Common Questions About Sod

Thinking of starting a new lawn from scratch and have questions about sod? It can be a daunting task to think of installing sod as a homeowner, but if you are well equipped beforehand with the right products and information, the process will be much more smooth and hassle-free! Not only does Greely Sand & Gravel sell premium locally-sourced Kentucky Bluegrass Sod and screened topsoil, but we also have answers to some of the most common questions we get from our customers about installing sod.

How do I calculate how much sod I will need?

Our sod is freshly cut daily in rolls that measure 2’ x 5’, so each strip covers 10 square feet of space. Find the area of your space by measuring the length and width in feet and multiplying them. The resulting number is how many square feet of sod you will need. If the area you need to cover is more of a triangular or circular shape, rather than a square or rectangle, use our helpful square footage calculator on the Sod page of our website to find out how much you will need. We always recommend purchasing at least a few extra rolls if you need to trim some to fit your specific space.

We sell sod by the skid or by the half skid. A full skid contains 70 rolls, enough to cover 700 square feet, while a half skid comes with 35 rolls, enough to cover 350 square feet.

How do I prepare the soil before laying my sod?

Having a good base is a crucial aspect of laying sod successfully. We recommend having a layer of fresh, high-quality soil, no less than 4” deep, spread in the area before you install your sod. Greely’s Screened Topsoil is perfect for creating a structured base for your sod. If you would like step-by-step instructions on the process, please visit the Sod product page on our website.

How quickly should I install the sod once it is delivered?

Sod should be installed the day it is delivered, so it is as fresh as possible. When deciding which day to have your sod delivered, try to plan for a time when you can spend most of the day working on the project. We always deliver sod as early in the day as possible to ensure it gets to our customers in the freshest possible state. Installing the sod quickly gives it less opportunity to dry out and will help preserve a healthy root system.

Should I fertilize before or after laying sod?

We recommend fertilizing before laying sod to spread the fertilizer directly in the soil and have access to the root system once the sod is laid.

How much and how often should I water my sod?

Frequent, generous watering is essential in the first few days and weeks after laying fresh sod. For the root system to take hold well in the soil and the grass to flourish, sod should be amply watered at least twice a day for at least a couple of weeks after installation. Consider installing a sprinkler system to make this task easier and to ensure that your sod receives frequent watering. Sod that does not receive enough water will not take root successfully and will wither quickly, especially in warm and sunny weather.

Watering New Sod

My lawn is quite large, do you offer any discounts on sod?

We do offer a multi-skid discount on sod! For the second and every additional full or half-skid purchased and delivered in the same order, we offer a $25 discount per skid. This also applies to Greely Gardening Bags delivered in the same order. Additionally, if you return the wooden skids to one of our landscape depots, you will receive $15 back for each skid returned. This also allows us to recycle the skids, resulting in less waste and taking the pressure off our customers when it comes to disposing of the skids.

Sod is typically ready for delivery in mid-May, depending on the weather. If you have questions, would like additional information, or would like to secure your spot for delivery once the sod is ready, please call our office at 613-821-3003. We look forward to helping you transform your lawn this year!

If you have questions about selecting a variety of mulch, installing it for the first time, or topping up an existing area, you can find lots of helpful information on our website. Once you decide which mulch you want, it is quick and easy to place your order for delivery using our online store. Still have questions? You can always pick up the phone and call us at 613-821-3003. If you want to see our premium selection of mulches before you buy, visit either of our landscape depots, we would be happy to give you a first-hand look at what we have to offer!

When to Top-Up Your Mulch

As the snow starts to melt, it is time to look around your yard and figure out what areas may need a little TLC this spring and summer. One thing to take special note of is the condition of your mulch. Whether used in flower beds, as a border around your lawn or driveway or to accent a tree or bush, mulch sustains a certain amount of weather-related wear and tear each year. Spring is a great time to top up your mulch and ensure that it looks as fresh and vibrant as the day it was installed.

Why Use Mulch?

Our mulches at Greely Sand & Gravel are natural products made from high-quality wood and coloured with biodegradable dyes. We are proud to offer our customers a wide array of colours and several different textures to ensure that you can find the perfect mulch for your space. The advantages of adding mulch to your flower beds include protecting soil from erosion, adding visual appeal, controlling weed growth, deterring pests, increasing moisture retention, and even replenishing nutrients in the soil through organic matter. Mulch is more than just an added pop of colour - it can be a vital component of a healthy and vibrant flower bed!

