Creating Pet-friendly Spaces

Every pet owner knows that your furry friend is an important part of your family! When creating a functional landscape plan for your property, it is key to consider how you, your family, and your friends will use the space and how your dog or cat will use it. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we want to help you create spaces that everyone in the family can enjoy, including those furbabies!

There are several different ways to create a pet-friendly area in your yard or incorporate pet-friendly materials into your overall landscaping design. First, consider whether you want to create a dedicated pet space or go for a more multi-purpose area. This can depend on many factors, including how many pets you have, how much time they spend outside, and the size and shape of your property.

Once you decide on your layout, the next step is to choose what products you will use to create your pet-friendly space. When it comes to dogs and cats, you want to select products that are safe, easy to walk on, and also help control odours that can accompany animal waste. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we recommend three different product options for creating pet-friendly spaces:

  • Decomposed Granite
  • Playground Stone
  • ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone

All three products are high-quality, aesthetically pleasing, and create a clean, neutral look for any area of your yard, regardless of whether you have pets! We recommend these smaller stones because they are typically easier to walk on and provide more stability if you plan to add any outdoor furniture to the space.

When it comes to specifically pet-friendly features, the odour-dispelling properties of Decomposed Granite are a definite plus. In addition to being one of the more visually appealing landscaping products, Decomposed Granite is much finer and more stable than traditional gravel and packs down well to create a safe and stable walking surface for people and pets.

You may have noticed our Greely Sand & Gravel Decomposed Granite in the Fallowfield Via Rail Memorial Park or the Jack Purcell Dog Park in Ottawa. Tried and tested in areas of all shapes and sizes, Decomposed Granite remains a trusted customer favourite for creating pet-friendly spaces.

If you need to cover a large area and are looking for a product that is both affordable and pet-friendly, our Playground Stone is a great option to consider. Rigorously tested for safety, Greely Sand & Gravel’s Playground Stone provides excellent durability at a value-minded price point. In terms of pet-friendly spaces, this option is better suited for cats and smaller dogs due to the very small stone size.

Lastly, Greely Sand & Gravel’s ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone is a classic customer favourite. Locally sourced and composed of a beautiful array of colourful hues, this stone is more decorative and can boost your home's curb appeal. Additionally, the size and shape of the stones make picking up and disposing of pet waste a breeze.

Interested in learning more about creating a pet-friendly outdoor space at your home? Visit our comprehensive online store today, or call our friendly team at 613-821-3003. We can’t wait to help you pick the perfect product for your whole family, furry friends and all!

Creating a BBQ Area

Outdoor living - one of the best parts of spring, summer, and fall in Ottawa. No matter your property's size or shape, an outdoor living space creates a wonderful spot to gather with family and friends to enjoy good weather, beautiful scenery, and delicious food. Not to mention that homes with functional and welcoming outdoor living spaces generally see an increase in their resale value. If you want to create an outdoor living space on your property this summer, Greely Sand & Gravel has all the products you need to get started!

When you think about creating an outdoor living area for barbequing, eating, and maybe enjoying a campfire, your mind might jump straight to an interlock patio or some large flagstones. However, there are many other options for creating a functional and beautiful base for your outdoor living area.

The first thing to consider when planning your outdoor living area is size. How big is your yard? Will this patio area be an addition to an already existing deck or porch? Are you creating anoutdoor living area around a pool? What size and type of furniture will you be placing in the space? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can determine how big your outdoor living area will be. You will also want to consider the placement of your outdoor living area. Make sure that there is adequate drainage and that water won’t pool in the space you are considering.

Once you have the dimensions of the space, consider what product might be the right choice for your area. While a traditional interlock patio can be beautiful and functional, many other options exist! If you are looking for a product that is easy to install and provides great drainage, a rustic, loose stone look might work. Two of our premium products that we would recommend for this type of project are:

● Decomposed Granite
● ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone

Both of these products are naturally occurring, Canadian-sourced products that add both beauty and functionality to your outdoor living space.

