We love lawns! Earth Elements pride ourselves in being experts in turf. What does this mean for you? Our recommended solution will always be based on your landscape, and your landscape alone.
Earth Elements certified "Turfie" offers complete premium lawn care programs for homes, cottages, commercial properties, sports fields & golf courses throughout Huntsville & Lake of Bays, ON. Each of these services can be performed as a single service or can be combined into a complete, cohesive lawn care program.
Did you know that the way you mow your lawn can effect its health?
An ideal lawn height is between 6-9cm. Any shorter and you are putting your lawn at risk for disease and weeds. On the flip side, a lawn longer than 10 cm can become both uneven and unsightly. Our goal is to develop a thriving, flourishing lawn that is easy to maintain. This is why when we mow, we rarely remove more than one third of the blade at a time to minimize the stress from cutting.
Without water, even the healthiest lawns will begin to flounder. Irrigation is the number one way to ensure a thriving turf. Earth Elements offers full irrigation services throughout Muskoka & Parry Sound, Ontario. Ideal for all areas who want a consistent, healthy turf including golf courses, sport fields and larger properties, irrigation ensures that the property is getting the right amount of water when it is needed.
Earth Elements Services includes:
· Irrigation design
· Maintenance Programs
Did you know that Earth Element’s irrigation systems can significantly reduce water usage by targeting lawn areas with a consistent amount of water and only applying it when it is needed?
A properly installed and maintained irrigation system is actually better for the environment than traditional watering. This is why we encourage all our customs to Say Goodbye to the Hose, and stop falling in the trap of frequent, light watering!
What do we look at?
An irrigation system must begin with the end goal in mind. This is why we ensure that each of our Muskoka clients has the turf grass suitable for their soils, climate zone and topography.
When it comes to lawn irrigation, Earth Elements uses rotor sprinklers heads or spray heads for it’s applications. But before we leap into the installation, we review the needs of both the property and client to arrive at a customized design.
Tip: The key to a healthy root system depends on not only how much you water, but how you water! Hyperlink to the blog below
Aeration: It's all about the roots!
We know it doesn’t look pretty, but aeration is perhaps the most essential part of having a healthy lawn in Muskoka. In fact, with the current pesticide ban in Ontario, aeration is perhaps the best option for combating weed, insect and disease issues.
Here’s why: As sod ages, the soil underneath can become compacted making it difficult for the roots to absorb both the water and nutrients. The end result: a lawn that begins to flounder putting it at risk for disease and pests.
One of the best ways to ensure the root system gets the nutrients it needs is through core aeration. With core aeration, "plugs" or "cores" are removed from lawns. This not only reduces soil compaction, but helps decrease thatch build-up, and improves the infiltration and uptake of oxygen, water and nutrients. Aeration is a key component to developing a deep root system and creating an environment where grass seed can have direct contact with the soil.
But that’s not all, those plugs are chockful of nutrients! This is why Earth Elements leaves the plugs removed from the soil on the lawn. These plugs will naturally break down in 7-14 days, leaving a nutrient rich soil and happy root system.
Do you want to give your turf some extra love?
After aerating is the perfect time to topdress and over seed, adding reclaimed organics or soil amendments to enhance the poor Muskoka soils.
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material that is added to the soil to supply plant nutrients essential to growth. Just like we need vitamins to thrive, our lawns need a balanced diet of minerals including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
There are several different products available for fertilization, all with distinct benefits.
Organic fertilizers, for example, are best applied when soil temperatures are higher, because they rely on live micro organisms to make nutrients available. (Hyperlink to blog below)
We build complete fertilization programs for Muskoka properties using the highest quality, golf course grade fertilizers, giving lawns a vibrant green contrast in landscapes. Offering both organic and synthetic products for lawns and landscapes, we can meet the nutrient needs for every Muskoka property.
Muskoka Lawn Nutrient Programs
The Basics : 30% Slow release fertilizer – 4 Applications, plus spring starter.
*This option makes sure your Muskoka lawn has the basic nutrients to stay healthy and green throughout the season
Premium Plan : 100% slow release fertilizer with iron – 2 Applications, plus spring starter.
