliminate any weed control products in the 3rd applications. Please note RTL will return to spray 10 days after the 2nd application on the request of the property owner at no charge if there has not been a reduction in the weed population.

If possible all sites will be left with a completed site report listing what products were applied and any instructions that may be needed to maximize the efficiency of the application.

The results of any fertilizer program are dramatically affected by the diligence of the property owner or manager to provide the right amount of water to designated turf areas. The best way to water if you do not have an irrigation system is to water approximately 2 inches per week all at one time and in the morning. Extremely dry conditions may warrant that this process is done twice per week. Conversely be aware of poor drainage or saturated soils.

Please note there are a number of turf related diseases and infestations that may become present in our turf. All applicators will monitor to the best of their ability any abnormal conditions that may arise in your lawn. Any abnormalities will be brought to the attention of property owners as well as any treatments and their related costs.

Q? What is offered during a spring clean-up?

  • Spring clean-ups are typically scheduled over a 21 day period coinciding with the appropriate weather conditions.
  • Spring clean-ups will consist of leaf and debris pick-up, Power raking, aeration, single application fertilizer, mow & trim as well as a clean up of all hardscape areas. Flowerbeds, shrub beds, and tree wells will be cleaned out to the extent of only removing dead plant material. If the client would like to have beds and tree wells cultivated, weeded, and re-edged a separate booking will be required so an experienced landscape gardener may be assigned to complete any requested bed work.
  • Please note RTL will clean all gravel off of lawn areas on to roadways so that when applicable it may be cleaned up during parking lot and roadway cleaning provided by RTL sweepers, a private contractor or the City of Calgary.

Q? What are the benefits of Aeration?

  • Aeration has many benefits for your lawn including; reduction in water run off and puddling, improved drainage, improved grass rooting, reduction in soil compaction, improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere, release of harmful lawn gasses, enhanced water uptake by the turf, improved fertilizer uptake and use, increased tolerance to heat and drought, improved resiliency and cushioning, and increased tolerance to disease.
  • Aerations can be scheduled either in the spring or fall time for best results. Summer aerations may be done to help with extremely damaged or neglected lawns. This is usually done to help with water retention and/or compaction problems.
  • All aerations done by RTL will consist of removing a 2-3 inch core. All cores removed from the turf area will be left on the turf so they can break down and return to the root zone and sub soils of the turf. No removal of cores will be done unless advised by the client and addition charges will apply. Please note it is in the best interest of your lawn to leave the cores to break down. Cores will usually disappear after a few lawn mowings.
  • Every effort will be made to safely and carefully transport the aerating unit in and around all yard obstacles. In some cases two operators will be required to carry the aerating unit down stairs or up stairs or across areas that could be damaged.
  • Turf areas with extreme slopes may be skipped if the crew leader feels that the area to be treated posses a safety hazard to the operator, the aerator itself, or any property components.
  • After completing aeration all walkways, driveways, roads, and additional hardscapes will be swept clean of any debris and cores that have dislodged from the aerator tines.

Q? What services are offered for a fall clean-up?

  • Fall clean-ups will usually start around the middle of October and will run for approximately 28 days. Disruptions in service may occur due to weather conditions; however every attempt will be made to complete all fall clean-ups. All fall clean-ups that are missed due to weather conditions will be addressed in the spring.
  • Fall clean-ups will consist of leaf and debris pick-up, fertilizer application, mow and trim as well as a clean up of landscape debris from hardscape areas. Flowerbeds, shrub beds, and tree wells will only be cleaned out, with dead plant material being removed. No cultivating, weeding, or re-edging of beds will occur with the fall clean up. If clients would like any bed work done a separate booking will be required with one of our experienced landscape gardeners.
  • Please note RTL will make every effort to schedule fall clean ups so that the majority of the leaves have been shed from plant material. Some properties may need to have multiple site visits to address the accumulation of additional leaves that have fallen or that have blown onto properties. Additional visits may require that properties be allocated additional charges.
  • On roadways and parking areas, RTL will only be responsible for the cleanup of landscape debris.

Q? What is turf mowing?

