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Yard Ventures Inc is hiring for Summer 2020 and beyond!

Yard Ventures Inc is hiring for Summer 2020 and beyond!

Are you searching for a job where you get to work outdoors, stay fit and finish your day feeling like you have achieved something? Yardventures are currently hiring, we are searching for energetic and conscientious people who would like to join our dynamic team. All training provided. This is a great opportunity for travellers looking for work or locals looking for a new experience!

We follow all WCB guidelines and have implemented numerous new policies to ensure our team stays healthy and safe during the current pandemic.

Click the following link to apply now: https://www.yardventures.com/employment/

COVID-19 Update

To our valued customers,

 

In light of COVID-19, Yard Ventures Inc is open, fully resourced and our dedication to providing you with industry leading service and expertise remains unchanged.

 

As we are all doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to update you on the preventative measures we are taking to help keep you, our staff and families healthy and safe:

 

  • Increased disinfecting of frequency of high touch point surfaces (door handles, keyboards, telephones, vehicles, tools, equipment etc.)
  • Following social distancing protocol
  • Implementing handwashing protocols and hygiene with staff
  • Mandatory self-isolation for 14 days for any staff that have travelled abroad
  • Briefing staff on details of the virus, symptoms and preventing the spread.
  • Any staff member exhibiting symptoms such as mild cough or low-grade fever will stay home.

 

As always, we appreciate your business and will keep you updated on any changes that may arise.

 

Yard Ventures Inc. Team

Yard Ventures Inc is hiring for our 2020 season

Yard Ventures Inc is hiring for our 2020 season

Are you searching for a job where you get to work outdoors, stay fit and finish your day feeling like you have achieved something? Yardventures are currently hiring for the 2020 season and we are searching for energetic and conscientious people who would like to join our dynamic team. All training provided. This is a great opportunity for travellers looking for work or locals looking for a new experience!

Click the following link to apply now: https://www.yardventures.com/employment/

Water Restrictions in Effect

Water Restrictions in Effect

The grass might always be greener on your neighbours’ side of the fence, but that is not necessarily a bad thing

As the City of Vancouver introduces 2019 water restrictions, home owners are encouraged to “let your lawn go gold”.

Despite the popularity and aesthetic appeal of lush, green lawns, established grass actually only needs 1” of water per week.

And if it takes on a gold or brown shade it is not dead, but dormant.

This is one of several recommendations from the City in an attempt to reduce water consumption, which usually doubles in the summer.

Other ideas include;

  • Choosing drought tolerant plants for your garden
  • Installing a rain barrel to collect rainwater for irrigation
  • Watering in the morning or when cool to reduce water loss through evaporation
  • Installing a recirculation pump on ponds, water features, fountains or swimming pools
  • Use a broom to clean your driveway or other surfaces, instead of a hose
  • Only using hoses with an automatic shut-off device
  • Check for, and repair, leaks
  • Consider replacing lawn with drought tolerant groundcovers or permeable patios and paths
  • Book a free irrigation assessment to ensure your watering system is right for your garden

Water Restrictions Explained

Vancouver is currently in Stage 1 which means;

Lawn-watering days for residential addresses:

  • Even-numbered addresses: 4-9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Odd-numbered addresses: 4-9 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays.

Lawn-watering days for non-residential addresses:

  • Even-numbered addresses: 1-6 a.m. on Mondays.
  • Odd-numbered addresses: 1-6 a.m. on Tuesdays.
  • All addresses: 4-9 a.m. on Fridays.

Watering outside of the permitted times is a bylaw offence, with violations resulting in fines ranging from $250 to $1,000.

Flower gardens, shrubs, plants and trees can be watered any day between 4-9am, while there is currently no restrictions on vegetable gardens.

A Tale of Two Winters

A Tale of Two Winters

Vancouver has experienced the rare occurrence of two distinct seasons within the 2018-19 winter.

Part one was temperate for plants, with new growth poking out, buds swelling and the occasional daffodil blooming.

Then, in early February, the real winter started.

Almost 30cm in five days was enough to bring the city to a halt, depleting snow shovel and salt reserves in the process.

It also created a problem for gardens.

Trees and shrubs that had been happily vertical were noticeably less so.

Branches began to bend and break, and some plants leaned sideways entirely.

Fortunately, winter damage is temporary and can be remedied with a few simple techniques.

 

Prevention

This requires a certain amount of foresight, so it is important to be aware of which plant species are at the greatest risk of snow damage.

The easiest way is to assess how much foliage is on the plants in question.

A larger surface area of leaves allows more snow accumulation to weigh them down.

Broadleaf evergreens (boxwoods, rhododendrons, evergreen magnolias, etc.) and evergreen conifers (such as yews and cedars) are most susceptible.

