Preparing For Winter

Now that Thanksgiving and Halloween are behind us, most people’s minds start to think about snow and the coming winter season! As we say goodbye to another beautiful fall, it is time to make sure that things around your home are ready for the colder temperatures. Taking time to winterize your property can save you time and money, and gives you peace of mind knowing that your property is protected from harsh winter weather.

There are many practical things you can do to prepare your home and property for winter such as:

  • Raking and removing dead leaves from your lawn
  • Cleaning out and raking flower beds and gardens
  • Removing and putting away outdoor hoses
  • Cleaning and covering your barbeque and AC units
  • Covering bushes, shrubs, or small trees that need extra insulation

This is also a good time to ensure that your eavestrough and drainage systems are all in good working order to prevent flooding in the spring thaw. Fallen leaves can accumulate easily around your home and interfere with proper drainage.

If you have a lot of leaves and other natural yard waste (plant clippings, small branches, etc.) that you need to get rid of, consider using our Disposabag program. Using one of our convenient and durable Greely Gardening Bags, you can have that waste picked up from your property and carefully disposed of in sustainable ways. Simply use a Greely Gardening Bag you already have on hand from a delivery, or stop by one of our two landscape depots to purchase a new bag. Once the bag is full, just give us a call and we will come and pick up the bag for you. For more information regarding the Disposabag program – visit our online store and look under Services & Rentals.

While the weather holds, we may still be able to deliver landscaping products to your home if you need stone, sand, soil, mulch, or rock to finish a last minute project before the snow flies. Call our office to see what delivery options are currently available! Still holding on to a Greely Gardening Bag from a previous delivery? Many of our customers repurpose these bags, once empty and cleaned, as barbecue covers or air conditioning unit covers. Our smaller, quarter cubic yard bags are also perfect for insulating small shrubs or bushes.

This is also a great time to check your shovels, snowblower, and salt bin to make sure that everything is in good working order and easily accessible ahead of that first snowfall. Our Salt Depot will be opening in just a few short weeks to help you ensure that you are safe from slips, trips, and falls this winter. Stay tuned for more information regarding our effective salt options!

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!

Shovels

When it comes to landscaping, having the right tools is just as important as having the right materials. While it is easy to get caught up in choosing the perfect mulch, stone, sand, or soil for your project, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration by also taking some time to make sure you have the best tools for the job. For many landscaping projects, especially if you are considering a DIY job, selecting a proper shovel can make the work quicker, easier, and also more comfortable. Don’t waste time and energy or risk injury by using the wrong tool! Our simple guide below will help you figure out what shovel you should be using for the task at hand.

Shovels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each with a distinct purpose. When choosing a shovel, it is important to consider: the length, the shape of the head, and the grip.

The shovel you use should have a handle long enough that you can work with it comfortably. Too short and you will be putting unnecessary strain on your back. Too long and the shovel will be unwieldy and difficult to manage.

The shape of the head is also an important consideration when choosing a shovel. This will be determined by what type of job you are doing. A round head is more effective when it comes to digging. So if you need to excavate an area, remove old soil, sand, or gravel, or dig holes for a new structure, you will need a shovel with a round head. A square head is used to spread materials. This type of shovel is perfect for applying a new layer or mulch to your garden or flower bed, or spreading fresh soil on your lawn or garden.

Shovels can also have different styles and sizes of handle. Try to select a shovel with a handle that fits your hand comfortably. If the handle is too small and squishes your hand, you may end up with blisters or other issues after using it for a while. Shovels with a D-grip handle provide an extra level of comfort, maneuverability, and strength.

Depending on the size of your project, or how often you do your own landscaping, it may make sense to purchase a few good quality shovels to have on hand. However, if you only require a shovel or shovels for a few days, or for one specific job, Greely Sand & Gravel has you covered! Our Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit is fully equipped with a variety of tools to allow you to complete a DIY landscaping project. From shovels, to rakes, to a wheelbarrow and lawn roller, the Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit is the perfect solution when you need tools but don’t have space to store them long term. We offer both 3-day and 7-day rentals, and the entire kit is conveniently delivered to your property when you need it. Once the job is complete, simply give us a call and we will come and pick up the tool kit, usually within 48 hours!