Decomposed Granite is obtained from decomposed or eroded hard granite rocks, so the colours may vary from gray and black to red and green. When used well, Decomposed Granite can be one of the most versatile, functional, and aesthetically pleasing hardscaping products available. Decomposed Granite offers a unique texture that creates an excellent base for walking or underneath patio furniture or a barbeque. Additionally, due to its specialized physical properties, mud, dirt, animal waste, and even odours do not stick to it, making it an excellent choice for areas frequented by pets.

If you want a slightly larger and more rustic stone, our ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone is a wonderful option! Also known as pea stone, ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone is small enough to create a stable base for walking or underneath furniture but still gives that rustic, aesthetically pleasing look you would expect from a coloured Riverwash Stone. Our locally sourced Riverwash Stone contains various naturally occurring colours, making it an excellent canvas upon which to build your outdoor living area or barbeque station.

Both Decomposed Granite and ⅜” - ⅝” Riverwash Stone are available for bulk load delivery or in convenient Greely Gardening Bags - now available in three sizes. Place your order online or over the phone and select a delivery date that works for you!

For more information about all our landscaping and hardscaping products, don’t hesitate to visit our online store, call our office, or visit one of our two landscape depots. We can’t wait to help make your perfect outdoor living space a reality!

Grading Around Your Home

Many homeowners share the same concern during the spring season: the potential of flooding or water damage on their property. The past few years in Ottawa have seen record-setting floods, resulting in very high groundwater levels in many areas. Even if your community does not experience high groundwater levels, major rainstorms can cause issues for homeowners, especially if your property lacks proper drainage.

So, how can you improve the drainage system around your home and decrease your risk of water damage? Grading around your home can drastically help with diverting water away from your foundation.

Grading around your home is ensuring that the soil, sand, or stone around your foundation slopes away from your house rather than towards it. Ideally, the ground should slope away from the foundation in all directions. This allows rainwater to flow away from the house rather than pool around it. Whether dealing with rainwater or groundwater, grading around your home will help keep your property safe from damage and your basement dry.

You can always seek professional help from a landscaping or foundation care company when it comes to grading around your home. However, there are many ways that you as a homeowner can be proactive about preventing water damage to your property.

A great place to start is by assessing the current grading around your home. Walk around the outer walls of your home and look for any areas where water may be pooling near the foundation. Pay attention to low spots or areas where the ground slopes towards the house. These are potential trouble spots that need to be addressed.

If you want to correct the grading around your home, you will need screened sand as a base layer and about six inches of topsoil to go on top of the sand. Remove any excess fill from the area and then install the sand, making sure to slope it away from your home. Use a rake and a level to ensure the slope is consistent. Once the grade has been corrected, spread the topsoil over the sand and then plant grass seed or lay sod, remembering to water frequently.

As mentioned above, many professionals can help you improve the grading around your home. A retaining wall or French drain might sometimes be needed to prevent erosion and improve drainage. Whatever method you choose, Greely Sand & Gravel has all the landscaping products you need to complete proper grading around your home.

Visit our online store today to learn more about our premium products, fast and convenient delivery options, and the different services we offer to help make your landscaping project a success. Still unsure about what you need? Come visit us at one of our two landscape depots or call our office. Our friendly staff is here to help!

Low Maintenance Front Yard Ideas

Are you feeling too busy to keep up with your property, but still want a beautiful front yard? Did you recently purchase a new home and are trying to decide how to landscape? We have so many ideas for you when it comes to designing a unique, beautiful, and low-maintenance front yard!

Usually when we think about landscaping, our minds jump to traditional grass lawns with flowerbeds and maybe an interlock path leading from the driveway to the front door. While this can be a beautiful and timeless look, there are so many more options to customize your outdoor space and reduce the amount of time you spend on maintenance.

Particularly if you live in a townhouse or a home in a recently developed community, it can be hard to figure out what to do with the small area in front of your home, as well as the long narrow areas between homes. Often, it seems impractical to own a lawnmower just to cut a few square yards of grass. That’s when it makes sense to look at different landscaping options for these tricky areas.

