Frequently Asked Questions

Company Questions

Why choose Mow Town for my lawn care or snow removal?
  • 2021 and 2022 Consumer Choice Award, Best Commercial Lawn Care in Northern Alberta
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating
  • Excellent track record in customer reviews
  • We can provide references for nearly any size or type of property
  • No insurance claims or WCB claims to date
  • OHS Plan in place
  • Certified Alberta Living Wage Employer
  • Vetted by the Alberta Seniors Assistance Program
  • 6 years of experience
  • Mow Town offers value packed and cost effective solutions. To acquire, maintain and operate all of the equipment we use would cost several times as much as our service.
  • Reduced liability: our work is insured, and our employees are too. If you are a landlord and your tenant is mowing your lawn – what happens if they step on a nail?
  • Curb appeal: think about the last time you looked for a house. The first picture you see is inevitably the outside of the home. If buyers/potential renters see a patchy lawn with scraggly grass and untamed bushes, they are less likely to pay attention to your listing.
  • Safety: not only does lawn care reduce pollen and pests, it also tells would be criminals that your property is looked after, reducing your chance of being broken into. In winter, the snow and ice can get very bad in Edmonton. Having safe sidewalks for pedestrians is a necessity. Keeping snow away from your property will help prevent flooding. Shovelling heavy snow can also be a serious heart attack risk due to constricted blood flow in the cold. All of these risks can be mitigated by hiring the right contractor.
  • Legitimacy: there are hundreds of contractors for lawn and snow in Edmonton. Many of them are able to offer extreme bargain prices and then disappear after the first cheque is cut. Mow Town is an Alberta registered corporation, licensed in the City of Edmonton, properly insured and bondable, with a brick and mortar location nestled in Clareview.
Do you accept residential or commercial clients?

We are actively seeking residential single family homes, acreages, multi-family (condominiums), industrial and retail properties to work with within Edmonton. Large properties or multiple properties outside the city limits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How do you invoice?

Large one-time jobs such as spring cleanup and fall cleanup are invoiced immediately after completion. Flat rate jobs such as monthly lawn care or snow shovelling are invoiced at the top of each month. All of our invoices are due within 30 days. Invoices are sent out via email and link back to our Client Hub. Every customer has access to the Client Hub where they can view invoices, view receipts, view upcoming appointments, and request more work. Invoices can be paid in the Client Hub with a credit card. We also accept e-transfer, wire transfer, cash and cheques.

What services do you NOT offer?

Mow Town currently provides maintenance services for lawn and snow. We do not typically provide landscape design, grading, sod installs, window washing, or eavestrough cleaning – however we can refer you to reputable experts in each of these fields.

Do you offer one-time lawn mowing or snow removal?

We strongly prefer to book full season or long term lawn mowing and snow removal services.

Is your equipment noisy?

We operate within the City of Edmonton noise bylaws. As per the bylaws, we only operate between 7:00AM and 9:00PM from Monday-Saturday. On Sundays and holidays we operate from 9:00AM-5:00PM. In strictly industrial retail zones where no residents will be disturbed, we occasionally operate snow removal beyond those hours to ensure businesses are safe for pedestrians in the morning.

Many of our machines are heavy duty and designated for commercial use. All the extra power does come at the cost of being noisy, which is why we respect the noise bylaw hours.

Are there service requirements?

Generally speaking, we are well equipped to deal with 99% of residential lawn maintenance and snow removal in Edmonton, but there are some basics required of each property:

  • Work area must be clear of hazards (e.g. nails, construction debris, wasp nests)
  • Pet waste and personal belongings need to be up off the lawn prior to our scheduled visit
  • Gates must be a minimum of 30″ wide for our machines to get in
  • Some of our equipment cannot be lifted over stairs (e.g. the aerator is 400 lbs)
  • Lawn cannot have standing water on it, lawns over 6″ tall evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Snow shovelling crews must have sufficient areas to pile snow without creating risk to the property
  • We must be able to park a truck and trailer legally within eyeshot of your property
  • Pets and kids need to be inside while we work. We would prefer if we were the only occupants of the lawn while we are working for safety.
Are you hiring?

Mow Town hires sporadically throughout the year to ensure our team is supported. Our current career opportunities can be found here.

Do you offer a senior, multiple property or military discount?