To learn more about Greely Sand & Gravel’s Lawn & Garden Tool Rental Kit, or our other range of services and products, visit our online store today or give our office a call at 613-821-3003. We are here to help!

All About Greely’s Topdressing Soil

The spring landscaping season is well underway and our Greely’s Topdressing Soil is being used by hundreds of  local homeowners and landscapers every week! Our most sought-after product year after year, we have been selling our trademarked topsoil blend for more than three decades. Not only is Greely’s Topdressing Soil a perfectly balanced triple-mix topsoil, it is also certified for organic growing, making it the perfect option for gardens and flowerbeds. Still on the fence about ordering Greely’s Topdressing Soil? Read on to find out more about this product; a consistent customer favourite!

Brent Pyper, founder of Greely Sand & Gravel, first developed the specific blend of ingredients used to make Greely’s Topdressing Soil. Growing up on a farm here in the Ottawa area, Brent spent much time in his youth working outside with his father. During this time, Brent developed a keen interest in soil and the unique properties that could be achieved when combining different ingredients. Just like his dad, Brent has always had a passion for gardening and delivering landscaping products to homeowners and landscapers. After nearly three years of adjusting the recipe, Brent landed on the perfect ratio of screened topsoil, black peat, and mushroom compost, and Greely’s Topdressing Soil was born.

Now, more than thirty years later, Greely’s Topdressing Soil has stood the test of time and continues to be a customer favourite, year after year. Rich in organics, this soil is perfect for topdressing your lawn and will help your grass flourish by supporting a strong root system and encouraging healthy growth. Customers who have used this soil in their vegetable gardens report bigger and tastier produce than when using regular screened topsoil or other blends. And now that Greely’s Topdressing Soil is also certified for organic growing by the CSI, a division of Seeds Canada, you can rest easy knowing that your fruits and vegetables are rooted in a soil that supports your overall goal of clean, healthy eating!

A common question we get about Greely’s Topdressing Soil is why we don’t guarantee a weed-free soil. While weed-free soil sounds great, it’s usually not that simple. Generally, soil that comes with a weed-free guarantee has been pasteurized and is available in only small quantities such as the 30L bags you find at the grocery store. In order to maximize our soil’s natural properties, we do not pasteurize our soil, or put it through any other type of treatment process. Additionally, our soil is screened and blended in a 500 acre pit, meaning that we can provide soil in large amounts when needed to both our residential and commercial customers.

Additionally, “weed-free” soil is sometimes sprayed with certain chemicals to kill any weed seeds that may be in the soil. This type of process would invalidate our organic certification, and in addition to eradicating weed seeds, can also diminish the natural organic matter that makes our soil so beneficial for grass, plants, and flowers. Instead, we offer less intrusive methods of discouraging weed growth that can work in harmony with the other elements of your garden or flowerbed such as our top quality weed barrier fabrics and our vibrant array of mulches. For more information on how to naturally prevent weed growth, please give our office a call – we would be happy to help!

If today is the day you have decided to give your garden or lawn an extra boost, you can’t go wrong with Greely’s Topdressing Soil. As with most of our products, Greely’s Topdressing Soil is available for pick up at either of our conveniently located landscape depots, or for delivery by dump truck load, or in one of our Greely Gardening Bags – available in three sizes! Want to learn more? Visit our online store or give us a call today at 613-821-3003.

Yard Waste Bins

Especially at this time of year, you have probably seen some of our blue Greely Sand & Gravel Yard Waste bins around your neighbourhood! In addition to offering an array of premium landscaping products, at Greely Sand & Gravel we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a selection of services to assist you in completing your project. Our yard waste bin service is a great way to have products delivered and landscaping waste removed in a convenient and cost effective manner. Below we answer some common questions we receive about this service.

What can I put in the bin?