Instead of grass, consider using riverwash stone, or one of our other decorative stone options to cover your front yard area. Not only will this reduce the amount of time spent cutting and weeding grass, it creates an eye-catching and unique look for your home. To add visual diversity, consider planting a few trees or perennial flowers or bushes in the front yard. When you mix together trees and plants with different coloured foliage, the resulting array will stand out beautifully against a backdrop of riverwash or decorative stone. Remember to add mulch around the base of any plants to restrict weed growth and aid with moisture retention. This will result in healthier, more vibrant, and longer lasting plants.

You can also customize a low maintenance front yard by adding a walking path leading to the porch or door. Whether you choose interlock or pavers or some more unique and decorative stones to create the path, this will add definition to your front yard and help direct foot traffic.

For narrow areas between homes, consider adding riverwash stone to reduce the need to cut grass and also to promote good drainage away from your home. Perhaps talk to your neighbour and see if you can collaborate on a project to install stone between your homes.

Whenever you are installing riverwash stone or decorative stone, it is important to first excavate the area to a depth of at least 3" for smaller sized stones and at least 6 – 8" for larger sized stones. Before adding the stone to the area, use a weed-barrier cloth such as our PRO SILVER PLUS Woven Geotextile. This thick and durable weed-barrier is long-lasting and blends in well with natural-coloured stones. Using a good quality weed-barrier will help reduce weed growth through your stones.

Interested in checking out the options for a low-maintenance front yard? Our convenient online store has photos of all our products, as well as lots of information about our delivery options. While there, you can also use our Cubic Yard Calculator, located on every product page, to determine how much of each product you will require for your project.

Once you have chosen your products and know how much you need, go ahead and place an order. That way, you will already be in the queue when spring deliveries start. You can even select your ideal delivery date to help you plan ahead for your project!

If you have questions about any of our products or need more information before placing an order, give us a call at (613) 821-3003. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to help!

Plan Your Summer Project

With Ottawa and much of Eastern Ontario recovering from multiple snow and ice storms over the past few weeks, it can be hard to imagine that spring will ever come! But before we know it, we will be putting away those snow shovels and winter boots, and working hard to get our lawns and gardens ready to enjoy this summer. The key to a successful landscaping project is having a plan in place ahead of when you aim to start the work. So whether you are starting a new lawn or adding a vegetable garden to your property, why not spend a few minutes forgetting about winter weather and planning for your beautiful new landscaping feature!

There are so many ways that you can add new life to your property by investing in quality landscaping. From adding a pool, to building a retaining wall, fixing up a walking path, or adding some decorative garden boxes, you can make the exterior of your home shine this year.

Once you have decided what your project will be, it is important to do some preliminary work to help you understand the scope of your project. Measuring the area of the space in which you will be working is a good place to start. If you are seeding or sodding part of your lawn, creating a new garden or flowerbed, or adding some decorative stone or mulch to an area of your property, you need to know the length, width, and depth of the space you want to cover. Having these dimensions will allow you to calculate how much of each landscaping product you will need to complete your project.

The next step is to do some research to find out what products your project requires. If you are undertaking a large-scale project or are new to landscaping, it might be worthwhile to give a professional, local landscaper a call to see if this is something that you may need external support to complete. You can also look at similar projects online to get an idea of the options that are out there. This can be particularly helpful when it comes to picking a colour scheme for mulch, interlock, or decorative stone. Our convenient online store is also a great place to browse an extensive variety of high-quality landscape products.

When it comes to selecting landscaping products, you also want to ensure that you have the correct tools and expertise to install them properly. Some products can be more difficult to work with than others, so it is important to go over the installation steps very carefully before beginning any project. This process will also allow you to figure out what tools you will need for the project. There are few things more frustrating than trying to complete a complicated job with the wrong tools!

Once you have your plan in place, the next step will be to execute it! Here at Greely Sand & Gravel, we start taking orders for product delivery in April. So get your order in on time to receive convenient delivery to your door, on your schedule. We offer delivery by dump truck load or in cubic yard bags, so that you have the right amount of product for your project. We can also deliver our Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit, if you need some extra tools to get the job done.

For more information on our products, services, and deliveries, visit our website anytime! We can’t wait to help make your landscaping dream a reality in 2024.