Because mulch is a natural product, it is affected by the changing seasons and weather conditions. Long hours of sunlight can cause coloured mulches to fade, while heavy rainfall can wash away a layer of mulch. These are perfectly normal occurrences and one of the main reasons we encourage customers to consider replenishing their mulch each year. When you first install mulch, we suggest laying a generous 3” layer to ensure complete coverage in your space. A 1-2” layer is generally sufficient when adding additional mulch.

How to Top-Up Mulch

When topping up your mulch, it is a good idea to gently rake the existing mulch first. Doing so can break up any clumps that might have formed and can rotate faded pieces so that more vibrant colour is restored. This is also an excellent time to remove any weeds that may have sprung up through the mulch, and any sticks, stones, or debris that have fallen into the area. Once this is done, you can proceed with adding a 1” layer of new mulch. The easiest way to do this is to spread the mulch gently in the area by shaking it off a shovel. Following this process every year or every other year should ensure that your mulch stays looking fresh and vibrant.

If you are installing mulch in an area for the first time and want something that will require little maintenance, we suggest going with a natural coloured mulch rather than one that has been dyed. The dyes create rich, beautiful hues, but these mulches tend to have more noticeable fading in areas with high sun exposure. We recommend our Composted Pine Mulch for an aesthetically pleasing, lower maintenance option. This naturally deep brown product slowly decomposes into the soil over time, enriching it with organic matter and nutrients.

If you have questions about selecting a variety of mulch, installing it for the first time, or topping up an existing area, you can find lots of helpful information on our website. Once you decide which mulch you want, it is quick and easy to place your order for delivery using our online store. Still have questions? You can always pick up the phone and call us at 613-821-3003. If you want to see our premium selection of mulches before you buy, visit either of our landscape depots, we would be happy to give you a first-hand look at what we have to offer!

Choosing the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn

Topdressing your lawn or starting a new lawn from scratch can seem like overwhelming tasks. Before you even get outside to start the project, there are many decisions regarding materials. Should you use seed or sod? Screened topsoil or a topsoil blend? And what is the difference between coated and non-coated grass seed? How do you know which seed is right for your project?

At Greely Sand & Gravel, we take the time to thoroughly research and carefully source all our products so that we can ensure our customers get the best material for their job. When you purchase from us, you can rest assured that you are getting the very best, and our knowledgeable team will help you select a product that is just right for your needs!

Selecting the Right Grass Seed

When it comes to selecting grass seed, there are many different products on the market at various price points. It can be hard to know the differences between products and what you should look for in quality grass seed. The first step is to assess the area you are trying to cover. How many square feet of lawn do you need to cover? Is the area primarily in the shade, or does it get full sun exposure? Once you have determined these key factors, you will know how much grass seed you need and whether you should look for a particular product that works well in more shaded areas.

Should I Use Coated or Uncoated Grass Seed?

An important thing to look for when purchasing grass seed is whether the seed is coated or not. Many companies that produce grass seed add a coating that is said to help with even distribution, water retention, and fertilizing the seed as it germinates. While these things may sound great, the reality is that often the coating used acts as little more than a filler, meaning that you get less seed in each bag and will likely end up spending more money on grass seed as opposed to selecting a non-coated option. Additionally, if you use high-quality soil with your seed, such as our Greely’s Topdressing Soil, the soil blend itself provides moisture retention and fresh, natural fertilizer to your grass seed.

What Kind of Grass Seed Should I Buy?

Another factor you may be wondering is what kind of grass seed to purchase. From Kentucky Blue Grass to Ryegrass, there are many types, each with its advantages. At Greely Sand & Gravel, we sell three different selections of grass seed, all of which feature a premium blend of different types of grass seed at a carefully calculated ratio to give you a full, luscious-looking lawn. All three options are non-coated seed, ensuring you get 100% grass seed with no fillers. Choose from:

All three options will be available for pick up at both our landscape depots as of mid-April. Visit us at our south or west end locations to stock up on grass seed and learn more about all the great landscaping products we offer!

If you have questions about choosing the right grass seed or would like assistance with placing your order, please give our office a call…we would be happy to help!

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!

When Will Topsoil Be Ready?

Now that spring is right around the corner; you may be getting anxious to get your landscaping projects started sooner rather than later! One of the most common questions we get this time of year is – “when will topsoil be available?” and “why is it not ready yet?”

