At Lindsay Landscape we are often asked about building a deck or base for a hot tub. Many clients also inquire about what to look for when buying a hot tub. I decided to invite Laura from Chinook Hot Tubs and Saunas to write a guest blog to answer all your questions!
Choosing a hot tub for your backyard project
Hot tubs are designed to provide a hot relaxing soak and massage for your aches and pains. They will soothe overworked muscles, loosen stiff joints and melt away the stresses of everyday life.
There are two basic types: 110 volt (also called ‘Plug and Play’) which are plugged directly into an existing dedicated outlet; and 220 volt which are hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Either option will make a relaxing and enjoyable addition to your backyard plans.
When making the decision as to which hot tub is right for you, there are many things to take into consideration. It is important to compare your options in all the critical areas. We know the lists of specs, features, and add-ons can be overwhelming, so we have put together an inventory of the most important features to compare when evaluating the quality of any hot tub.
- Pumps and heaters are the heart of the hot tub. The engineering of the system begins here. The size and number of pumps will dictate the configuration and number of jets and water features.
- Jets are designed for their hydromassage capabilities. Different jet styles and jet placements provide a different massage effect.
- Proper filtration is crucial to water hygiene. When the filtration system is designed properly it enhances your spa water quality.
- Like a home, a good foundation is necessary to allow for a long and reliable life-span of your hot tub. Structural integrity is also needed to carry the large weight of a hot tub; hundreds of liters of water and bathers.
- As Canadians, we all know the importance of insulating properly. Trapped air space is as crucial to efficiency as is the insulation itself. Having every component containing water kept inside the insulated space provides the safest and most energy conserving operation of your hot tub.
- Most high quality hot tubs are made of cast acrylic sheets that resist weathering, infrared/ultraviolet radiation, staining and scratching. High gloss or textured finishes are a matter of taste rather than durability.
- Warranty and technical service after purchase are crucial to enjoying your hot tub worry-free. Having parts and a knowledgeable technician available lets you relax knowing someone has you covered.
Established 32 years ago, Chinook Hot Tubs & Saunas is Ottawa’s oldest hot tub retailer. We are a family business that provides saunas, hot tubs and service to the capital region. Chinook will help you choose the right hot tub for your lifestyle, and we’ll keep it well maintained with our vast technical service experience. We specialize in personal service, and believe in quality; that is how we keep our customers coming back to us.
Our office has been invaded with many ladybugs over the last couple of weeks. It turns out we are not alone in dealing with this small problem. These japanese beetles are a pale orange and not the red we think of when we think of ladybugs. The beetles were introduced to North America in 1988 by the US government for insect control.
These tiny bugs are just looking for warmth as they make their way in to our homes and offices. This variety supposedly bite although personally have not experienced this yet. The best way to deal with them is to vacuum them up and dispose of the bag right away.
Thanks to CBC for a good article and photo here:
Thanksgiving has officially been a holiday in Canada since 1957. For most of us it is a time for family get togethers and good food. Historically, Thanksgiving has been celebrated in Canada since 1872 when on April 5, 1872, some say a celebration of thanks was observed as a civic holiday, in recognition of the recovery of the Prince of Wales from a serious injury, although it quickly became a celebration of the harvest. After this time the holiday was held late October to early November until it was finally declared in 1957 that Thanksgiving be held the second Monday in October.
For many of us Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the bounty in our lives. Not just for the harvest as it historically has been, but for what we as Canadians have in our lives. Things we take for granted here like clean water, shelter, food on our table, access to public education for our children, beautiful, clean, wide open spaces are all things we should be thankful for on this holiday.
Those of us lucky enough to have our families close enough to be together will probably cook a traditional turkey dinner. In 2013, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada 2.9 million turkeys were sold for Thanksgiving. For more interesting turkey facts check out their website here: http://www.turkeyfarmersofcanada.ca/industryStatistics/
At this time of year our gardens are looking a little worse for wear. So while we are thankful for the beautiful fall colours all around us it is a reminder that winter is on it’s way. The hard part is finding a way to be thankful for all the snow that will fall. We will think about that and maybe talk about how to enjoy winter in a future blog post. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Snow. The four letter word no one wants to hear on a beautiful September day. At Lindsay Landscape we have been talking snow for weeks.