Greely Sand & Gravel Yard Waste bins can be filled with either leaf and yard waste OR excavation waste. Since we do our best to repurpose or recycle all waste we collect, it is crucial that each bin is filled with just one of the types of waste above, to allow for ease of sorting.

Leaf and Yard Waste consists of:

  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Branches (eight inches in diameter or less)
  • Plant and flower clippings
  • Stumps (eight inches in diameter or less)

Excavation Waste consists of:

  • Soil
  • Sand
  • Stone
  • Concrete paving stones
  • Interlocking bricks
  • Sod

Items that CANNOT be placed in our roll off bins include:

  • Plastic bags
  • Hazardous or chemical waste
  • Garbage
  • Steel rebar
  • Asphalt
  • Garbage
  • Concrete steps or slabs
  • Wood
  • Landscape rigid edging
  • Spiral nails

Please note that due to recent legislation passed by the Ontario government, you will be required to fill out a form providing details about any excess soil being removed from your property. To learn more about this legislation and the documentation requirements, please visit our Yard Waste Bin Rental page in our online store.

Can I have a product delivered in the bin and then use the bin for waste?

Yes! This is one of the biggest advantages to using Greely Sand & Gravel’s Yard Waste bin service. Choose one product to have delivered in your roll off bin. From sand to soil to mulch to riverstone – we can deliver up to eight cubic yards of product (depending on the weight of the product) in one of our yard waste bins. We can then dump the product where you need it and leave the bin for you to fill. To make it even better, you will save 50% off the delivery cost of your product when you also take advantage of our yard waste bin service!

Since we use these bins to deliver products, it is critical that no garbage or hazardous waste is placed in the bins. We have very high standards when it comes to product quality, and therefore will not take the chance of our products becoming contaminated when placed in our yard waste bins.

How much room do I need for the yard waste bin?

Our bins measure 8’ x 10’ x 42” high. They must be placed on asphalt, gravel or another flat and stable surface. We cannot place the bins in the street – they must be placed entirely on the customer’s property. For ease of delivery and pick up, we recommend placing the bins in your driveway whenever possible.

How do I have my bin picked up?

When you have filled your yard waste bin, ensuring that the waste does not exceed the maximum fill line, simply call our office to have the bin picked up. We will do our best to have it picked up within the following 48 hours. Our yard waste bins can be rented for a period of anywhere from three to seven days at a time. We also offer a “dump and return” service, should you need to fill the bin multiple times in one rental period. Want to know more? Give us a call at 613-821-3003 and we will be happy to give you more information regarding this option.

What makes your bin different from regular dumpsters?

At Greely Sand & Gravel, we take recycling, waste minimization, and landscape rehabilitation very seriously. One of our main goals in our yard waste bin program is to divert as much waste as possible from landfill sites and instead, to carefully find ways to reuse or recycle natural waste.

Additionally, our yard waste bins are smaller than the average dumpster, making them a perfect fit for urban areas, smaller properties, or tight driveways. We believe in helping our customers achieve their landscaping goals, no matter the size, shape, or location of their property!

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

Where Do Weeds Come From?

Weeds are likely one of the most common and most frustrating challenges that gardeners and landscapers face when creating and maintaining beautiful lawns and gardens. You may be tempted to look for topsoil that guarantees to be “weed-free” in hopes of avoiding weeds altogether, but as someone once said: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we sell high-quality, certified organic topsoil, but we do not guarantee that our soil is weed free. Read on to find out why!

As you’ve probably noticed from observing your lawn or garden, weeds grow and spread very quickly. Once weeds have become established, it becomes difficult to remove them and contain their spread. Many weeds produce tiny seeds that are spread via the air and wind throughout their surrounding area. While we regularly and carefully screen all our topsoil for germinated weeds and other unwanted debris such as stones or twigs, it is impossible to screen out the miniscule weed seeds that can blow into the soil. We do our best to keep the soil covered and contained to minimize the spread of weed seeds, however, removing all possibility of weed seeds mixing with soil is impossible.