When Will Topsoil Be Ready in Ottawa?

Typically our topsoil is ready to be delivered after the middle of April. The reason why our topsoil is not available earlier is due to the weather in Ottawa. Sometimes we even get snow in April!

Whether you choose our Screened Topsoil or our Greely’s Topdressing Soil, Greely Sand & Gravel’s topsoil is an entirely natural product. We never mix our topsoil with any synthetic compound or preservative. This means that the product will freeze when the weather is cold, just like the ground.

Because of the large quantity of topsoil we move every year, the product is generally stored and screened outside. These factors make the process of preparing topsoil for delivery extremely weather dependent.

What Makes Greely’s Topsoil So Great?

At Greely Sand & Gravel, we care about providing the best quality topsoil to our customers every time they buy from us, at any time of the year. To achieve a top-quality product, we never rush the process of preparing topsoil so that it is in excellent, usable condition when delivered. This means that we wait for our topsoil to defrost before screening it.

The screening process is key, as it removes rocks, sticks, weeds, and anything else that may affect the quality and consistency of our soil. If the soil is still frozen, it forms clumps and cannot pass properly through the screener. Waiting for the soil to defrost adequately in the spring also allows us to ensure that the moisture levels in the soil are appropriate for delivery and end-use. No one wants to end up with a pile of frozen mud at their home!

We appreciate our customers’ patience as we take the time to ensure that our topsoil is perfectly prepared for your project. We understand that it can be tempting to rush the process, but after decades of producing quality topsoil, we guarantee it is worth the wait!

If you want to learn more about what makes Greely’s topsoil so great, read our article 10 Great Reasons to Choose Greely’s Topdressing Soil and learn why it’s been the best Ottawa topsoil for over 40 years!

Order Your Topsoil & Other Landscaping Needs Online

In the meantime, you can always reserve your spot now by placing an order for topsoil delivery through our convenient online store. While you’re planning your order, this is also a great time to ensure that you have everything else you need for your project. Will you need grass seed or sod? Are there tools that you will require to complete the work? Perhaps you want to consider adding a layer of mulch to your flowerbed after you have laid your soil? At Greely Sand & Gravel, we have the products and the expertise to get you ready for this year’s landscaping season.

If you have further questions regarding topsoil preparation and availability, one of our knowledgeable team members would be happy to assist you!

Preparing Your Yard for Winter


Nobody likes to think about it, but before we know it, winter will be here!

We usually think of winter as the season we take “off” from lawn and garden care, but there are several key ways you can prepare your yard for this cold season and give yourself a head start next spring. Below you will find a variety of tips to ensure that your yard is ready for this winter.

  1. Cut your lawn to the height that it has been maintained all year. Even though the grass grows a lot more slowly this time of year, it’s important to continue cutting your grass well into the fall season. This allows the roots of the grass plants to continue digging deeper so that your lawn will come back healthier the next year. Cut your grass short, but not too short! Cutting the grass too short can cause damage to the root system. Leave the clippings on the lawn to return nitrogen back to the grass. If possible, aerate, overseed, and fertilize to give your lawn the best start in the spring. Providing this extra boost in the fall goes a long way in keeping the root system strong and healthy. If you decide to go the overseeding route, we recommend our Premium Plus Lawn Seed which can be picked up at any of our conveniently located landscape depots.
  2. Remove all fallen leaves from your lawn before the first snow. As leaves decompose into your lawn throughout the fall and winter, they can affect the quality of your soil, and can even stunt new grass growth in the early spring. Be sure to either rake or mulch any leaves in your yard. These can be added to your compost pile if you have one. Alternatively, consider using our Disposabag service to quickly consolidate and dispose of all your fall yard waste.
  3. Trim back all perennial plants and remove all annuals to keep your gardens clean and ready for the coming spring. This keeps your plants healthy and also allows them to spring back to life the following year, while leaving room for new additions.
  4. Add a generous layer of two to three inches of compost to your gardens. Over the winter, this will slowly allow nutrients to be released into the soil, replenishing it for the growing season ahead. Our nutrient-rich Mushroom Compost is the perfect product for this task. Be sure to thoroughly mix the Mushroom Compost into the existing soil to yield the best results for your garden and plants in the spring.

While fall yard work may seem overwhelming, it’s an important time to keep your lawn and gardens healthy and well-maintained. By completing just a few simple tasks, you can rest easy in the winter months, knowing that you are set up for success in the spring. Want to learn more about the products and services we offer to help you complete these projects? Visit or call us at 613-821-3003 to talk to one of our qualified professionals.