Blizzard this past March
We have to be in the snow mode way ahead of you in order to be ready to serve you when the white stuff begins to fall. Lindsay Landscape services both residential and commercial properties in certain neighbourhoods within the City of Ottawa. When looking to hire a snow clearing company use caution as there are many “fly by night” operators out there. Lindsay Landscape is heading in to our 13th year of snow clearing. You want to ensure that your snow clearing contractor is insured and registered with the Better Business Bureau. Ask these questions: What is the trigger snow fall amount? Will they return to clear the windrow left by the city plows? Is their equipment well maintained? Do they mark the property before the snow fall so that there is reduced risk of damage? When you are talking snow removal for residential properties a blower is the ideal solution as it is gentler on the driveway and it does not produce as high a mound on the sides of the lane.
Clearing a driveway in Elmvale Acres
The tractor with a blower disperses the snow so it accumulates more gradually leaving less of the tunnel effect on your driveway. Although, if we have a heavy winter by March it is still going to be a big pile of snow! Please call or contact us through our website for a quote. Some of our routes do fill up so sign up early. Stay tuned for the next Lindsay Landscape Blog Post.
Heidi McLaren Admin/Social Media Co-Ordinator
Poison Ivy!! Just today I was asked by a client if we could help him with some poison ivy he had discovered on his property. He was sure it was the noxious vine as he had the rash to prove it! The vine had wound itself into his hedge and he was worried about our crew trimming the hedge and coming in to contact with the vine.
We were happy he called ahead and we were able to help with this. Toxicodendron radicans otherwise known as Poison Ivy is best avoided at all cost but not everyone reacts to the allergen urushiol it produces. That being said though, just because you didn’t react the first time you came in contact with the urushiol the plant produces, doesn’t mean you couldn’t react the next time. Contact with the vines, leaves and roots could produce a nasty, red, oozing rash, not to mention incredibly itchy. Urushiol transfers easily to your clothes, pets, shoes as well of course to any body part that comes in contact with it.
“Leaves of three, leave them be” is a rhyme we all hear growing up but poison ivy is a tricky plant to identify. It likes shady spots, along edges of an area of growth, it can be an aggressive climber, or it can look like a big shrub, growing to a height of 1.5 meters tall. It is a deciduous plant with light green leaves in spring but changing to a darker green as the summer progresses then to a vibrant red in the fall.
As a Landscape Company we are asked to deal with this every summer. We have a special applicator’s permit in order to spray for noxious weeds. We use what is commonly known as Roundup, which is Glyphosate, a broad spectrum herbicide used to kill broadleaf weeds. A sprayed application applied to as much of the plant as possible without coming in contact with plants nearby that you want to keep. A second application will likely be required for a large infestation. Extreme caution should still be taken with the dead vines as any contact could cause a rash even if the plant is dead. If you come in contact with a poison ivy vine wash with soap and water or rubbing alcohol immediately to remove as much of the allergen as possible. Once affected, calamine lotion may help but in extreme cases see your doctor. For a natural treatment, an elderly hunter and outdoorsman once told me that he was cured of particularly nasty bout of poison ivy with Jewelweed. The leaves and juice from the stems are purportedly used to treat poison ivy. While we have no direct experience with this it might be something to consider if you have to deal with a case of poison ivy. Use caution around plants you are unsure about and call Lindsay Landscape for advice. We look forward to helping you!
Heidi McLaren Social Media Co-ordinator/Admin
Once you have decided to have some work done on your yard we are often asked by a client “can I get a quote for…” Of course we can do that, but without a plan in place things can quickly run off course. We always recommend having an actual design plan drawn up for many reasons.
Sample design drawing
The first and most important reason to have a professional design is that it ensures that you know what your options are and that you get what you really want in your new backyard or what ever the case may be. We have seen in the past where a client says they just want a patio and once the yard is excavated and work has begun they realize they really wanted a hot tub or a BBQ built in or a pergola for shade. Work stops, more materials must be ordered, price goes up, they get frustrated. If a design has been drawn up in advance all of this can be avoided.
Planning is essential
When our designer sits down with you, they will ask you many questions that will make you think about exactly what you are going to be using your yard for? How many people will regularly be using the yard? Do you want sun or shade? Do you like to garden? Do you want low maintenance plantings? Once we get to know you and your needs are then a design can be drawn up, accurate pricing given, as well as a timeframe for the work. Yes, it is an extra expense to have a design produced but in the long run it is going to save you money. Not to mention your construction experience is going to run much smoother. Your landscape construction job is important to us and we take pride in making your vision come to life.
Social Media Co-Ordinator/Admin Heidi McLaren
Not everyone has a vegetable garden but almost everyone can appreciate the beauty of a well kept garden and a bountiful harvest. We have some clients that ask for a little patch to grow a few tomatoes or a nice raised bed to plant some cucumbers and beans. Lindsay Landscape takes great pleasure in seeing our clients have a garden that gives them such enjoyment.