We offer everyone the best price we can give them based on the size and complexity of their property. This industry has a very high overhead when considering the fuel, equipment, vehicles, wages, insurance and maintenance needed to run an operation. We have taken innovative measures to streamline those costs and cut out a modest but fair margin. When you receive a quote from Mow Town you can rest easy knowing you didn’t leave any money on the table, and our team will be equipped to get the job done properly.

Do you clean up pet waste?

Mow Town does not clean up pet waste. If you need help with this, there are a number of very reputable services that specialize in pet waste pickup in Edmonton. We recommend contacting K9 Cleanup.

We do require that customers have pet waste and personal belongings (e.g. kids toys) up off the lawn prior to scheduled visits.

Are you a subcontractor?

Mow Town can assist with your lawn care or snow removal contracts and can provide several happy references of contractors we have completed work for.

Do you use subcontractors to do your work?

Most of our work is done in house with Mow Town employees and owned assets but there are specialty items that we do use subcontractors for. Any time Mow Town uses a subcontractor we are up front with the customer about who is doing the work and we have vetted the subcontractor to ensure they meet or exceed our standards, and the client standards, for the job.

What is Jobber?

You may notice that your invoices and Client Hub mention Jobber very briefly. Jobber is an Edmonton born software solution company for mobile service businesses like Mow Town. They provide the administrative backbone of our business. From quoting to scheduling, invoicing and payments, the Jobber platform organizes and automates our business so smoothly it replaces the work of 1-2 administrative personnel and ensures nothing gets missed.

Spring and Fall Cleanup Services

When should I do my spring and fall cleanup?

Spring cleanup should begin after ALL snow has melted on the property and the ground is thawed (frost is gone). Edmonton weather is highly unpredictable; some years spring cleanup has started at the beginning of April, and some years it snows into May. Generally speaking, any time in April or May is ideal for the lawn. We do not run spring cleanup work in the rain or while lawns are wet from precipitation. Power rakes and aerators will tear out a lawn in these conditions, and weed control applications are completely ineffective. Certain spring cleanup items are not recommended above 25 degrees Celcius.

Fall cleanup should begin as the leaves start to fall. For Edmontonians, this is usually mid-September to late October. Mow Town typically runs our fall cleanups from October 1 to October 31. Frozen ground and wet grass are not ideal for many of the fall cleanup items we offer.

What is the most common spring cleanup package?

Customers can tailor their spring cleanup items to meet their needs, but the most common and most “bang for your buck” options are power raking, power edging, fertilizer and weed control.

How much does spring cleanup cost?

Every property is different in size and complexity, and customers can choose the specific items they would like done on their lawn. We evaluate each lawn via satellite and Google StreetView to assess the work involved. We do not typically do on site quote visits for residential lawns, but can if the situation warrants it (e.g. the lawn has been recently landscaped and is not yet updated on satellite imagery).

What is power raking and when is the best time to do it?

Every time a lawn is mowed, some or all of the clippings end up being deposited on the lawn. These clippings begin to form a layer that doesn’t always decompose and can start to build up over time. A power rake (aka rotorake) does the same thing that a person does with a manual rake, but does it hundreds of times per second. When a power rake is run on a lawn, part of the thatch layer is lifted up. This material is then vacuumed up and disposed of – we do this in two passes with our heavy duty bagging mowers. The result is that the root system of the lawn has access to air, water and nutrients that would have otherwise been blocked by a thick thatch layer. After power raking, the grass typically grows a bit faster and is visibly healthier. We recommend power raking in spring before the lawn suffers under heat stress. This is akin to taking off a wool sweater for your lawn – it’s best to do it before you’re way too hot. Ideally this work is done in April or May. Power raking also helps to “fluff up” the grass and break up any snow mold and matting you may see in your lawn. The only time we would caution against power raking is in the dead heat of summer – the mechanical raking does put stress on the lawn and when combined with hot days, the lawn can dry out.

Sometimes folks confuse power raking with raking up leaves. While the power rake process can help pickup leaves during the vacuum stage, power raking itself does not cleanup leaves. If you’re looking to cleanup a solid layer of leaves you’ll just need to blow out the edges and under trees/hedges and then rake up or vacuum up the leaves on their own. Leaf cleanup is a service Mow Town offers too.

Here is what excellent power raking looks like: Power Raking

Is my grass too long to power rake?