Some topsoils undergo a sterilizing process to kill weed seeds by heating the soil to very high temperatures, or using a chemical compound to eradicate weeds. While these processes may be somewhat effective, at Greely Sand & Gravel, we do not do anything or add anything to our topsoil that would compromise our organic certification. Additionally, these measures become less effective once your soil is spread on your lawn or garden and exposed to the elements, as new weed seeds can be introduced.

Some of the best natural ways to keep weeds at bay are to add mulch on top of your soil at a 3” depth when you are creating a new flowerbed. One extra step is to add a high quality geotextile cloth between your soil and mulch, and to try to keep on top of weeding, before the weeds have a chance to grow and go to seed. Unfortunately, there is no magic way to eliminate all weeds, but regular maintenance and a good geotextile cloth can help keep the issue well under control.

In addition to our ever popular Greely’s Topdressing Soil, we also sell a variety of mulch and geotextile cloths that can help keep weeds at bay in your garden or flower bed. If you have questions about which type of mulch or geotextile is right for your project, visit our online store to learn more or give our office a call at 613-821-3003.

All About Geo-Textile

Whether you are a commercial landscaper or a homeowner caring for your own lawn and gardens, weeds are a common issue that you will encounter in nearly every project! One of the best ways to deter weed growth in your flowerbed, patio, or walkway is to use a weed barrier fabric. This helps prevent weeds from growing up through your soil or between your stones, meaning less weeding for you after your project is complete!

Weed barrier or landscape fabric as it is also known, is a thick layer of fabric that goes underneath your new mulch or stone to prevent weeds from growing up through your mulch or stone.  For a new patio, walkway, or river rock installation, the fabric is installed once you have completed the excavation step of your project.

Once excavation is complete, line the entire area with the landscape fabric. To prevent weeds from growing up through the space between pieces of fabric, allow for a generous overlap of a few inches. Ensure that the entire area is covered and that there are no gaps. Using a pair of scissors, cut the landscape fabric to the proper size.  Not only will the landscape fabric help prevent weeds, it will also restrict the stone from working its way down in to the subsoil.  Once the landscape fabric is installed, you can begin shoveling your new product into the space. Take care to ensure the fabric does not shift and create gaps as you add mulch, stone, or river rock.  Anchoring pins can also be used to secure the landscape fabric in place.

For a flowerbed, line the soil with the landscape fabric, ensuring it overlaps to prevent spaces.  The landscape fabric can be cut to fit around existing plants and shrubs.  Then apply the mulch at a 3” layer to help hold the landscape fabric in place.

At Greely Sand & Gravel, we offer three different types of landscape fabric to ensure that you get the best results for your specific project. All three options come in 3’ x 50’ rolls.

Pro Guard Woven Geotextile has a tarp like texture and is very durable, making it perfect for underneath stone as it is very resistant to tearing and holds up well under a lot of weight. This would be an ideal product for anyone looking to create an interlock or stone patio or walkway.

Pro Ion Plus Non-Woven Geotextile has a fabric like texture and is perfect for use under mulch in flowerbeds.

Pro Silver Plus Woven Geotextile is silver in colour making it an excellent choice for camouflaging the ground underneath river rock or any other type of decorative stone. Use this product to maximize the visual aesthetic while preventing weeds from growing up through your stone.

For your convenience, we also sell anchoring pins to help keep the landscape fabric in place. All three types of landscape fabric and the anchoring pins are available at both our landscape depots and can be added to your delivery order when you purchase soil, mulch, stone, or any of our other landscaping products. Still have questions? Give our office a call today at 613-821-3003.

Using Polymeric Sand

Stone has become an increasingly popular feature in landscape projects in recent years. Whether you are planning an interlock driveway or a walkway using pavers or a natural stone patio, the options for colours, textures, sizes, and shapes are nearly endless when it comes to stone! Once you have planned your design and chosen your product, proper installation is key to ensuring that your patio, driveway, or walkway will stay stable, beautiful, and safe for years to come. Greely Sand & Gravel is proud to be able to provide all the products needed to create beautiful stone landscape features, from stone dust to pavers to polymeric sand!