Tomatillos, multi-coloured cherry tomatoes and jalepeno peppers home grown.
Planning a full fledged vegetable garden on the other hand takes more planning and careful choosing of the site. Obviously a veggie garden is going to need lots of direct sun. Choosing wisely will reward you come harvest time. A wonderful harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beans, squash, even edamame and tomatillos is possible in our local home gardens. An easy crop that many people don’t even think to grow in their home gardens is garlic. Plant the cloves in mid October, mulch with some straw and forget about it until you clip off the wonderful scapes in mid June and then harvest your bounty in late July or early August.
Home grown garlic
Once you have dug the bulbs, just brush off the dirt and dry for a couple of weeks. Store in a cool, dry place and you will have garlic to keep you going for the winter.
Children also get a lot of pleasure from a veggie garden. Plant with them in the spring and watch their eyes light up when the green sprouts start to pop up a few weeks later. Picking the fruits of their labour and presenting to Mom and Dad will be a highlight of the summer for them. Not to mention the opportunity to teach them about where their food actually comes from. An herb garden, a vegetable garden, a small patch for some tomatoes, whatever it is you would like to have Lindsay Landscape can help you make your veggie dream come true!
Lindsay Landscape Inc.
Social Media Co-Ordinator/Admin Heidi McLaren
“Arrrrgggghhh my lawn is being eaten by raccoons and crows!!” A sure sign you have an infestation of grubs. Many clients ask us about what to do about grubs eating their lawns.
Typical lawn with Grub damage
All lawns have grubs, however healthy lawns can usually repair damage at the same rate as its created and normally contain less than 10 grubs/sq.ft. When a lawn is stressed or unhealthy, the normal root development process is unable to keep up and dead patches develop. Sources of stress include extreme heat/cold, poor nutrition (unfertilized, compacted soil, etc), drought, etc. Skunks, raccoons and birds love these dead and dying patches, as they lift easily and are ripe with fat, juicy grubs.
Like many things prevention is the most important step in controlling grub damage. Keeping your lawn thick and healthy is the key. Turf care services such as fertilizer applications, aeration and overseeding are important steps you should take. Generally, if there is sufficient rainfall, or the turf is watered regularly, visible grub damage is minimized. If you do have grub damage, we suggest applying nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic living organisms, and need to be treated properly. We purchase from a trusted supplier who stores the nematodes in a fridge to ensure they are alive and healty when we receive them. Its best to apply when the grounds temperatures are between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. Ideally, apply on a cloudy day or early or late in the day as they are also UV sensitive. Nematodes are applied to the lawn via a spray system and its important to both water-in the nematodes and to keep them moist for the next four to six days. The two most common grubs hatch in late July to early August.
This little grub can cause a lot of damage
The young, newly hatched grubs are more vulnerable to the nematodes, which is why applying nematodes in late August gives us a better chance of success in treating the infestation. Patch small damaged areas with topsoil and seed or sod. A yearly application of nematodes should keep things in check as long as you keep the lawn well looked after. If the lawn is more than 50% damaged unfortunately the best option is to replace it with new sod. Once you have the new sod down, keep up with a Turf Care schedule and you should be able to keep the grubs under control and keep your lawn green and lush.
Social Media Co-Ordinator/Admin Heidi McLaren
Welcome to our new Lindsay Landscape Blog. There is so much we can’t wait to share with you. We have been working hard getting ready to launch our new website. With help from Creative Unity we feel we have improved our site to serve you better. We have been tweeting and connecting with you on Facebook as well. A blog seemed the next logical step, so here we are! We are looking forward to sharing information, tips and lots of photos and videos too. Many of you have known Phil and Lindsay Landscape Inc. for years and how the company started, literally at the grass roots level. As a young teenager Phil along with guidance from his parents started a local lawn care company in the Elmvale Acres neighbourhood in Ottawa, Ontario.
Phil started out with a bike and a trailer
Known as “Lindsay’s Lawncare” back then, Phil quickly formed a reputation as a reliable and hardworking young man. The customer base began to grow and many of those same clients are still with us today. Lindsay Landscape Inc. now provides our clients with a full range of services from Landscape Design, Construction, Maintenance & Turf Care and a full option of Commercial and Residential Snow Removal Services. We look forward to serving you, your friends and family. Stay tuned for our next blog post.
Social Media Co-ordinator/Admin Heidi McLaren