Conifers also have soft wood which allows the branches to bend more than those of other species.

To ensure these plants are protected before winter (especially if you plan to leave for holiday at some point), an easy thing to do is to tie up branches that appear at risk of breaking.

For smaller plants, a fibrous gardening cord is usually enough, but for larger branches or if an entire plant needs to be staked, tree ties may be necessary.

Hedge trimming is also recommended in fall so that long, leggy growth doesn’t become splayed under the weight of heavy snow.

 

Repair

If you missed this early opportunity, all is not lost.

The simple act of knocking snow from branches is extremely helpful as the thawing and refreezing snow creates a heavy burden.

If damage has already been done, the same steps can be taken as for preventative measures.

Tie up branches for support where necessary, and stake plants that might be leaning.

Remove damaged branches, but save heavy remedial pruning for spring when the weather is warmer and the risk of freezing has passed (sub zero temperatures can damage plants that haven’t had time to heal large wounds).

Although winter is unpredictable, and you never know what is in store, these measures will go a long way to protecting your gardens.

Planning your Winter Wonderland

Planning your Winter Wonderland

Wondering what to do with your garden now the cold has set in? Our Landscape Horticulturist Erin Stackhouse has the answers.

 

By the time the final leaves have fallen, been raked up and composted or removed, it’s easy to think the work is done.

We can wait until spring when we feel inspired by new growth, longer days and warmth in the air.

However the change of seasons is important for plants, and is often a missed opportunity to showcase the quiet, more subtle beauty gardens contribute to a landscape.

At this time of year, many people have questions regarding how and when to prune various plants and there is a lot of different information available depending on where you live and therefore, your growing zone.

In the Pacific Northwest we are fortunate to be able to accommodate the growing requirements of an impressive range of plants.

From the near tropical to much hardier species common in more frigid parts of the country.

While this allows winter garden care to be more flexible, the last couple of winters reminded us we do still live in Canada and are not immune to that white fluffy (or not so fluffy) stuff that threatens the livelihood of plants.

The tendency is to cut back all plants, remove all leaves and prepare beds as though spring is around the corner.

But this can leave plants vulnerable going into our coldest months.

With recent environmental fluctuations and unpredictable weather patterns, it can be difficult to know how to give these plants the best chance of success.

Some, such as herbaceous perennials, can be cut right to the ground while roses can be cut right back and annuals removed.

Most pruning can be done once leaf fall has finished and plants have entered dormancy without any harm being done.

Since we live in a temperate climate, it’s important to be aware of the effect unpredictable weather can have.

Warmer temperatures can trick plants into producing tender new growth then suffers dieback if a cold snap follows.

If you are concerned about the well-being of your plants or have species on the verge of being suitably hardy in Vancouver, here are some precautionary actions you can take:

  1. Save pruning until late winter when the greatest risk has passed. An added benefit is that many plants, including grasses and hydrangeas, provide great winter interest with some snow resting on them.
  2. Allow a layer of leaves to cover the garden. It may not be a popular aesthetic choice, but it effectively protects plants from frost. In the spring, partial removal of the leaves and addition of a mulch allows this organic matter to be incorporated into the soil, providing further nutrients and oxygen.
  3. If leaves are garden undesirable for appearance sake, or the leaves are unhealthy and may perpetuate plant sickness, there are other ways to provide mulch! A great alternative is a layer of compost or soil amender. The goal is not to bury plants- 1-2” will protect from the worst of the frost.
  4. Wrap susceptible specimens. Burlap can easily be found in rolls at garden centres and protects tender foliage from winter damage and desiccation. Some plants teeter on the edge of hardiness, and younger, less established plants are at higher risk. Rosemary and Lithodora are examples of such plants.

Another activity to consider is hedge trimming. Vancouver tends to get a lot of wet heavy snow, which thaws, refreezes, and weighs down branches and leggy growth.

Keeping shrubs and hedges well maintained encourages density, producing stronger plants that are less likely to split or bow under added weight.

Also, be aware of deadwood or already damaged branches that are susceptible to failure if exposed to additional stress.

Safe in the knowledge that your garden is well prepared, now is the perfect time to contemplate changes or additions you would like to make for the upcoming growing season.

Plant some bulbs, flip through gardening magazines for inspiration, consider your spaces and what you enjoy about them, and discuss ideas that you may have to maximize the time spent in your garden.

On the west coast spring tends to come early and businesses such as ours quickly become busy with requests for garden clean ups and upgrades.

By putting the time in over the winter, you can beat the rush and ensure your ideas become reality in time for them to be properly enjoyed.

Best of luck to all of you and your gardens from the team at Yard Ventures Inc, and visit our contact page if you need any help.

