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!

Alliance Rigid Paver Edging

Are you looking to add a stone walkway, patio, or interlock driveway to your property? A beautiful stone or interlock feature can add major visual impact and usability to your property, as well as increasing the value of your home in many cases. If you plan to complete this project yourself, a key element to success is ensuring that you have the right products to make your walkway, patio, or driveway look great and last for many years to come. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we always strive to provide our customers with everything you need to create a stunning landscaping project. That is why we have added Alliance Rigid Paver Edging to our product lineup. This edging, used by professional landscapers, helps create smooth, even, and clean-looking borders around your walkway, patio, or driveway, and will help ensure that your stones stay in place.

What is Alliance Rigid Paver Edging?

Alliance Paver Rigid Edging is made with 100% Polypropylene Copolymer, which provides both strength and flexibility to edge your interlock patio or walkway. This product is composed of 8’ lengths that sit right up against your stone, creating a smooth and defined edge. It is essential to keep interlock stones in place and as time goes on, this edging will provide continued protection against shifting and deterioration for your landscaping project. This edging can be installed before or after the installation of paver stones or interlock.

Installing Alliance Rigid Paver Edging

In order to secure the paver edging in place, 10″ nails can be inserted through the holes in the edging. It is recommended to use one 10″ nail every foot of edging as well as at every junction of edging pieces. If you are following this recommendation, you will require nine nails per length of edging installed. For your convenience, we offer the nails for purchase as well.

You might be thinking, can these edging lengths go around corners? With a little extra work, yes they can! The edging can be flexed around corners simply by cutting the necessary bridge supports between the nail holes at the point of where the bend is necessary. Using this method, the edging can even be flexed to a 90 degree angle! This gives you the freedom and creativity you need in order to make your project unique and beautiful, while still providing the same support and stability to your stones or pavers.

If you’re looking to add strength, flexibility, and rigidity to your paver or interlock project, look no further than Greely’s Alliance Rigid Paver Edging. Give us a call today at 613-821-3003 to learn more or order online.

How To Use Our Disposabag Service

September is often a time to start fresh and to tackle more projects around your house and property that you might not have had time for during the summer. The cooler weather is often a reminder to prepare our yards for the upcoming winter season. If you are looking to do some cleanup this fall so that you can be ahead of the game come next spring, we have an amazing product to help! Our Greely Disposabag program is a quick and convenient method of waste removal that helps reduce the environmental impact of your waste by reusing and recycling whenever possible.

The cooler weather is a reminder to prepare our yards for winter

Our Disposabag program allows you to fill our one cubic yard Greely Gardening Bags with garden, excavation, or non-hazardous household waste. When you have your bag ready, give us a call and we will come and pick it up, and safely dispose of the contents for you! If you already purchased a product from us in a Greely Gardening Bag, you can reuse your bag for the Disposabag service, as long as it has no rips or tears. If you need a new bag, you can purchase one at our landscape depots, or you can order one to be delivered to your home.

An important thing to remember when filling your Disposabag is that you can only put one type of waste in a single bag. The three types of waste we accept are:

  • Garden Waste
    Any organic material from your lawn, garden or indoor plants, including grass trimmings, plants, pruning, old shrubs, tree trimmings, and leaves.
  • Excavation Waste
    Almost anything that you can dig out of your lawn, including non-contaminated gravel, rocks, sand, soil and interlocking bricks.
  • Non-Hazardous Household Waste
    Any material that doesn’t qualify as Garden or Excavation waste and can fit in your Greely’s DisposaBag, including small appliances, pieces of wood, scrap metal, construction material, plastic material, clothing and small pieces of furniture.

Items We Cannot Accept

Paint, chemicals, solvents, fluorescent tubes, light fixtures with ballasts, batteries, drywall, contaminated waste and other hazardous material.

The reason why it is important to stick to the one type of waste per bag principle is in order for the waste to be recycled or reused if possible. A bag containing only organic garden waste can be used to rehabilitate natural sites, but this is not possible if the bag is contaminated with other objects such as construction or household waste.

Bags can hold up to 1,500 kg of waste, so when you start to fill your bag, ensure that it is in a place that will be easy for our forklift to access when it is time to pick it up. When you have finished filling your bag, it is important to ensure that the bag can be fully closed at the top and all 4 corner loops are accessible. This will prevent waste from spilling during transportation, which would be a safety hazard.