The grass in Edmonton is usually fine to power rake if it’s at or even slightly above normal mowed height. Our cooler climate and predominantly Kentucky Blue Grass lawns make it fairly easy for the power rake to succeed. If the lawn is too long (over 10cm) we recommend mowing it down first before power raking.

What is core aeration and when is the best time to do it?

If you have ever seen the little soil plugs and holes all over a lawn, you have seen the results of core aeration. A spiked drum or reciprocating punch will pull these cores out and deposit them on your lawn. Aerating is done to reduce soil compaction. By punching those holes out, the aerator is making way for air, water and nutrients to get to the lawns root system. The holes also create space for the soil to expand. Compacted soil is tough for grass to grow in, but ideal for weeds.

We recommend aerating your lawn in fall. In the following spring, the holes will benefit from the snow runoff and the plugs will break down and redeposit their nutrients into the lawn. Aerating also helps the lawn absorb any fall fertilizer you put down.

Here is a great video about core aeration: Aerating

Should I get both power raking and aerating done in spring?

If your lawn is healthy we usually recommend just power raking in spring and aerating in fall. If you’ve had problems with dandelions, or the grass is coming in a bit yellow, or if your lawn suffered under a baking heat wave last year, aerating in the spring might be valuable for you. We have many customers who prefer to do both aerating and power raking in spring so that the lawn comes in strong and green a bit faster, and we’ve seen that it does tend to work. For most lawns though, aerating in spring is overkill.

Do you clean up the aerator plugs from the lawn?

We do not. The plugs are supposed to be left on the lawn and they naturally dry out, break down and redeposit their nutrients back into the lawn. If you don’t like the look of the plugs on the lawn, you may want to schedule your aeration in fall. Alternatively, if you schedule power raking and aeration in spring, we can aerate first and then power rake – the power rake will chew up the plugs and reduce the amount left visible on the lawn. We do not have a specific service or machine available for picking up the plugs.

How do I aerate and power rake without damaging my sprinkler system?

If you have an in ground sprinkler system, we recommend flagging the sprinkler heads. We’ll avoid the flagged areas with the power rake and aerator so you don’t have to replace damaged sprinkler heads.

What kind of fertilizer do you use?

We use a premium granular 24-8-15, sourced locally. Unlike store bought fertilizer, this special blend is perfect for Edmonton lawns. Our coated fertilizers are set up to slowly release nitrogen throughout the growing season, which eliminates the potential of “lawn burn”.  It also contains Iron, which dials up the deep rich green homeowners love to see in their grass.

Is your fertilizer pet safe?

Yes. It is very common for fertilizer to be applied alongside weed control. To be extra cautious, we recommend keeping pets off the lawn for 24 hours following application.

Is your weed control pet safe?

Once it has fully dried, yes. When applying fertilizer and weed control, we strongly recommend you keep pets, people and water off the lawn for at least 24 hours after application. This will keep your pets and children safe, and it also ensures the best results from the products. After 2 days, you can start watering your lawn again.

How do I get the best results from my fertilizer and weed control applications?

Keep pets, people and water off the lawn for 24 hours minimum. Ideally, keep off the lawn for 48 hours. After that, the lawn can be watered for 10-20 minutes per day. Neither fertilizer or weed control applications are “one and done” products. In particularly weed infested lawns, it can take 2 applications before the lawn is generally weed free. Our fertilizer slowly releases its Nitrogen over 8-10 weeks.

What if I still get weeds after the weed control application?

Badly infested lawns will usually take more than one application to bring under control. Contact our team to re-apply when it is safe to do so. The products we use for weed control require a license to purchase and apply as they have historically been misused – this is not the stuff you buy at Home Depot. Your licensed Mow Town spray applicator can advise you on the best plan to bring your weeds under control.

Do you offer weeding or weed control applications in garden beds and flower beds?

At this time we do not offer weeding in gardens or flower beds. If you have mulch beds or rock beds that grow weeds, we may be able to assist with keeping weeds out of those areas.

Can you apply my fertilizer?

No. Occasionally homeowners will ask us to use their fertilizer on their lawns. As we have no way of verifying the chemical contents, age or potency your fertilizer, we don’t want to risk damaging your lawn. Our products are thoroughly vetted and time tested and are stored and handled according to manufacturer recommendations to ensure you get the absolute best results from your lawn.

Are there limits to your hedge trimming?

