Lesley’s Corner – April 2020

What an incredible few months it has been! I think its fair to say that our worlds have been rocked with COVID-19 making its way to Manitoba.

My family was impacted in a number of ways; both of my daughters faced having their sports getting cancelled, school cancellations and of course – the housing market.

One constant for our family has been each other. Relying on family and close friends to be by your side through something like a pandemic is about the only thing that can bring some comfort to an incredibly stressful situation.

Looking forward (and I always enjoy looking forward) we will all get through this very trying time! I am excited to continue my conversations with many of you who are looking to buy or sell a home this summer and look forward helping you in this exciting journey.

As you reflect on what impact COVID-19 will have on your family, please stay safe, healthy and try to make the best of this situation!

Talk soon,

Lesley Kondratuk

Lesley’s Corner – February 2020

It’s amazing how just one day can make you feel ready to re-organize, start a new hobby or get cracking on that honey-do list!

I often wonder what it is about January 1st that people find so motivating… yes it’s the official beginning of a new year, however it is said that its also one of the worst times to start  something new!

I am definitely someone that has a busy lifestyle and often that leaves little to no time for me to start a new hobby. However, with January typically being cold and isolating, I do find myself putting in the extra effort to touch base with friends and family for a quick warm drink or meal.

Another thing that usually hits in January is hockey tournaments! I definitely feel that the definition of a hockey mom fits me and love going to tournaments dressed in team colours ready to cheer them on! Its amazing to me how much a team (and the parents) can bond over a weekend; picking up coffee for each other, sharing stick tape and asking for playdates in between games… it certainly takes the sting out of the cold when you have something so positive going on around you.

I hope that you have this support in your life, and just know that I am always up for a coffee date!

Talk soon,

Lesley Kondratuk

Natural Insect Control

Insects are one of the major reasons why people avoid spending more time outdoors. Here are a few tips from Shelmerdine Garden Centre to help with natural insect control!

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Insects are a natural part of any garden. Most insects are beneficial, but some are not desirable and can cause harm to your flowers and vegetables. Using pesticides and herbicides will usually kill all insects, not just the harmful ones and these chemicals are poisons that can be harmful to people and animals. It is impossible to completely rid any garden of all insects, but there are natural methods that you can use to control the harmful ones. Here are some suggestions of some methods that you may try:


The first line of defence against bugs is to simply pick them off. Squish the bugs as you pick them off. If you find a large number of bugs on one crop it is often easier to pick and drop into a container of soap and water. Simply dispose of the dead bugs after they have drowned. This is an effective method for many insects like potato beetles and aphids.


If you encounter a nest or gall of insects before it hatches it is easy to cut it off. This must be done in a timely matter before the insects hatch and leave the nest. Be sure to destroy the nest or gall so that the insects cannot spread after they have been removed. The tent caterpillar is an example of a pest that can be controlled using this method.

Spraying with Water

Small insects can be washed away with a stream of cool water. The spray will dislodge and wash away some of the bugs, reducing their numbers and the amount of damage they can do. Because spraying will not remove 100% of the bugs, you will have to repeat every few days. Aphids are an example of insects that can be managed in this way.

Use Transplants

Some plants have a history of being susceptible to damage by insects. By using transplants rather than directly seeding, the plants may have a better chance of surviving. Even if the bugs eat the same amount, if the plant is larger it will be able to handle the stress better. The larger the plant, the more leaves it will be able to handle losing.

Keep Things Clean

Be sure to continually clean up your garden throughout the season. In the fall it is especially important to clean up old plant matter. Some insects can overwinter in leaf litter. If you’ve had problems with one plant in particular, be sure to burn or throw out leaves, cuttings, et cetera, instead of putting them in the compost.

Tree Bands

Tree bands covered with a sticky substance can catch wingless insects, such as caterpillars, before they lay eggs in the tree. These also catch beneficial insects. Tree bands should only be applied between September to May.


Physical barriers placed around and on plants can prevent insects from eating vegetables, spreading disease, and from laying their eggs on plants. You can buy commercial covers or create your own at home from netting or pantyhose. Collars placed in the dirt can prevent cutworm damage. Tarps laid around fruit trees can prevent larvae on fruit from entering the soil. Although some of these methods can be unsightly they are often very effective.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soaps are effective against small, soft-bodied insects, but have low toxicity to mammals and do not often harm larger, flying insects such as bees. To be effective, the soap must come in contact with the insect. Some plants may be sensitive to insecticidal soaps. Therefore, it is a good idea to test a small area on a plant if you are not sure. Visit your local garden centre to see what products are available in your area.

Predator Insects

Predator insects are insects that naturally eat the undesirable ones. Some of these are native to Manitoba and some can be introduced. The most well-known predator insect is probably the ladybug. These are found naturally in Manitoba and can also be purchased at your local garden centre. Ladybugs only eat aphids. The downside of using lady beetles is that they may fly away. Another predator insect that can be purchased is the praying mantis. The mantis has a voracious appetite and it is territorial. If there is enough food for it, the mantis will usually not wander far from where it hatched.

These are just some of the natural insect control practices that are used today. Visit our garden store to see what products and methods our experts suggest.

For more excellent blog posts check out their website here:  https://www.shelmerdine.com/plant-info/gardening-tips/

Matrix Mail

One of the great resources that is available for me to help you, is automated email from Keystone Matrix.


Here is how it goes:

1.) You tell me what you want…

Are you looking for a House? Condo? What kind of bedrooms do you want, size, basement, parking, etc.  You essentially give me your must have wish list!

2.) I fill it in…

I take all this information from you and plug it into the Keystone Matrix. This allows for the system to sort through ALL of the available listings and only pull out the ones that check the boxes that you have identified as what you want.

From here you will be set up on an automatic search. Any available property within your search criteria will be sent to you the moment they are on the market!

It’s really that easy! You stay current with every available home in your search criteria, you don’t have to search through pages and pages of homes that don’t fit what you want AND you don’t miss out on any deals, or your dream home!

Call or Email me at lesleykondratuk@gmail.com today to get set-up with automated email and stop missing out!

Wrapping up 2018

2018 was a fantastic year for me, both personally and professionally.

Professionally – with your referrals and confidence in me, I snagged  a few awards for 2018 including the Royal LePage Director’s Platinum Award which recognizes the Top 5% of Royal LePage Realtors in Canada and the Individual Bronze Medallion from the Winnipeg Real Estate Board – which recognizes the Top 10% in the industry for individual Realtors.


Personally I got to watch my 2 little (I use that term loosely because they are growing up WAY too fast) girls grow more each day. I was able to be present at their school for presentations, hot lunches and all the fun stuff. Things that I would not be able to do if I was in any other line of work. I am so grateful that my business has afforded me these precious memories with my family.

As I start planning for my business this year, please keep me in mind if you or a friend is looking for a down to earth, knowledgeable and honest Realtor®

Talk soon,

Lesley Kondratuk