Micro-irrigation-Gardening Simplified

Micro Irrigation-Gardening Simplified

Creating beautiful gardens is so much more than a relaxing hobby. Today, these spaces bring in fresh produce into our homes, provide a space for a mini getaway and can create environments for pollinators and wildlife.   

This year continues to show a growth in home vegetable and fruit gardens.  For some it’s to grow hard to find produce like heirlooms, others love that fresh from the garden taste, while some have turned towards gardening for the security that the food that they are consuming is pesticide-free. Whatever the reason, more and more Canadians are growing their own food. 

At the same time, Canadians are wanting to surround ourselves in beautiful spaces-perfect for relaxing on the weekend or after a hard day at work. Container gardens, tropicals, and annuals can elevate these spaces, truly making them a mini oasis.  The results are stunning, filling our properties with beautiful flowers, our kitchens with fresh food, and creating spaces that we can relax and enjoy.

However; gardens aren’t something that you can’t just plant and go.  They need regular watering and weeding to keep the plants healthy and the gardens looking beautiful.  Annuals, tropicals, and vegetables are particularly water intensive-often requiring multiple waterings per day.

This is not only time consuming but can become extremely daunting, especially if you are planning to enjoy your summer with mini getaway’s or if your containers are at “a home away from home.”  Thankfully there is a solution for the busy home and cottage gardener-Micro Irrigation.

Micro-irrigation-The Earth Element Way 

One of the advantages of micro-irrigation is that it can be fully customized to the particular needs of the client and plants.  When considering which solution is most effective, Earth Elements reviews several factors with our customers, including:

  • Type of plants in the container

  • Number of plants’

  • Size and depth of the container

  • Type of medium used

This customized approach ensures that the system that we recommend will respond to the specific needs of your plants and the container.

Micro Irrigation 101

Micro or drip irrigation is an efficient way to water all of your plants in your landscape, including large gardens, containers, hanging baskets, and everything in between. These automatic watering systems are tailored to respond to the water needs of the specific plants.   Your plants will get exactly the amount of water that they need, when they need it, improving the overall health of the plant.  But that’s not all, because the water gets right to the roots, micro-irrigation means fewer weeds, healthier plants, and minimal water waste.   

Benefits of Micro-irrigation

  • Less Weeding- Water feeds the plants not the weeds  

  • Minimizes the risk of foliage diseases (water gets to the roots, not the leaves)

  • The system is adapted to the needs of the plants

  • Low-pressure system- No pump required

  • Environmentally Friendly- Minimizes water waste and runoff

An Overview of Micro Irrigation Systems:

At Earth Elements, we strive to make gardening (and in turn watering) a positive experience for our clients.  Micro-irrigation allows our customers to fall back in love with gardening making it easy to have a vegetable garden, healthier containers, and maintain multiple gardens in one property.  Here are just a few of the systems that are available:

Professional Landscape Dripline with Eco Wrap

Ideal for: Gardens, Large Containers and Hard to Get to Areas

Benefits:

·       uniform distribution of water

·       The fleece of the Eco wrap spreads the water quickly and efficiently

·       Promotes healthier plant roots

·       Eliminates overspray onto buildings, sidewalks or vehicles

Mini Landscape Dripline

Ideal for: Planters, Container Gardens

Benefits:

·       6mm dripline perfect for smaller spaces

·       Available in 30 m and 76 m lengths

·       Perfect system for cottagers or boaters

Micro Sprays

Ideal for: Planters, Small Gardens, and Containers

Benefits:

·       Flexible irrigation solution with a range of flows and diameters

·       Fully customizable with a choice of one of three varieties: Solo drip, Halo-Spray, and Trio Spray

·       Adjustable distance and flow make it easy to irrigate pots, gardens beds, and landscaped areas

·       Good overhead coverage

Multi-Port Emitters

Ideal for: Planters, Gardens and Weed prone areas

Benefits:

·       Irrigation is targeted directly to the root zone of the plant

·       Ensures that the plants receive exactly the amount of water that they need, without feeding weeds

·       Customizable to respond to the specific watering needs of your plants

Root Zone Watering Systems

Ideal for: Trees, newly established plants

Benefits:

·       Provides plants with a strong start by providing irrigation throughout the root zone

·       Encourages deep root growth, building the resiliency of the plant

·       Hunter’s patented Strata Root design delivers water at multiple levels of the root zone

One of the benefits of micro-irrigation is the variety of systems available.  At Earth Elements, we begin our micro-irrigation conversation not with our products, but the specific challenges that you want to resolve. This ensures that each of our clients receives the solution that best responds to their needs.  Micro-irrigation is designed for the busy gardener providing an automated watering system for your gardens, containers, and hanging baskets.  Stop being overwhelmed with watering -, contact an Earth Elements representative today to find out the right solution for your home, office boat or cottage.

