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Lawn Care

First Two Weeks

Please stay off new sod until after the first mowing. Proper watering of sod is essential for root establishment. On the actual day of installation, enough water needs to be applied to penetrate the sod and two inches of native soil underneath.

From day two on, keep your sod and soil moist throughout the day. The roots are short, and therefore the sod cannot withstand large amounts of water at a single time. Other than the first day, the ground under the sod should never be soggy. Watering four to six times during the day, for approximately five to six minutes each time, is required until the roots have been established. Root establishment will usually begin within seven to fourteen days, depending on the time of year your sod is laid and your environment.

Too much water will rob the roots of oxygen and in warmer weather that can lead to the potential for disease. The length of each watering cycle will depend on your soil type and the output of your irrigation system. A clay type soil may need five minutes, four times a day, compared to a sandy loam that may need seven minutes, five times a day. You will have to judge the minutes, but here is a general rule of thumb: if the water is standing under the sod for more than just a few minutes after irrigation finished or if the soil is soggy, you are probably giving the sod too much water at one time.

Avoid, if at all possible, watering into the evening hours (after 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm); this is one of the fastest ways to create a fungus problem. Start reducing the frequency of watering cycles just before the first mowing. This will help firm up the soil for a healthy mowing cycle.

The first mowing should be approximately 14 days after the sod has been installed. In the winter, you may need to wait longer for the roots to establish before mowing.

Never mow off more than 1/3 of the blade during a mowing cycle. This results in less stress for the plant.

After Two to Three Weeks

Reduce the frequency of times you water at a gradual pace. You can validate the establishment of the roots by pulling up a corner of the sod. If you feel some resistance, you can eliminate the last irrigation set of the day. However, you need to add a couple of minutes to the other irrigation sets.

Now the roots should be deep and can tolerate a few more minutes of water per cycle. In another week or so, you can repeat this process until you are only watering once a day. Deeper, less frequent watering will help roots stretch down deeper and establish quickly into the soil.

Fertilize your new sod approximately four to six weeks after installation to ensure the continued establishment of the roots.

Spring Tips

Spring is a good time of year to consider renovating your lawn. Dethatching, aeration, and reseeding can add many years of life to your lawn.


  • Apply a pre-emergent with weed control in early February. This will control almost all seed germination of weeds for ninety days.
  • If you are reseeding the lawn, do not apply a pre-emergent as it will inhibit grass seed from germinating.
  • Many pre-emergent products are combined with fertilizer. When used, this will serve as the first fertilizer application of the year for your lawn. By mid-April, the grass should be actively growing!
  • Apply a fertilizer with a small percentage of nitrates in the nitrogen formula.
  • Most winterized, or water-soluble fertilizers containing either ammoniacal or nitrate-type Nitrogen on their label are quick release and will produce more top growth (clippings) during mowing.
  • Newer fertilizers that contain coated or slow-release Nitrogen will control its release over a more extended period.
  • Any fertilizer used after this application should be a “balanced formulation” lawn fertilizer.
  • The type of fertilizer one chooses should meet the needs of the specific turf.


  • Check your sprinklers for proper coverage.
  • Cleaning nozzles, flushing lines, adjusting heads, and replacing the clock batteries will all help “tune-up” your system.
  • Try a less frequent, deeper soak to encourage deeper roots.
  • Early morning watering helps prevent turf disease as the lawn dries out during the day.

Aeration opens up the soil and stimulates root growth, especially when followed by balanced fertilization. Core aeration also relieves soil compaction in older lawns and high traffic areas. Multiple aerations (2 to 3 or more per year) can significantly benefit high use lawns and help ease compaction.

Note: Rising spring soil temperatures can generate other growth in your lawn as well.

  • Look for grubs that have been overwintered in the soil. They can start to move into the root zone and feed until their life cycle moves onto the adult stage.
  • At this point, wait until you see damage from the larvae again before you treat your lawn. This will often occur in late May-early June.

Spring is also the right time to increase the mowing height over 3 inches.

Summer Tips

Note: Additional watering is necessary when temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius

Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers are the preferred choice during the summer season. These fertilizers release nutrients over an extended period and help to maintain a steady growth rate. They are usually non-burning and cause less stress to your summer turf.

These fertilizers do not produce “growth flushes” like the traditional fertilizers that contain quick release forms of Nitrogen.

Deep irrigations are recommended during the heat of the summer. Remember, the deeper the soak, the deeper the roots. For best results, irrigate between midnight and 5 am.


  • Keep mower blades well sharpened for the best cut and best-looking turf.
  • Mowing height in the summer should be raised to reduce added stress to the turf. With a deep root system, your drought tolerance will increase.