If you would like to learn more about our unique and convenient Disposabag program, please visit the Disposabag page on our website or call our main office at 613-821-3003. We would be happy to help you dispose of waste around your home or property in a safe and easy way!

Let Our Mushroom Compost Help Your Garden Grow!

Are you looking for an effective way to provide healthy nutrients to your soil to bolster the life and health of your plants? Look no further than Greely Sand and Gravel’s Mushroom Compost. This excellent addition to regular topsoil or garden soil acts as a slow-release fertilizer in your garden.

Mushroom compost also aids in moisture retention, making your garden look healthy while supplying plants with the water they need. Mushroom compost is an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, critical to healthy plant growth and development.

How to Use Mushroom Compost

The best time to add mushroom compost to your garden is in the spring, before the growing season. If your garden soil is looking light brown and dry, adding and thoroughly mixing in mushroom compost is a great way to enhance the health of the soil. Simply blend the mushroom compost into the existing soil using a trowel, small shovel, or hoe.

Mushroom compost should not be used on its own, as it is high in salt content and can cause waterlogging. You should also know that having too much mushroom compost can harm the plants because the product is highly concentrated. A good ratio of mushroom compost to soil is one part mushroom compost to two parts soil. This ratio allows the mushroom compost to provide nutrients to the soil without overwhelming the plants.

More About Mushroom Compost

There are a few other essential things to be aware of when planning to use mushroom compost. If you are creating a new garden this year, we recommend using our Greely’s Topdressing Soil, which already has our mushroom compost blended in at the perfect ratio. This saves you the extra step of adding it in yourself after you have created your new garden. If you are working with an existing garden and soil that has already been used for several years, adding mushroom compost is an excellent way to revitalize that existing soil.

Our Mushroom Compost is Certified Organic

On top of all of these benefits, Greely Sand and Gravel’s Mushroom Compost is now certified for organic growing. This means that you can have peace of mind knowing that proper screening and testing procedures have taken place before putting the mushroom compost into your garden. Ottawa customers will be pleased to learn that our mushroom compost is also locally sourced produced in Osgoode, ON.

Mushroom compost is typically ready for delivery and pick-up at our landscape depots in mid to late April. We offer delivery by the truckload and in our convenient Greely’s Gardening Bags. If you are only looking for a small amount of mushroom compost to add to a planter, small garden, or garden box, consider coming to pick up a bag or fill a pail at one of our landscape depots, located in Ottawa’s south and west end. This is a great way to save on delivery costs and try out our product before ordering a larger amount.

If you have questions about how to use mushroom compost or would like assistance with placing your order, please give our office a call…we would be happy to help!

How Many Cubic Yards Do I Need?

We may have been experiencing our fair share of snow and freezing temperatures in Ottawa over the past few weeks, but that just makes us more excited for the upcoming spring season! In a few short months, the snow will be melting and you’ll be ready to enjoy your lawn and gardens. Why not take some time now to prepare yourself for this year’s spring maintenance projects? Whether it’s starting a new lawn from scratch, topdressing an existing lawn, creating a new garden, or adding mulch or decorative stone to take your yard to the next level, Greely Sand & Gravel is here to help you plan for a successful landscaping project!

Get an early start to the spring season and lock in your delivery date on our convenient online store. It’s the perfect place to browse our extensive catalogue of landscaping products. From soil to stone, from grass seed to decorative pavers, we have everything you need to transform your lawn or garden this spring. Once you have decided on your project and selected the materials you will be using, the next step in the process is to figure out how much of each product you will need. No one wants to end up being short, or paying too much and ending up with a lot leftover.

To help our customers with this step, Greely Sand & Gravel has a quick, easy-to-use Cubic Yard Calculator located on the left-hand side of each product page on our website. All you will need to use the Calculator is the length, width, and depth of the area you need to cover with your chosen material (soil, sand, stone, etc.). These measurements should be taken in feet and inches, as we sell all our products by the cubic yard. Simply input these dimensions into the Calculator and it will instantly tell you how much product you would need to cover that specific area at your chosen depth.

Keep in mind that if you are compacting your material for the purposes of your project, it is important to ensure you have ordered extra product to allow for compaction. As the compaction rate differs from product to product, it can be difficult to determine how much extra material you will need. If you have questions regarding compaction before ordering, please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our team members.