What is Polymeric Sand?

While most people are familiar with the concept of using crushed stone and stone dust to create a base for your interlock stones or pavers, not everyone is aware of the important role that polymeric sand plays in the finishing stages of these types of projects. Polymeric sand is a specially formulated mixture of graded sand and a high-performance polymer binding agent used to fill the grooves and gaps between patio stones and interlock. It is designed to be used with all joints between stones up to 4” wide. When properly installed, polymeric sand will remain stable and flexible in the most extreme weather conditions and freeze/thaw cycles.

Benefits of Polymeric Sand

Polymeric sand offers many benefits that will increase the durability of your patio, walkway, or driveway and increase your project’s lifespan once finished. Polymeric sand stabilizes the stones to prevent them from becoming loose or a tripping hazard. Polymeric sand is also very durable when properly set, making it a great addition to high-traffic areas such as walkways and driveways. Another reason that our customers love polymeric sand is that it helps prevent weed growth between stones or pavers. Once you have finished your beautiful interlock patio, the last thing you want is to see weeds popping up between the stones. Sealing the grooves between stones with polymeric sand gives less opportunity for weeds to take root and grow. This means less maintenance for you and more time to enjoy your beautiful new outdoor space.

Our polymeric sand is available for purchase and pick up at both of our conveniently located landscape depots. We are also excited to announce that this year we now have both black and white polymeric sand, in addition to our classic beige and gray options. Our goal is always to provide our customers with the best possible array of products to take their landscaping projects to the next level.

For detailed instructions on how to install polymeric sand, visit our Polymeric Sand page on our website. You can also find information here on how much polymeric sand you will need to cover the area of your project sufficiently. If you have more questions regarding polymeric sand or other landscaping products, please give us a call at 613-821-3003. Our knowledgeable team is committed to helping make your project a success!

The Magic of Composted Pine Mulch

Our customers are often surprised about how many different options we offer at Greely Sand & Gravel when it comes to mulch. We are proud to offer a wide selection of high-quality mulches, perfect for any project. One of our mulches that has become increasingly popular is our Composted Pine Mulch.

What is Composted Pine Mulch?

Composted Pine Mulch is a unique product that offers a deep, rich colour combined with a unique texture compared to shredded pine mulch or pine bark nuggets. This mulch is partially decomposed, meaning that it has a texture more similar to soil than most other mulches while still retaining all the visual appeal of a wood product.

In addition to all the beautiful benefits of a typical mulch, including weed control, water retention, and increased visual appeal, Composted Pine Mulch continues to decompose over time, slowly releasing nutrients back into the soil. Adding Composted Pine Mulch to your garden or flowerbed ensures natural nutrients continually enrich your soil and strengthen your plants.

Another reason why Composted Pine Mulch is such a popular choice is because it is a very environmentally friendly product. This mulch is produced using by-products from sawmills and forestry operations, giving it a lower carbon footprint than other mulches. Our customers love having peace of mind knowing that they are getting a product that looks great and nourishes their plants, and is also better for the environment than other options.

Because of the nutrients released into the soil during the decomposition process, Composted Pine Mulch can act as a gentle, natural fertilizer. This is an excellent option for more delicate plants than a more potent natural fertilizer like Mushroom Compost. Composted Pine Mulch can also be applied directly on top of the soil rather than being combined with the soil at an appropriate ratio, making it a less labour-intensive product.

As with all our mulches, Composted Pine Mulch is available for delivery, either by the truckload or in our convenient Greely Gardening Bags. You can also pick it up at either of our landscape depots to save on the cost of delivery. Not sure about what type of mulch you want yet? Come and see us at our main office in Greely to see some actual samples of our products.

If you are ready to place an order or would like more information, visit our online store or call us at 613-821-3003. We would be happy to speak to you further about our impressive array of mulches for your landscaping project.