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!

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!

Topdressing Your Lawn


When it comes to maintaining your lawn, there is lots you can do as a homeowner to encourage thick, healthy grass growth! One of the best strategies is to regularly topdress your lawn. Topdressing is simply adding a light layer of soil over your existing grass to both add nourishment and to allow for overseeding. Ideal soil for topdressing includes a compost element which is rich in nutrients. Greely’s Topdressing Soil™ has been a customer-favourite for decades and is the perfect choice for anyone looking to topdress their lawn. With its trusted triple mix recipe and organic certification, Greely’s Topdressing Soil™ is a high quality product that can be delivered right to your door by dump truck load or by garden bag. Once you’ve ordered your soil, simply follow the steps below to topdress your lawn.

Preparing Your Lawn for Topdressing

Before you start spreading your topdressing soil, it is important to clear your lawn of any debris (sticks, stones, etc.), and cut your grass as short as possible without pulling it up from the ground. It may be helpful at this stage to rake or aerate your lawn to allow maximum mixture of the new and existing soils and ensure absorption of the added nutrients.

Adding the Topdressing Soil

Once your lawn is prepared for topdressing, simply sprinkle Greely’s Topdressing Soil™ using a shovel and a sweeping motion. The topdressing soil should not be dumped or piled on the lawn, rather it should fall gently between the blades of grass. Topdressing should add a thin layer of soil to your lawn, no more than ½” in depth. Try as much as possible to spread the soil evenly through the grass.

Ensuring Maximum Benefit

If you plan to overseed, sprinkle the grass seed over the newly added soil and then lightly sprinkle a touch more topdressing soil over the grass seed just to cover it.  If you require grass seed, Greely Sand & Gravel can deliver premium seed along with your soil for no extra delivery charge!  Make sure to water the lawn regularly to ensure maximum growth.  Remember, spring and early fall are both great times of year to topdress your lawn.

Following these steps with Greely’s Topdressing Soil™ will make your lawn look healthy and full. For more information, visit our product pages on our website or give us a call today 613-821-3003!

Preparing your Garden


The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and gardening season is just around the corner! Early spring is the perfect time to start thinking about preparing your garden for planting. Whether it’s a new garden that you are looking forward to building or an existing garden that needs some TLC, Greely Sand & Gravel is here to help with quality products and industry expertise!

Reviving an Existing Garden

If you already have a garden on your property, you are well on your way to beautiful flowers, tasty vegetables, or whatever else you’re planning to grow. However, over the years, soil can become dry and hard and you may notice your seeds struggling to germinate and thrive. This problem can be greatly alleviated by adding either mushroom compost or Greely’s Topdressing Soil to your existing garden. Mushroom compost contains high levels of organic matter, which is key to providing your plants with the nutrients they need to grow. Greely’s Topdressing Soil is a triple mix containing screened topsoil for structure, mushroom compost for nutrients, and black peat to help with moisture retention. Be careful when adding pure mushroom compost to your garden as it is quite acidic and can be tough on plants if it is not used sparingly and mixed well into the existing soil. To avoid this issue, we recommend using our pre-mixed Greely’s Topdressing Soil.

Starting a New Garden

If this is the year you finally decided to add a garden to your property, you’ve come to the right place! A flower garden can add natural beauty while a vegetable garden is a great way to spend time outdoors and enhance your meals with homegrown goodness. When starting a new garden, we recommend digging down about 12 inches in the entire space you plan to use. For any type of garden, we always recommend our Greely’s Topdressing Soil. This pre-blended triple mix gives you structure, nutrients, and moisture retention, making it ideal for all plants. It is also certified organic to give you peace of mind when it comes to planting fruits and vegetables.

This year, we are proud to announce that we are offering hand-built garden boxes, perfect for smaller properties where you may not have the space for a full garden. Also new are the bundles of organic veggie seeds and organic herb seeds.  Simply fill your garden box with Greely’s Topdressing Soil and you are ready to plant your organic seeds!

The ideal time to plant outdoors is after the final frost of the winter. This typically falls around the end of May. However, you can begin preparing your garden as soon as the ground is no longer frozen, so don’t put off ordering your soil! To find out more about our soils, organic seeds, garden boxes, and many other products, give us a call today at 613-821-3003!