Once you know how much product you will need, you can then proceed to pricing out different options for delivery. If you only need a small amount of product, or you require small amounts of multiple products, Greely’s Gardening Bags might be a great delivery option for you! These sturdy, convenient bags minimize mess and allow you much more freedom in deciding where your products are placed when delivered. They come in three different sizes for maximum convenience: ¼ cubic yard, ½ cubic yard, and full cubic yard. Additionally, when you purchase two or more bags for delivery on the same date (regardless of size), you will receive a $25 discount off the second and any subsequent bags.

For larger amounts, our dump truck load delivery option is cost-effective, and allows you to have up to two different products delivered on one truck. This is an excellent option for customers who require three or more yards of the same product or of two different products, and who have space on their driveway or in their yard for the product(s) to be dumped loose.

As you plan for your upcoming project, remember that our staff are always on hand to answer your questions, or walk you through different options for products and delivery. You can call our office at 613-821-3003 to speak to one of our knowledgeable and friendly team members. We look forward to working with you to achieve your landscaping goals this year!

Fall Topdressing

 

While we continue to enjoy a beautiful summer, it is never too early to start planning for the colder weather. Many people think that lawn care happens in the spring and summer seasons only, but there are some helpful things you can do for your lawn in the fall that will make your lawn look beautiful come next spring. In order to get the full, lush, green grass that you’re looking for, it’s important to topdress your lawn as the temperatures get a little cooler in the later months of the year, before the snow flies.

Topdressing your lawn is the process of adding a thin layer of nutritious content to your grass in order to improve the overall soil quality. Adding this layer provides nutrients to your soil which promotes new growth and strengthens your lawn’s ability to retain moisture. As your grass grows each year, the nutrients in the soil become depleted, so it is key to ensure that you are replenishing them regularly.  In addition, adding this layer can help level out bumps and low spots, allowing your lawn to look thick, even, and rich next spring.

If this sounds like something that might be helpful for you, Greely Sand & Gravel can get you set up for fall topdressing. Greely’s Topdressing Soil is perfect for giving your lawn that little extra boost in September and October. This rich triple-mix blend of topsoil, mushroom compost, and black peat moss will enrich your lawn with the nutrition it needs to thrive.

Greely’s Topdressing Soil is available for pickup at both our south-east end and west-end landscape depots. We also offer two convenient delivery methods: dump truck load (for larger areas) or our Greely Gardening Bags (for smaller areas). Our Greely Gardening Bags come in three sizes and are delivered using a forklift to ensure optimal placement of your bag.

To topdress your lawn, simply apply a thin, even layer of the soil to your grass using a rake, spade, or shovel. It is often helpful to use the back end of your rake to level out the layer of soil evenly across your lawn. The layer of soil should be about ¼” to ½” in depth. Beware of spreading the soil too thickly, as you don’t want to choke out your grass. Continue to work the soil into your lawn with a garden tool until the existing grass pokes through and the soil is evenly spread. To allow the soil to permeate, give it a light watering after spreading and continue to water daily if the weather is dry. This process can be done annually in the spring and fall to yield the best results.

If you plan to topdress your lawn this fall, give us a call today at 613-821-3003 or visit our online store to place an order for soil delivery. Give yourself the peace of mind, knowing that your soil will arrive on time for your fall topdressing. Our team will be happy to deliver your soil exactly when and where you need it!

Creating a Patio Base

 

We’ve all been spending more time at home lately, so why not create a beautiful outdoor living space? An inviting patio can add significantly to the value and curb appeal of your home, and provides a comfortable and easy to maintain place to catch some sunshine and fresh air. With the price of lumber skyrocketing over the past year, you may want to consider a patio for your outdoor space as an alternative to a traditional deck. Stone patios are highly customizable and can be created to your exact specifications.

The most common way to install a patio is to dig an area at least 6” deep, fill the space with ⅞” crushed stone, and level off the top with stonedust. Greely Sand & Gravel offers both of these products that time and time again provide a solid foundation for a patio, making them a customer favourite! As you add gravel to the space, tamp and level every two to three inches to compact the material. Once all the gravel is spread, tamped, and leveled, spread the stonedust on top to create a 1” thick layer across the whole area.

Another option for the top layer is concrete sand, which allows for easier levelling and better drainage when compared with the traditional stonedust. However, either product will achieve the desired result.