*This is for the lawn lovers out there. This premium fertilizer will give your lawn a lush green look with even growth through the season, this means less clippings = less thatch = less weeds.
Organic Plan : Organic matter - 4 - 6 Applications, done late spring.
*This plan is for people who want to be green while keeping their lawn green.
Liquid Fertilizer Applications : Liquid fertilizer goes straight into the grass blade, we use 15-0-0 w/ iron.
Lawn Pigment Application –
Cultivating a healthy lawn takes time! For those moments when you need an instant burst of green, opt for Earth Element’s Lawn Pigment Application.
This green pigment is great any time providing an instant green up without chemicals.
Healthy turf and plants are directly related to the health of the soil. Unfortunately, the soil often found in Muskoka is poor quality. This is why Earth Elements has launched a program directly for the soil. Soil amendments can help improve soil structure, plant growth and overall health. While soil conditioners will correct the soil's deficiencies in structure and nutrient uptake
Dolomitic Lime Applications -Supplies calcium & magnesium to the root zoneand lowers soil pH.
Reclaim Organics Applications - Top dressing material, adds essential microbes and moisture holding capacity to sandy Muskoka soils. The perfect combination following Earth Elements lawn aeration andan over-seeding program.
Earth Elements offer de-thatching for Muskoka lawns, enhancing water and nutrient infiltration and air flow. De-thatching removes the old dead leaf blades, thinning the lawn, it also cuts the stolons (above-ground stems) and rhizomes (below-ground stems) of the grass to encourage new growth.
Thatch is the dense, spongy collection of living and dead grass stems and roots between the soil surface in lawns. As grass grows, the older plant matter from the stolons, rhizomes and blades is sometimes slow to decompose and accumulates at the soil surface forming a thatch layer in lawns. The right amount of thatch (12mm) provides a soft surface for bare feet and makes the lawn more resilient. It aids in retaining soil moisture and stabilize the soil temperatures. A lawn with too much thatch will inhibit water and nutrients from penetrating the soil below and consequently the results will be a weak and disease prone lawn. Excessively thatched lawn feels spongy and soft, like carpet, it may be green on top but just below the grass canopy will become humid on hot days, which leads to disease and death.
Seed & Sod
Muskoka lawn over-seeding programs.
When it comes to over seeding, our goal is always a beautiful, healthy turf. This is why we recommend a 10-15 cm capping of quality top soil to ensure quick lawn germination and a thick and healthy lawn for the future.
Earth Elements uses custom seed blends for the Muskoka climate zone and soil conditions. This includes rye grass for quick establishment, blends of fescue grass seed for better lawn stress tolerance and higher maintenance blue grass varieties. All seeds are coated with endophytes (link to blog on endophytes) to help ensure a good start. Once the grass seed establishes, deeper rooting zones make will help develop a durable and drought resistant lawn.
Recommendation: Thinking of over seeding? Promote deeper root growth with aeration and give the grass seed direct contact with the soil.
Over seeding is one of the best ways to build a seed bank in the soil profile to out compete weeds and keep your Muskoka lawn looking thick and healthy.
The seed types Earth Elements use on lawns in Muskoka are, perennial ryegrass, chewings fescue, tall fescue, red fescue and Kentucky blue grass. We blend these seed types for for a dense, healthy turf stand. Fescue’s are added for better drought and heat tolerance as well as lower nutrient requirements.
Endophytes are fungal organisms which live inside plants and are applied to some grass seed as a coating. Our premium over-seeding blend includes coated perennial ryegrass seed for thicker greener lawns. The endophytes produce peramines and lolines (natural chemicals) which are toxic to invertebrate pests (insects) when consumed. They can benefit the host plant by also preventing pathogenic organisms (disease) from colonizing them. Seed coated with endophytes increases stress tolerance, plant persistence and drought tolerance.
Sodding your Muskoka landscape.
Earth Elements provides full sodding services. Sodding provides an 'instant lawn' with immediate gratification of the look of green turf. To ensure the success of your sod (link to blog on sod), Earth Elements recommends starting off with a good base including a minimum of 10-15 cm of quality topsoil for proper establishment and long term health.
If your Muskoka cottage or home is getting newly landscaped consider an irrigation system to keep your plants alive and protect your investment.