Mow Town can trim hedges up to 10 feet tall. Beyond that we can refer you to an arborist who can handle heights and large volume jobs. Most hedges are sensitive to how much volume can be trimmed off at a time. A good rule of thumb is to never trim more than 25% of a bush or hedge so that the plant stays alive.

How do I fix vole damage?

Voles are mouse like creatures that tunnel through lawns in the winter. The result is usually damaged grass and visible pathways that the voles used all winter. The first step to fixing a vole problem is pest control, then usually we recommend power raking the lawn, fertilizing and watering. Seeding over badly damaged areas and applying topsoil has also helped.

What is overseeding and when should I do it?

Overseeding increases the density of your lawn by planting more seed on top of an existing lawn. If you have bare areas of your lawn or thin grass where you can see the soil, overseeding might be a good solution. Mow Town recommends overseeding in spring or in fall. We overseed with a mixture of Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, and Creeping Red Fescue. Each of these grass species can fill different areas. For example, rye grass and fescue do better in shaded areas where as Kentucky is more of an all purpose grass seed. After overseeding, consistent daily watering is important to ensure the seed takes.

What is power edging and when should I do it?

Power edging creates a clean cut line between concrete and grass areas. In older Edmonton neighbourhoods, you may have seen grass growing into the sidewalks several inches. Power edging cuts that excess lawn off and creates a crisp line, which gives the lawn a very sharp and well groomed appearance. During the snow season, edged lawns also make snow shovelling much easier, by creating a straight edge between concrete and lawn to shovel against. The best time for power edging is in spring, but it can be done at any point during the spring, summer or fall. Some homeowners prefer to have it done once per month to maintain the curb appeal of their lawn.

Power edging is often confused with trimming. Trimming is using a string trimmer to cut the grass along fence lines and around obstacles.

Do you offer parking lot sweeping?

Yes! Industrial, retail, commercial and condominium properties with surface parking lots can be cleaned in spring. We clean out the edges and behind parking curbs first, then use a pickup sweeper or street sweeper to capture the sand and gravel from winter. The collected gravel can be left on site for the following winter or hauled away for an additional fee. In order to work efficiently and safely, we do ask that the lot be clear of vehicles while we work (or scheduled for evening work in the case of businesses). We also advise that indoor fire alarms be suspended for the day as the dust can trigger alarms. Smaller lots can be hand swept if required.

How do you handle residential yard waste?

The City of Edmonton introduced an updated residential waste management program in 2021. Compostable goods like lawn clippings and yard waste can be deposited in the green bins, however, most green bins aren’t big enough for yard waste and household compostables, especially during spring and fall. The city has 4 additional pickups per year (2 in spring and 2 in fall) where yard waste in clear bags will be picked up by waste collection. Mow Town specifically stocks and carries clear heavy duty bags for spring cleanup and fall cleanup, and the waste from these services are normally left for city pickup. If those dates are missed or the city doesn’t pick up the waste, Mow Town can bag and haul yard waste to our own private garbage disposal for a small fee. During the lawn mowing season, if bagged mows are needed, Mow Town would simply bag and haul your clippings to our garbage.

Lawn Mowing

How does your lawn mowing service work?

We offer weekly lawn mowing visits at a flat monthly rate. On the same day each week our team will visit your property to mow the lawn to a healthy height, trim all edges and obstacles to match the mowing height, mulch the clippings thoroughly back into the lawn, and blow off the concrete for a clean finish. Our fixed monthly price (like a subscription) takes into account the fluctuations of fuel, equipment and insurance prices in Alberta, but also takes into account that there will be some rain days and slow growth periods in fall. Our mowing service start and end dates are largely subject to the prevailing weather in Edmonton, but typically run from mid-May to mid-October.

If bagged clippings are desired on every mow, please let our team know when booking your service and we will ensure this is noted on your work orders.

How is flat rate mowing invoiced?

Invoices are sent at the beginning of each month and are due by the end of the month. If payment is not received by the due date and no follow up received from the client, the mowing service is ended.

What if my lawn mowing visit is rained out?

If it is raining or has recently rained enough that there is standing water, we will skip that weekly visit and make up for it the following week. Usually after 2 weeks the grass is too long to mulch, so our team will automatically bag and haul the clippings for you at no additional charge.

Are there any limits to the lawn mowing service?

We do require that homeowners remove all pet waste and personal belongings from the lawn on the scheduled visit date.

Do you offer biweekly or once-per-month mowing?