 

Case Study: Bringing a Lawn Back to Life

The Property

Homeowner, Dale Tebby loved the look of a nicely kept, green lawn. However; how to get there continued to baffle him?  “I couldn’t grow grass, and I was becoming really frustrated with trying,” shared Dale, laughing.   For years, he struggled to keep his property both green and healthy. Frustrated, he reached out to the lawn care industry for assistance, however, the initial company he had contracted were unable to bring his lawn back to health. 

Before giving up completely, Dale decided to give one another lawn care company a try, Earth Elements. He wanted  to see if their customized approach would be able to aid his ailing lawn. “Since then, I’ve been told that it was most likely that the grass wasn’t getting enough water,” he stated. 

The Challenge

When property owners see brown patches, the automatic response is often to fertilize the property.  These chemical fertilizers consist of high amounts of salt.  When properties are overfertilized, this salt builds up on the lawn burning the grass instead of nourishing it.   In fact; when lawns are stressed, fertilizer applications can sometimes cause more harm than good. 

When Earth Elements arrived, they immediately noticed that the lawn was extremely burnt and damaged.  Further investigation revealed that the damage occurred from the property being both overfertilized and underwatered.   As a direct result, weeds and clover were able to easily take over the property.

Recommendations

Earth Elements prides itself in providing customized recommendations to all their clients.  This includes assessing not only the needs of the property but also responding to both the goals and challenges of the property owner.  Hearing both Dale’s challenges and goals, including lacking time to invest in regular lawn maintenance, Bill provided his recommendations.  “He shared, what you need is an irrigation system, and while we are ripping up the lawn, let’s start you off right with new top soil and sod,” shared Dale.  There was little to any healthy turf remaining.  However; Earth Elements didn’t want just to fix the lawn and go.  Instead, they offered a long-term solution that would help establish a healthy and thriving lawn.

The Process:

Earth Elements solution provided Dale’s home with a fresh start.  This began by removing the surface layer, including the damaged turf and weeds and adding in 6 inches of Hutcheson soil blend. This rich soil blend, which is normally used for golf course tees, helped ensure that the new sod would get off to the right start. However; before applying the sod, Earth Elements installed an underground irrigation system.  Automatic irrigation ensured that the water would get right to the roots of the turf, providing the new lawn water exactly when and where it needed it. With the irrigation installed, Earth Elements did a final rake out and re-sodded the entire property.

Follow Up

Happy with the services and advise that Earth Elements provided, Dale requested that the company take over the regular maintenance for both the lawn and irrigation system.  Every year, Earth Elements aerates, overseeds, fertilizes and top dresses repairing any winter damage and establishing a strong foundation for a healthy lawn season.  “Each spring they come in to add any seeds, fertilizer, whatever the lawn needs to get it off to the right start,” said Dale. “I just cut it.”  In addition to the lawn care, Earth Elements conducts seasonal maintenance checks on the irrigation system, ensuring that each component functions at its maximum efficiency.

Five years later, the lawn still looks incredible. Dale shared that he is incredibly happy with both the products and service he has received from Earth Elements. “The lawn gets watered at 3 am every morning,” shared Dale.  “The entire organization is great. They arrive in a timely fashion and get the job done quickly and efficiently.” 

After the Storm: The Lawn Care Recovery Plan

After the Storm:  The Lawn Care Recovery Plan

Lately, there has been a lot of rain. Currently, most of the Muskoka area is in a state of emergency, with high water levels that are increasing as the rainfall continues. Excess water can have a devastating effect on your lawn, especially in early spring, when your lawn is just recovering from the harsh winter.

Is your lawn drowning?

Save water and your lawn with smart irrigation

Save water and your lawn with smart irrigation

Drought, temperature shifts, and unpredictable rainfall, have made it increasingly challenging to accurately predict the amount of irrigation needed for turf.  To stay on top of these erratic weather shifts, irrigation systems either need to be manually reprogrammed or adaptive.  Thankfully, advances in technology have resulted in irrigation products that can do so much more then get water down to the roots.

Crabgrass

With the hot dry summers in Muskoka, many people end up with beige, dormant or dead lawns.  As the cooler evening temperatures of fall approach, grasses start their second growth cycle and lawns start to green up.  However; some of these don’t grow back. In these bare patches,   crabgrass and weeds may step in.

What are endophytes?

Described as the probiotics of plants, endophytes not only stop insects from eating the seed but also help provide a healthy boost for the plant itself. A symbiotic relationship the grass produces nutrients for the endophyte, while the endophyte releases toxins which stops the seed from being consumed from livestock and insects.  But that’s not all endophytes also help the grass seed cope with environmental stressors like drought.