Seeding & Sodding in the Fall

As we come to the end of this remarkably warm Fall season, you may be wondering if you still have time to work on your lawn before the snow flies. In fact, Fall can be a great time to seed, sod, or overseed your property, to ensure that your grass is strong, healthy, and lush come Springtime!

Contrary to what you may think, cooler weather can actually be very beneficial when growing grass. Scorching hot summer temperatures can make it difficult for seeds to germinate. Additionally, your grass will require heavy and frequent watering in hotter weather, especially if you are trying to get fresh sod to take. When the temperatures drop a bit, grass requires less moisture, which will make your job easier, as less watering will be required!

While you may not be ready to tackle starting a whole new lawn from scratch, October can be a wonderful time to address any bare spots on your lawn and to overseed your grass. Throughout the summer months, your lawn can go through a lot of wear and tear, especially if it has endured a lot of hot weather. Take some time to walk around your property and identify any patches or areas that may require a little extra TLC.

For smaller areas, try adding some of our Greely Sand & Gravel Screened Topsoil to level the area. Then seed generously with one of our premium grass seeds. Water thoroughly and continue to water as needed throughout the following days and weeks. For larger areas, consider using a few rolls of sod on top of a solid base of Greely Sand & Gravel Screened Topsoil. Again, make sure to water thoroughly at installation and continue to water as needed.

If your grass seems to be thin in certain spots, it may be a good idea to overseed in those areas. Start by spreading a thin layer of Greely’s Topdressing Soil over the space you want to overseed. Once the soil has been gently raked through, sprinkle seed on top and water generously. Putting the work in during the fall months will help your lawn come back even more full and healthy in the Spring! Additionally, Greely’s Topdressing Soil is perfectly blended to provide your existing and new grass with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Our convenient delivery of bulk or Greely’s Gardening Bag orders continues throughout the Fall season. Simply call our office or visit our online store to place an order for top quality soils, seed, even tool rentals! Everything you need to get the job done is available at Greely Sand & Gravel with convenient delivery options so that you can focus on the project at hand.

Call us today to get started on your Fall landscaping project. Our knowledgeable team is here to help!

Tool Kit Rental

A bright and sunny start to Fall like we are experiencing this year can make it the perfect time to get caught up on some of that lawn and yard work that might have gotten left undone during summer vacation! October is a great month to do a little extra work to make sure that your property will be looking fresh and beautiful come springtime.

Want to spruce up your lawn and gardens this fall but don’t know where to start? Here are a few common tasks that are great to tackle at this time of year:

  • Overseed your lawn
  • Rake and collect leaves
  • Tidy and straighten edges and borders
  • Fill, level, and seed uneven areas of your lawn
  • Plant new perennial flowers

All of these jobs can generally be done on your own, especially if you have the right tools! That is why Greely Sand & Gravel is happy to offer our Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit. Maybe you don’t have room to store all the tools needed to complete the landscaping tasks around your home or maybe you just don’t want to buy tools for the a few small jobs that need to be done. Either way - our Tool Rental Kit is the perfect solution!

The Greely Sand & Gravel Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit includes:

  • Square Point Shovel
  • Round Point Shovel
  • Turf Edger with footsteps
  • Level Rake
  • Leaf Rake
  • Tamper
  • Broom
  • Wheel Barrow
  • Lawn Roller
  • 100 ft Garden Hose
  • Spray Nozzle
  • Oscillating Sprinkler
  • Spirit Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Complimentary Gloves

For any of the jobs listed above, and many more, we can provide you with the materials AND the tools you need to make the process quick, easy, and effective! Our tools are all high quality and well maintained, ensuring that our customers have an enjoyable user experience. When you call us to rent the Tool Kit, we can generally have it delivered right to your driveway within 48 hours. After the job is complete, simply call us again and we will have the Tool Kit picked up as soon as possible. No matter what your project is, the Greely Sand & Gravel Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit is a fast and efficient way to make sure you have all the tools you need!

Our Tool Kits are available for either 3 or 7 day rentals and can be ordered individually or added to your order of landscaping products. To make it even better, you can get a $25 discount on the rental cost of the Tool Kit if you add it to an order of at least one Greely Gardening Bag.  For example, if you need to overseed your lawn this fall, go to our online store or give our office a call and have a cubic yard bag of Greely’s Topdressing Soil, a bag of our Premium Plus Lawn Seed, and our Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit all delivered to your house within 48 hours, with a $25 discount!

