EARLY SPRING 2010
North America’s Grounds Care Specialists
Sunshine Aurora Lends a Helping Hand at
Christmas Toy Drive
During the Christmas holidays, Team Sunshine Aurora gave generously of their time and money to help
out with a local toy drive run by Yellow Brick House, a charity committed to rebuilding the lives of abused
women and children. The landscapers donated nearly 200 toys!
“We felt that we have been very fortunate to be chosen to join the Sunshine Team, and we wanted to
take Christmas as our opportunity to give back,” said Sunshine Aurora Franchise Owner Marco Ritacca.
“We decided that purchasing a large number of toys and donating to a local charity would be the best way
to show our gratitude.”
When the Yellow Brick House volunteers were faced with the task of moving more gifts than their cars
could handle, the Sunshiners stepped in again, offering the use of their trucks. “One of the workers had
mentioned that it did not feel like Christmas this year,” said Marco. “Shortly after we dropped off the toys,
his attitude changed.”
Sunshine later received a touching e-mail from the executive
director of Yellow Brick House, recognizing the Aurora Team for
“You have made many families happy this holiday season, and
many moms and kids were actually crying when they received
their gifts. I know that at times it is hard to imagine the impact
you have on other people if you don’t see them, but rest assured
that you and your team have been blessed by many even though
they don’t know you.”
Thanks to Team Sunshine Aurora for all of your hard work and
generosity! Find out more about the wonderful work that Yellow
Brick House does at www.yellowbrickhouse.org. Team Sunshine Aurora members
with some of the donated toys.
S u n S h i n e e n v i r o n m e n ta l
Environmental sustainability is a topic of growing impor- accept leaf and yard wastes as well as organic wastes
tance within our industry. Interest in pesticide usage, from the industrial/commercial sector.
carbon emissions from vehicles and lawn mowers, and
The head of this new Sunshine company is Scott Bryk,
the effect of salt used in winter maintenance are some
B.Sc., a native of Palgrave, Ontario. Scott is a business
issues that are moving to the front of our customers’ minds.
owner who has worked on developing the composting
Following the motto, “We Care, All Year, Sunshine facility from its inception. He brings a wealth of informa-
has formed Sunshine Environmental. This new com- tion regarding a wide range of environmental issues,
pany will be responsible for developing a company-wide along with a practical business owner-focused approach
environmental policy that franchises can use to take to environmental sustainability.
advantage of new business opportunities with respect
Long-term goals of this company include creating a
to environmentally friendly lawn care approaches and
completely “Carbon Neutral” company where the
methodologies. Also, Sunshine Environmental will be
emissions from every aspect of our business are “off-
constructing and running a composting operation in
set” by other practices and activities, such as by the
Orangeville starting in the summer of 2010. This facility,
use of biodiesel and tree planting.
a model for other facilities to be built in the future, will
Sunshine in the Community
Over 50 landscape professionals from Sunshine so long to do what you accomplished in a single
Grounds Care volunteered to help with the clear- morning. People can begin to enjoy this trail and
ing of branches and debris at the newest extension the beauty of Island Lake right away.”
of the Island Lake Trail during Sunshine’s annual
Picturesque Island Lake
Conservation Area is located in
“Each year we gather employees the rolling hills of Dufferin County
for several days of skills training fo- in the towns of Orangeville and
cusing on ways to improve customer Mono and provides for four
care and service,” said Sunshine seasons of recreation. The 332
CEO Peter van Stralen. “Giving back hectares of lake, wetland, forest
to the communities in which we live and meadow play an important
to make them more sustainable is ecological role in protecting the
very important to us.” headwaters of the Credit and
Bob Shirley, chair of Friends of
Island Lake, was on site to observe For more information on
the charge of the yellow landscape Island Lake, please visit
brigade. “This is fantastic work,” www.creditvalleycons.com.
Bob said. “It would have taken us
Spring Seeding preSentS unique ChallengeS
As warm weather returns and you take stock of your lawn and landscape this spring, it may be tempting to
jump start your turf’s growth with some new grass seed. It’s only natural to think of spring as the perfect time
for seeding your lawn. After all, the spring season brings new growth everywhere we look. However, the truth
is that late summer and fall are really better times for seeding. There are several reasons why.
SPRING SEEdING ChALLENGES LAtE SummER ANd FALL AdvANtAGES WhEN SEEdING CAN’t WAIt
A variety of factors can interfere with In the late summer and fall, on the Of course, it’s not always possible to
spring seeding success: other hand, conditions are more favor- wait until late summer or fall for seed-
• Soil is still cool in the spring, so able for seeding your lawn. At this point ing. If that’s the case with your lawn,
germination is slower than during the in the year: proper after-care will be critical for
late summer and fall. • Warmer soil encourages faster seeding success. This includes:
• New grass seed will be forced to com- seed germination. • Keeping the seedbed moist until
pete with any crabgrass seeds trying to • Cooler temperatures mean less well germinated, and providing extra
grow. And if pre-emergent herbicides stress for new grass seedlings. water through most of the summer.
have been applied to prevent crab- • Crabgrass and other weeds aren’t • Mowing at normal height in seeded
grass, they’ll prevent new grass growth so much of a concern, and pre-emer- areas to help the new grass fill in.
as well. New grass seed shouldn’t be gents can safely be used next spring. • Avoiding weed control applications
planted until six to eight weeks after a on the young grass until it has been
• New grass plants will have both
pre-emergent application. mowed three to five times.
the fall and spring growing seasons
• New grass planted in the spring to get established before summer
won’t have time to fully develop its weather returns.
root system before hot, dry summer
weather arrives. As a result, extra Finally, remember that good seed-to-soil contact makes a big difference.
watering will be necessary during the Hand raking, slice seeding and core aerating are all good ways to open
summer months. up the soil and make it more receptive to new grass seed. For more
information on lawn seeding, call Sunshine Grounds Care today.