Blown Away By Leaves?

Blown Away By Leaves?

You would have to be living under a rock (or a leaf) to not notice the impact fall has on Vancouver streets and gardens.

The evidence is all around us, with varying shades of red on trees, and increasingly on the ground.

This requires a lot of clean up work, and while regular street sweeping is conducted by the City of Vancouver from November to January, the boulevard and sidewalk is your responsibility.

Knowing the dos and don’ts of how to deal with it will go a long way toward making you a good neighbour.

Do

  • Clean up sidewalks before it gets out of hand and creates hazardous conditions
  • If your green bin is full use paper bags or store-bought bins to ensure removal
  • Additional pickups are being scheduled Set out leaves for collection before 7am on the scheduled Saturday to avoid a missed collection
  • Store extra leaves in a dry or covered area before setting them out for pick up
  • Leaves left on lawns and garden beds are actually good for the environment and provide a natural mulch.

Do not

  • Blow leaves onto the streets, catch basins, sidewalks, boulevards or bike lane. This is not only hazardous, but could land you a hefty fine (up to $10,000)
  • Leave piles of wet leaves that could cause slippery conditions or flooding
  • Use leaf blowers outside the following times (except the West End where leaf blowers are banned);

Monday-Friday: 8am-6pm

Saturday: 9am-5pm

Sundays and holidays: Not allowed

If you are getting tired just thinking about all that raking, we can help. Visit our estimates page or email accounts@yardventures.com to enquire about our leaf clearing services.

Join the Yard Ventures team

Join the Yard Ventures team

Yard Ventures Inc is looking to hire energetic, hard working people to join our team for fall and beyond.

We are looking to fill multiple positions, and successful applicants will perform a wide variety of work.

Lawn mowing, hedge trimming, planting and pruning are all part of a regular day for our maintenance crews.

Our hardscaping crews install gardens, pathways, walls, fences and more.

Starting wage is commensurate with experience, and training will be provided for those without a background in landscaping.

If working outdoors with a fun and enthusiastic team appeals to you, email your application, including a resume, to:  william@yardventures.com.

New Threat to Vancouver Plants

New Threat to Vancouver Plants

If you own a lawn in Vancouver you are probably aware of the dreaded European Chafer Beetle.

Now a new- and in many ways worse- threat has emerged, with the discovery of the Japanese Beetle in False Creek.

Like chafer beetles, the larvae feed on turf grass roots.

But they are also found in the roots of many other plants, and adults feast on more than 250 species of flowers, foliage and fruit.

In short, if it has leaves, it is at risk.

The Japanese Beetle was first discovered in BC last year, although it was introduced to North America in 1916.

Nine Vancouver parks have so far been affected.

The City of Vancouver has implemented a regulated zone, restricting movement of plants and soil.

The area is bordered by;

·         Burrard Street – north from West 12th Avenue to Burrard Inlet

·         Burrard Street – east along West 12th Avenue to Clark Drive

·         Clark Drive – north from East 12th Avenue to Burrard Inlet

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is using larvicide and traps to limit the damage.

There are also several ways the public can assist.

1.       Report sightings to the CFIA on 1-800-442-2342

2.       Do not touch the Japanese Beetle traps that are being set within the regulated area

3.       Do not move soil, plants with soil, pruning waste and other plant debris from areas where the insect has been reported

For more information visit vancouver.ca/home-property-development/japanese-beetle.aspx

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

If watching grass grow is your thing, then this is an exciting time of year in Vancouver.

Spring is officially here, and evidence of plant growth is all around.

That means pretty soon you will want to be out in the sun enjoying your lawn.

For the first lawn cut of the season (or any cut really) it is always important to use a sharp blade.

Cut on the lowest setting initially, allowing sun and water easier access to the roots, then gradually increase the setting over several subsequent cuts so the grass is 2-3” long during the hotter months.

A great way to ensure your lawn is immaculate and ready for increased use is a Spring Tune Up.

The following is a complete list of what a Spring Tune Up entails, but even one or two if these will be hugely beneficial.

And of course if you don’t have the time or energy, Yard Ventures Inc can help.

1. Aeration pulls plugs of grass out of your lawn, which increases the air reaching the roots and reduces compaction.

2. Lime will increase the soil’s pH balance, and most importantly for many lawns, reduces moss over time.

3. Top dressing and seeding is an easy way to improve lawn thickness and repair any bare patches that may have developed over the winter.

4. Power-rake and de-thatch is not for everyone, but it may be useful for spongy or mossy lawns.  If a power rake is not available the hand-held version can be just effective, but a little less enjoyable.

5. Lawn fertilizer is an easy way to promote growth, giving the grass much needed nutrients.