Fall Tips

Use a product designed specifically for the Fall season (winterizing fertilizer). Consult your local nursery for recommendations.

Reset your irrigation clock according to the weather in your area. Decreasing your watering schedule is necessary as the temperatures cool and the rain begins to fall

Dethatching & Aeration
Thatch is an accumulation of grassroots, leaves, and other debris that form just below the surface of the sod. If your lawn has about ½ inch or more of a thatch layer, sunlight and water will be blocked from providing nutrients.

Aeration opens up the soil and stimulates root growth, especially when followed by balanced fertilization. Core aeration also relieves soil compaction in older lawns and high traffic areas. Multiple aerations (2 to 3 or more per year) can significantly benefit high use lawns and help ease compaction.

It is highly recommended to overseed with a variety that matches your existing lawn to maintain a lush and healthy appearance.

Additional Seasonal Tips
Be sure to rake any leaves and debris that are covering your lawn regularly. The additional debris may cause mould and disease if left unmaintained.

Winter Tips

Note: The winter season does not require much maintenance.

Consult your local nursery for a winterizing fertilizer. Your fall application of fertilizer should maintain your lawn through the winter months.

Adjust your irrigation according to weather conditions; you can turn off your irrigation when the rainy season begins.

For new installations in the winter, roots will take approximately 14 days to establish due to the colder weather.

Adjust your mowing height to approximately 3 inches; this will maximize blade exposure to any available sunlight.


Patty and I have purchased 4-new homes over the course of our evolving status; from raising two children to being empty-nesters. Without a doubt, Doug Tarry Homes has been ‘far and a way’ the most professional builder that we have had the pleasure to deal with. We’ve been very impressed with the quality and the attention to details with our home. The most obvious difference has been the professionalism of the Doug Tarry personnel. Their help and assistance through the various stages of the construction to the final delivery and accommodation with our move-in requirements was outstanding. The differences with Doug Tarry Homes continued throughout the immediate 12-month period after our move-in date by completing the scheduled follow-up items on a timely basis. I only wish that the customer satisfaction formula used by Doug Tarry Homes was utilized by other business enterprises.

Don and Pat Calder

We chose Doug Tarry Limited as the builder for our custom home because of their reputation for quality workmanship. Having our new home built at the same location as our current home we were able to witness first-hand the skill, quality, and pride of workmanship that each tradesman working on our home put into their work. We have had so many positive comments on the design and layout of our home, as well as the quality of the products used within the complete design. We cannot be happier with the finished product, and we highly recommend Doug Tarry Limited to anyone thinking of building a home.

Lisa and David Tenhor

Our experience dealing with Doug Tarry Homes, from the moment we were greeted at the model home, to our closing date when we picked up our keys was a positive one! The decision to build with Tarry’s was easy because of their long standing reputation for quality, and a commitment to the environment. What was a bonus was the service orientation of all their staff. Questions and concerns were addressed quickly, the designer thoughtfully guided us through all our decorating selections, and all staff were courteous, friendly and genuinely cared. Without hesitation we would recommend building with DTL!

Rebecca Parkes and Gary Hodge

We have finally moved in over the weekend and are still settling in. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Doug Tarry Homes and especially you for helping us out and guiding us throughout the entire process.

We greatly appreciate all your sincere efforts in helping us build our dream home. On behalf of our family, thank you once again and I look forward to seeing you around!


I know that corners will not be cut, and the home will be built to last a lifetime

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We loved the quality and building experience that we had with Doug Tarry Homes so much that we did it twice! From the quality of the construction, to the personalized help in making selections, we couldn’t have asked for more. Even after we took possession the follow up and communication to ensure that we were happy with our new home was thorough. We would definitely build with Doug Tarry homes again!

Ryan and Tara McDonald

Great experience through every stage of the process. Very knowledgeable and organized. Confident we are receiving a very high-quality home. Thanks DT Homes.

Happy Doug Tarry Home Owner

I knew our new house was energy efficient but not that much! At the time of construction, we decided to insulate the basement floor instead of me getting a cold storage cellar. We have a very efficient furnace with an ERV unit. It wasn’t that cold in December, but even with all the kids home for 2-3 weeks over Christmas, our gas bill was just under $40! Love it.

Shout out to Doug Tarry Homes for being a leader in the new home industry for wonderful construction and environmental consciousness.

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My husband and I are retired seniors with very specific needs in mind for our retirement home. We found these and more in a Doug Tarry home in St. Thomas. From a well-designed floor plan to an exceptionally well-built house, we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. Before, during and after the construction phase, the Tarry staff were extremely efficient and always ready to help with advice and recommendations. We’re very happy and comfortable in our new house. Well done Doug Tarry Homes!