If you have questions about our Tool Kits or want more information on any of our products and services, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call at 613-821-3003. We are happy to help!

Grading Your Lawn

Fall is a great time to work on your property and make sure everything is in good order before the winter weather arrives. If you want to keep your property looking and operating in tip top shape, it is critical to not only think about the aesthetic elements such as flower beds and patios, but also the slope or grade of your property as a whole. A properly graded lawn slopes gently away from your home to allow rainwater, ground water, and melting snow or ice to drain away from your foundation, helping to prevent issues with flooding and mold. Depending on your property and situation, grading your lawn can be a relatively small job, or a project that requires help from experts and the use of effective heavy machinery. Either way, Greely Sand & Gravel can provide you with the landscaping products you need to protect your home while giving you a beautiful, healthy lawn!

The goal in grading your lawn is to keep water from entering your basement or interfering with your foundation. In order to achieve this, your property needs to have a gradual slope down or away from the base of your home. It is a good idea to have a professional come to your home to assess the grade of your lawn and let you know what work needs to be done, if any.

If you do need to create a greater slope away from your home to improve the grade, we recommend using a product like Greely Sand & Gravel’s Screened Topsoil. This soil provides structure and will allow for water to drain away from your home when installed at the correct depth and slope. When the grading work is complete, Greely Sand & Gravel’s Screened Topsoil is also  great for growing grass seed or for underneath sod.

For minor adjustments to the grade of your lawn, simply shovel or scoop the soil into the correct spot near the foundation of the house and slope it away using a large shovel or a rake, being sure to compact the soil as you go to maintain the slope. When your slope is created, you are able to seed or sod the area. Interested in purchasing grass seed or sod? Greely Sand & Gravel offers premium grass seed as well as locally grown sod!

If more extensive work needs to be done to correct the slope of your lawn, you may need to hire a professional with the right equipment to complete the job. Greely Sand & Gravel can still supply our Screened Topsoil for your project, no matter how big the load. We offer competitive pricing and stress-free delivery on bulk soil orders delivered via our spacious triaxle dump trucks.

In order to calculate how much Screen Topsoil  you need, simply find the length, width, and depth of the area you need to cover and enter them into the Cubic Yard Calculator found on the product pages of our website. Since you are sloping the soil away from the house, you will only require half of the amount of topsoil needed to fully fill this space. For example, if you are filling an area that is 10’ x 8’  and 12” deep, you would need 1.5 cubic yards of soil.

Grading your lawn can be a big job but our product experts at Greely Sand & Gravel are here to make sure you have exactly the right products you need, when and where you need them! Call us today or visit one of our two conveniently located landscape depots to learn more about our extensive range of products and delivery options.

Starting a New Garden

Maybe you just moved into a newly built house or this is the year you have decided to start gardening. More than ever, now is a great time to try growing your own fruits and vegetables at home. From rising inflation to supply chain issues, growing your own fresh produce can alleviate some of these challenges, while also providing you and your family with delicious, healthy food right in your own backyard!

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, we have top quality soil and compost, perfect for your garden, garden box, or potted plants. Both our Greely’s Topdressing Soil (which is our recommended gardening soil) and our locally sourced Mushroom Compost are approved for organic growing by CSI (a division of Seeds Canada). When you purchase your garden soil or compost from us, you can be confident that your plants have a nourishing, clean, and supportive base in which to grow.

You may be wondering why we recommend our Greely’s Topdressing Soil for use in gardens, as well as for topdressing your lawn. The triple mix blend of screened topsoil, Mushroom Compost, and black peat that makes up Greely’s Topdressing Soil provides all the same benefits to your fruit and vegetable plants as it does to your grass. Just like grass seed, fruit and vegetable seeds, and seedlings benefit from the increased moisture retention in the black peat, the natural fertilizer from the Mushroom Compost, and the structure of the screened topsoil. And the best part is, Greely’s Topdressing Soil is already blended with a perfect ratio of these three key ingredients, so you can apply it directly into your new or existing garden, garden boxes, planters, or pots!