Alternatively, a product that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is Premium Bedding Stone, also known as High Performance Bedding Stone. This stone performs the same function as crushed stone and stonedust, but in one convenient product! When contained by edging material or by an excavated space, the particles in Premium Bedding Stone provide a very rigid and stable surface on which you can place your interlock stone.  Additionally, Premium Bedding Stone offers the ease of installation and drains water very effectively, wicking water away. Because this method requires only one product, it may be a good option for those looking for an efficient, simple way to create a patio base in an enclosed area.

When you have your level, compacted base in place, it is time to lay your patio stones! This is where your creativity and personal preference can play a huge role. There are so many different options on the market when it comes to colour, size, and shape of patio stones. Greely Sand & Gravel offers several timeless options that will help you create a patio that is both durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Once this work is complete and you’ve laid your patio stones, we recommend filling in the joints (empty spaces between the stones) with polymeric sand. Polymeric sand is a specially formulated mixture of sand and high-performance polymer. This product can be used for joints up to 4” in width. In addition to providing a stable joint between your patio stones, this product also reduces weed growth, the formation of ant hills, and prevents erosion. We offer this product in two colours: beige or grey. Simply spread and sweep the sand into the joints of your patio stones and wash over with a hose in order to fill the joints. Be sure to watch the installation video for optimal performance. Once this is done and allowed to dry, your patio will be ready to use!

You can pick up any of the products mentioned above at our convenient landscape depots, or have them delivered to your house by dump truck load or in a Greely Gardening Bag. Our Greely Gardening Bags now come in three sizes – Full Yard, Half Yard, and Quarter Yard – so you can order the exact amount needed for your project. If you have more questions about the products, feel free to visit our online store or give us a call at 613-821-3003 to talk to one of our qualified team members.

Starting a New Lawn

 

Spring is in full swing and summer weather is just around the corner. If you are anticipating spending a lot of time outside this summer, why not make this the year to invest in a brand new lawn? Whether your home is a new build or your current lawn is in need of an upgrade, Greely Sand & Gravel has the products and service you need to create a picture-perfect lawn.

Choosing Between Seed or Sod

When creating a brand new lawn from scratch, there are two options: you can start a lawn from seed or install sod. Seeding your lawn is the process of spreading seeds on freshly laid out and graded soil. While this can be done any time of year, it is more advantageous to seed your lawn in the spring or fall, when the nights are cooler in temperature. Installing sod consists of laying and joining rolls of sod on freshly laid out and graded soil. Sodding your lawn can be done any time of year, but it’s important to be prepared to water your sod thoroughly after installation. While sod is typically the more expensive option, this method allows you to have a beautiful, mature lawn in a short period of time, as opposed to allowing time for seeds to germinate and grow.

How deep should my soil be?

For grass to grow well from either seed or sod, the screened topsoil should be at least four to six inches in depth. This will give ample depth for the seeds and sod to attach themselves to the soil and begin deep growth.

How to Seed

Once you have spread screened topsoil in your area to a depth of between four and six inches, grade the soil to fill any low spots and to ensure a nice, even base. Additionally, be sure to grade your soil away from any buildings, such as your house, for drainage purposes. Once your soil is laid out and graded, spread the seed at a consistent rate across your area, using either your hands (for smaller areas) or a spreader (for larger areas). Once this is done, we recommend rolling over the soil with a lawn roller. Once you’ve completed these steps, be sure to water the area thoroughly, at least three or four times a day, especially when it is sunny. 

How to Install Sod

Similar to seeding your lawn, screened topsoil should first be spread to a depth of four to six inches, graded, and compacted to be as level as possible. Before installing the rolls of sod, spread water over the surface of the soil. Begin laying the rolls of sod along a straight line. Ensure there are no gaps between the rolls of sod. If needed, because of a slope, use stakes to pin the sod in place so that it does not move. Wherever necessary, trim the edges of the sod with a knife in order to make clean, straight lines at the edges of your lawn. Once all of your sod is installed, level it with a lawn roller in order to ensure the lawn is flat and that there are no air pockets underneath the sod. Then, water the sod thoroughly, preferably using a sprinkler. Especially if you are attempting to grow sod in hot and dry conditions, this last step is the most important in order to keep your sod growing and to allow the roots to attach to the soil beneath. Make sure to install your sod within 24 hours of delivery, to keep the grass alive and healthy.

Having trouble deciding which new lawn method is right for you? Feel free to consult our website or to give us a call at 613-821-3003 today. Our knowledgeable staff would be happy to assist you!