We no longer offer biweekly mowing or once per month mowing.

Do you offer vacation mowing coverage?

Weekly mowing may be available for terms shorter than the whole season but are subject to availability at the time of booking. Our mowing roster fills up quickly each season and priority will be given to full season clients.

Do you offer one-off mows?

Mow Town does not offer one-off lawn mowing visits for residential clients. Industrial and acreage clients are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How do you prevent weeds and mushrooms from spreading by means of your machines?

Dandelions and mushrooms (fairy rings) are a common problem in Edmonton. While it is nearly impossible to completely sanitize equipment of all pollen, seeds and spores, we go to great lengths to thoroughly clean and maintain our equipment to stop the spread of unwanted lawn guests.

When does lawn mowing season start and stop?

Our mowing service start and end dates are largely subject to the prevailing weather in Edmonton, but typically run from mid-May to mid-October.

Mulched versus bagged clippings?

We prefer to mulch grass clippings. Our mowers shred the clippings fine enough to not leave an unsightly trail, and the clippings recycle nutrients back into the lawn. If the conditions are wet or the clippings are clumping, our teams are trained to switch to bagging and hauling clippings for that particular mow.

If bagged clippings are preferred on an ongoing basis, please let the Mow Town team know at the time of booking and we can arrange to have that done for you for an additional fee.

How often are blades sharpened on the mowers?

Our mower blades (along with all of our equipment in the truck and trailer) are checked daily for wear and damage. We keep several full sets of razor sharp blades for each machine on hand.

Snow Removal

How does the snow removal service work?

Each month you are billed a fixed price for your pedestrian snow removal. Every time it snows (even trace amounts or freezing rain events) our team dispatches from the shop and follows a preset highly optimized route, clearing snow at each stop along the way. We use a combination of shovels, scrapers, backpack blowers, snowblowers and powered sweepers to clear snow right down to the concrete:

  • within 24 hours of the end of snowfall for commercial customers, or;
  • within 48 hours of the end of snowfall for residential customers.

During big blizzards and multi day snowfalls, we will dispatch to each site once per day to clear snow. Ice melt and gravel on pedestrian surfaces is included in our fixed price and will be applied at the discretion of the team to ensure a safe walking surface. Our snow removal season runs from November 1 to March 31, but can be extended for the weather or to meet contract obligations as needed.

Why is snow removal so expensive?

Snow is a certainty in Edmonton, but the timing and the amount is very unpredictable. Running a reliable snow removal operation means we have the staff, vehicles, equipment, back up equipment and supplies to respond to snow at all times. The fixed price snow removal means that we could be called on to remove snow 30 days each month, or not at all- both are scenarios we have to be prepared for. On average we have dispatched 13-16 times per month during the last 5 winters. Imagine what calling a taxi 15 times per month would cost, then add in shovelling labour, bigger 4WD vehicles, and professional grade equipment, plus hundreds of bags of ice melt and gravel. Simply put, it’s an expensive service to provide while mitigating a number of risks.

Do you offer skid steer, snow hauling and lot sanding services?

Yes! We work very closely with a number of skid steer and dump truck subcontractors to provide reliable and efficient parking lot and private roadway clearing services. We’re also proud to work with an incredibly responsive sanding business that can handle all sizes of parking lot.

Can you provide sand/salt boxes for my property?

Yes! We can install weatherproof boxes and stock them throughout the season at your property/properties. Each box is filled with heavily brined gravel so it doesn’t clump and freeze and provides a bit of melting power when applied.

Can I be sued if someone slips and falls on my property?

Cases like this are unfortunately becoming more common in an increasingly litigious society. Luckily in Canada, these cases get a lot less traction (pun intended) in court as common sense is a bit more prevalent given this country’s long and notable history of winter weather. Still, though the risk of being sued may be somewhat marginal, no one wants injuries or suffering on their property, and a clean dry driveway is much more pleasant to deal with than a slippery one.

How does your response time work with noise bylaws?

We carefully select our dispatch times and personnel strength to try, whenever possible, to have all of our snow cleared the same day it falls. If Mother Nature has other plans and it stops snowing at 5PM on a Thursday, we will usually deploy for 4 hours and then pickup at 7AM the following day.

Are there any exclusions from snow removal service?

We provide 7 day/week coverage throughout the winter season with the exclusion of December 25 and January 1. Any snowfall on those days will be cleared the following day.