  • Service usually starts around the beginning of May coinciding with weather conditions and continues until the end of the second full week in October.
  • Weekly lawn cutting clients are allowed to switch to a bi-weekly service in the middle of August without any premium charge. This change of schedule may coincide with the decreased growing rates associated at this time of the season. Any weekly client that changes to bi-weekly service before the middle of August will be charged a mowing rate of 1.75 times their regular weekly rate due to increased cutting times, increased wear on equipment, and scheduling Difficulties. Please note that lawns with extreme growing rates may be refused bi-weekly service. Vacation lawn mowing is available to assist homeowners with their mowing needs while they are away from home and will be offered to homeowners within a 1 km perimeter of an existing client.
  • All specified turf areas will be mowed on a frequency of every 7 days during peak growing seasons. Every effort will be made to mow through rainy conditions to maintain your schedule, and contrary to popular belief will not damage your turf. If your scheduled day for mowing cannot be done to weather conditions we will either mow it on the next few work days or the next closest weekend. If mother –nature is in-cooperative for that week your mowing for that week will be bumped to the following week. Standard mowing height will be 3.0 inches and may be adjusted upon request. Please note that higher mowing heights are proven to be more beneficial to the overall health of the turf due to protection of the root zone from the sun and water retention. Bagging of clippings will be done on most residential properties, grass islands, and smaller commercial sites. Mulching of grass clippings may be utilized on larger areas or properties that may benefit due to the return of grass clippings to the root zone of the lawn for nutrients or water retention. Excess grass clippings will be raked or dissipated as needed to maintain a neat appearance.
  • Minor amounts of debris will be removed from the turf area prior to mowing. Major amounts of debris will be considered the responsibility of the property owners and will be removed, with consent, prior to mowing on a cost-plus basis.
  • Blowing of grass clippings and minor amounts of debris will be dispersed evenly to surrounding turf areas at each mowing visit to maintain a neat appearance. This will include all hardscapes including; decks, sidewalks, driveways, patios, plazas, and curbs.
  • Trimming with a line trimmer or hand trimmer shall be performed around all trees, beds, buildings, signs, etc., and all areas bordered by turf. Areas that are easily damaged may be skipped to reduce damage i.e. vinyl siding, wooden fences etc. Trimming will be done with every effort made to keep all exposed edges at 90 degrees or vertical. Alleyways will be trimmed each week to keep a neat appearance. New contracts may require a one-time charge to rectify over grown alleyways.
  • All property owners installing plant material are required to maintain a minimum 12-inch border to reduce the possibility of damage to plantings. RFX cannot assume responsibility for damage to plants that do not have a 12-inch border.
  • All property owners are required to clean-up all pet waste before mowing crews arrive on site. Once your mowing schedule is set crew arrival times to site will be fairly consistent giving property owners adequate time to remove all pet waste. Failure to remove pet waste will cause crews to skip your mowing for the week and travel time to site will be charged to your account.
  • We would appreciate if excessive miscellaneous items could be put away before crews arrive on site, such as toys, hoses, lawn furniture etc.
  • Please note that all lawn cutting cancellations must be done no later than 12:00 noon the day before scheduled cutting dates. Failure to do so will result in charges to your account for driving time to site and travel time to next contract site. Please do not inform crew foremen of lawn cancellations on site. All foremen are instructed to cut all properties schedule for that day and are not allowed to cancel lawn-mowing services. All cancellations must be done through the office via direct contact with customer service or via email message.

Q? What is Flowerbed, Shrub Bed, and Tree Well Maintenance?


This service is available to clients who wish to receive an additional level of service for their property and is available on a weekly schedule only. Also we will come for an initial start up visit in the spring and a final year-end shut down visit in the fall. Detailing crews can be added to basic lawn services or hired independently. RTL detailing crews will provide the following services:

  • Weed, cultivate, and edge all flowerbeds, shrub beds, and tree wells.
  • Dead heading of flowers
  • Pick up and disposal of week-to-week accumulation of litter on site. Excessive litter or construction materials will be charged extra.
  • Control of all unwanted vegetation in and around hardscapes.
  • Sweep and/or blow off all hardscapes.
  • Visual check for any damages to property due to disease, insects, weather, and report to client for follow up.

Weather permitting initial start-ups will be completed around the third week of May. After the third week of May a regular schedule will be established. Ongoing visits will be terminated around the start of October with the final year-end shut down completed by the end of October, weather permitting.