If you already have an existing garden bed with decent soil, but want the benefits of natural fertilizer, early spring is a great time to consider adding Mushroom Compost to your soil. Our Mushroom Compost is locally sourced from Osgoode, Ontario, approved for organic growing, and is the exact same product we use in our triple mix, Greely’s Topdressing Soil. Just remember, Mushroom Compost is densely packed with nutrients and if applied too generously can actually harm your plants. Try to blend the Mushroom Compost into your existing soil at a ratio of two parts soil to one part Mushroom Compost. Use a shovel, trowel, or garden rake to make sure the Mushroom Compost is well incorporated into your soil. We recommend adding Mushroom Compost before planting anything in your garden for the season.

Are you interested in gardening but want to start small or don’t have space for a large garden bed? A raised garden box might be a great fit for you! We are excited to be offering beautiful hemlock raised garden boxes, locally made by The WoodSource, as part of our product lineup this year. These garden boxes are easy to assemble and require less maintenance than a traditional garden bed. Simply assemble the garden box in your chosen area, and fill with Greely’s Topdressing Soil. Using a raised garden box not only helps with weed control, but also makes your plants more accessible, all while adding a beautiful landscape feature to your property.

If this is the year you want to try growing your own fruits and vegetables, now is the time to get started! Call us today to place an order for our Greely’s Topdressing Soil or one of our beautiful garden box kits. To learn more about our wide array of gardening products, visit our convenient online store. Our knowledgeable office staff are always ready to answer your questions as well - simply call 613-821-3003

Outdoor Home Project Ideas

Record snowfalls, freezing cold temperatures - if you are living in Ontario right now, it can be hard to believe that in just a few short months, spring will be here again! Whether your goal for this year is to maintain the health and beauty of your lawn and gardens or you have some bigger projects coming up, making a plan ahead of time is one of the best ways to guarantee success. So why not forget about winter for a moment and think about warmer days ahead while you browse our project ideas below!

New Outdoor Home Projects

Maybe this is the year you try vegetable gardening or growing your favourite flowers to enjoy at home all season long. Or perhaps you’re getting ready to start a fresh lawn from scratch. Starting a new project may be daunting, but with our wide array of high-quality landscaping products, your new lawn, garden, or flowerbed can soon be a reality!

When it comes to lawns, we have you covered from the ground up. Start with a generous layer of our premium screened topsoil to create the perfect base for your new grass. Our bulk load delivery options make it quick and convenient to have the right amount of soil delivered right to your door. We also offer a variety of excellent options for grass seed - perfect, hearty blends for areas with varying amounts of sun exposure. Or if you are considering sod, we can deliver freshly cut, lush rolls when you need them.

Looking to add a garden or flowerbed to your property? Greely’s Topdressing Soil is great for organic growing and is one of the most sought-after soil blends in the region. Delivering proven results for decades, this locally blended triple mix combines screened topsoil, peat, and mushroom compost to provide structure, nutrients, and moisture retention for your plants.

Maintenance & Restoration Projects

Even the most beautiful properties need lots of TLC to stay looking their best! From topdressing your lawn to topping up your mulch or decorative stone, there is always something to do around the yard. Our team is ready to help you with recommendations for the best products to keep your lawn and garden in tip-top shape.

We have products and services to help you:

  • Level an existing patio or walkway
  • Freshen up an old garden or flowerbed
  • Top up your mulch or decorative stone
  • Topdress and overseed your lawn
  • Restore definition to parts of your lawn or garden
  • Dispose of waste, excess soil, leaves, and overgrowth from around your property

Just like a fresh coat of paint can change the whole look of your home, a new layer of mulch or the addition of some decorative stone or an accent boulder can change the whole look of your property and greatly increase curb appeal.

Make this the year you finally start making your landscaping dreams a reality! Visit our informative and convenient online store to browse our products and services and learn more about our locations and delivery options. If you order now, you can still get last year’s price, so start planning now. Once you know what you need, you can place an order online to be first in line for product delivery in the Spring!

Have questions? Give us a call today at 613-821-3003. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to help you get started. Happy planning!