5. Flowers have changed color in the urn to the left of the pool. 8. there is an extra window pane in the middle of the house. 2. umbrellas at the back of the pool have changed color.
4. the bay window shows a beach scene. 7. there is a beach ball in the pool. 1. there is a pair of sandals to the right of the pool.
3. there is a bird flying to the right of the house. 6. there are new flowers planted to the right of the house. answers to photo puzzle on back page:
Combining Form and FunCtion with natural SCreenS
Trees and shrubs planted in strategic spots screening around a deck or patio, deciduous shrubs
throughout your landscape make effective, attractive will do the trick (plus, they’ll grow tall in just a few
screens that will add privacy and value to your prop- seasons). And for year-round screening of unpleasant
erty. In some cases, a single tree or shrub may be all views, or for privacy, evergreens are your best bet.
you need to achieve your desired screening effect.
In addition to screening, a “living fence” of trees
The first step is to decide what your screen will be and/or shrubs provides a home for birds and other
used for. If you need to block out a long, horizontal wildlife, reduces noise from passing traffic, and
space, a hedge or group of shrubs and small trees can even cut down on heating and cooling costs
will work quite nicely. To hide a tall neighboring by deflecting cold winds and creating shade. For
building, consider some deciduous trees (both small more information, or if you’re interested in adding
and large varieties will work, depending on how a natural screen to your property, call Sunshine
much of the building you want to hide). For seasonal Grounds Care today.
5 2 9 6
Evergreens are great for year-round www.sunshinegrounds.com
screening and privacy.
With Storms Coming Soon,
It’s a Great Time to Prune!
Proper Dead wood that is likely to fall in stormy weather
pruning from can be removed as well. And besides preparing for
Sunshine storms, pruning can be done to:
• Improve air circulation
can go a long
way toward • Increase exposure to sunlight
preventing tree • Remove branches that are blocking windows,
damage from walkways or driveways
summer thun- • Remove overlapping branches and those that
derstorms. For are rubbing together
example, main- Remember, no matter how strong and sturdy
tenance-level your trees may appear, all of them are susceptible
pruning can create a sturdy, well-spaced framework to damage from heavy storms. Preventative prun-
of healthy branches and an open tree canopy. This ing from Sunshine Grounds Care is one of the best
will decrease wind resistance and minimize the risk means of protection. Give us a call today to sched-
of tree failure in stormy conditions, since air will be ule this beneficial service.
able to flow freely through the branches.
Pruning may also be beneficial if
branches and foliage have grown thick-
er and heavier than what the roots can
easily support. In cases such as these,
tree failure can occur when excessive
rainfall creates waterlogged soil that
can’t keep the roots anchored. Pruning
away extra branches and foliage may
help to minimize failure.
Welcome to a Brand-New Growing Season
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” – Robin Williams
We think Mr. Williams hit concern. Your satisfaction is our first priority, and we
the nail on the head with hope you’ll let us know if there’s anything we can do
that quote! There’s no doubt to improve your experience with us.
about it: After a dull and Working together, we can make your property more
dreary winter, the first signs beautiful and more valuable…while enhancing the
of spring will put a bounce quality of the environment we all share.
in anyone’s step. Birds are
singing, flowers are bloom-
ing, the sun is shining, and the air just feels ripe with
possibilities. At Sunshine Grounds Care, we’re always
excited about the potential each new growing season
brings, and we’re especially pleased to be working
with you to keep your property looking its best. 1-800-361-LAWN
We’re here whenever you need us, so please don’t 5 2 9 6
hesitate to call anytime you have a question or www.sunshinegrounds.com
did You Know? the mediCinal power oF plantS…
There's more to some Some plants not only look great in the garden, but can provide medicinal
plants than meets the eye! benefits as well. Here are just a few of them:
Calendula lavender roses PurPle
Sticky resin can be Essential oils can Fruit is high in Coneflower
used to heal wounds. help heal wounds vitamin C to combat (eChinaCea)
Can help with and burns. Flowers the common cold. A well-known immu-
respiratory infections have antimicrobial Leaves, flowers and nity booster. All parts
when combined with properties to fight buds may also help of the plant have
herbs and taken bacteria, viruses and with indigestion. medicinal properties.
internally. fungi. May help with
mild depression when
brewed in a tea.
KidS, Can You tell the diFFerenCe? See if you can find the eight differences between the
two photos. Answers are on page 2.