Don & Kathy MacRae

As a family purchasing a new home, quality, comfort, energy efficiency & price were important to us. Doug Tarry Ltd. met and exceeded these needs.

Wayne, Angela DeVries & family

Confidence in a Doug Tarry home knowing him, and his commitment-I don’t have to do much, he’s thought of it all!!

Another Happy Home Owner

After purchasing many new builders homes, the Doug Tarry experience was by far the most enjoyable. With the team’s recommendations, ideas and perfectionism, we ended up with a home that far surpasses any of our expectations. When we woke up after the first night in our new home, we both looked at each other and said “this feels like home”. We have never had that feeling after the first night in any of our previous homes. After 6 months we still at times say to each other ” Man I love this house”. Great work Doug and crew.

Borot & Petra Jansa

Overall the home purchase went exceptionally well. We are pleased with the home and do not have any complaints. If there were any small things that we were unhappy with the staff at Doug Tarry (both office and tradesfolks) were always polite, quick at getting back to us and very knowledgeable.

Gord and Karen Ryan

Thank you Doug Tarry Homes for our wonderful home. Throughout the planning and building stages we found everyone we dealt with to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Any concerns or issues were promptly dealt with in a professional manner. The quality of our home, both inside and outside, is exceptional. (Even after one year we haven’t found a nail pop!) You go the extra mile and it shows. We would not hesitate to recommend Doug Tarry Homes to anyone.

Heather and Gary Vedova

I love my new semi home!  The transition from selling my family home to 3 Benjamin has been very pleasant and I owe that to the people I have come in contact with, especially Michele, Jason, Daryl, Lori and Elaine.  Your CoConstruct programme is very helpful and efficient.  Anything that needed to be addressed has had followup. 

Michele Fowler

I’m now living in my second Doug Tarry built home. When I bought my first home, I wasn’t thinking about resale, but being able to advertise a “Doug Tarry built home” really gave me a selling advantage.

This current home is actually my fifth new home I’ve lived in. I wouldn’t hesitate to build again with Doug Tarry. The standards for the home – insulation, framing, kitchen, plumbing, etc – are very high compared with other builders. This allowed me to put some additional funds into some extras, such as recessed lighting and hardwood flooring. The Doug Tarry group work very much as a team, from the home plan design, interior selections to sod. You are very much supported in the entire building process, and the follow-up for any issues after you move in is excellent.

Joan Rymal

This home is everything we dreamed it would be. Fits our family’s needs perfectly.

Satisfied Doug Tarry Home Owner

We were into our new house yesterday! What a wonderful surprise to see the welcome gift basket!! We have been so impressed all along with Doug Tarry homes, from the people (you!), the quality of the house, the design, the materials, the basement, the air and temperature of the house, everything!! Liam used to build houses and he has been blown away by everything we’ve seen and experienced with Doug Tarry homes. He’s not easily impressed either and has a keen critical eye and he is over the top happy with everything, as am I. So a big thank you Michele, for everything. You’ve been so patient with us right from the beginning, when we first showed up over a year ago when we first started looking at the area in St Thomas.

Trish and Liam

This was our first time building a home. Doug Tarry Ltd made the experience enjoyable and so easy. Each member of the company was very approachable and easy to talk to. They took us step-by-step through the process of building a home and making our dreams come true. Thank you to the Doug Tarry group.

Jinder and Amy Virdee

We just wanted to let Mr. Tarry know that our experience with every single member of his team has been nothing but amazing.  We started looking for a new home 2 years ago and spoke to Amanda Joiner here in Strathroy at the open house.  We left her office that day 2 years ago and we knew DTH was a perfect company for us to trust with our future. Amanda made us feel  comfortable and she was very helpful in every step of the way.  We can’t say enough good things about her.  We bought one of your quick possession homes on Rushby St and could not be happier.  Jason took us through the house for our final inspection, and again he was amazing.  So friendly and informative.  Took his time going over everything and explaining it all and answering questions.  We also met Joe, I believe he is the site supervisor.  Joe, again so friendly and goes out of his way to make sure we where happy. Daryl and Laurie in your customer care centre are phenomenal.  They have been nothing short of amazing.  I’m sure you probably realize that you have an amazing team working for you but sometimes when you hear it from an outsider it means a little more.  So we applaud you Mr. Tarry for assembling such a great group of people to represent DTH.  They are doing an amazing job for you and treating all of your customers like they are family and we appreciate it.  Thank you to all at DTH for making our experience nothing but AMAZING.

Jason Banks

Our expectations of a new is exceeded by Doug Tarry (design-quality construction and workmanship) and an exceptional support staff

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