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5 Ways You Can Avoid Green Pond Water

A small amount of weekly maintenance is usually all that is needed to keep your garden fish pond clear and clean. Every now and then, it is possible that pond conditions will go bad for no obvious reason. One of the more alarming changes that can happen in your pond is for the water to turn green. If it does, don’t panic. A few steps will typically put everything back on track. Let’s take a look at what turns garden pond water green and what you can do about it. The most common cause of green pond water is algae bloom. This usually occurs in spring when water gets warmer and the amount of daylight increases. Single-celled algae reproduce very quickly. When conditions are right, they can take over your pond before you know it. The result looks like pea soup in your pond. Algae needs nutrients to grow. If single-celled algae have taken hold in your pond, too many nutrients are present. Fortunately, there a few easy ways to reduce excess nutrient levels in your garden pond water.

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Do I Need to Change My Pond Water?

One of the most frequently asked questions by garden pond owners is if they need to change the water as part of their pond maintenance routine. Generally speaking, garden pond water does need to be changed, but there are several factors that come into play. Here are some suggestions about how often to change pond water, how much pond water to change and how to change garden pond water.

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Composting at Home

Composting at home is an easy way to produce high quality soil amendments for your vegetable or ornamental garden. At the same time, it’s a small but important step toward reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills and eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers. Why throw something away if it can improve your garden soil and help you grow tastier vegetables?

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Planting a Canadian Vegetable Garden

Planting and growing your own vegetables is good for your body and your mind. You can get exercise, reduce stress and produce your own fresh, healthy food, all by planting a vegetable garden in your backyard. If you are new to vegetable gardening, it’s not difficult, but there are a few important things to know. A little planning before you start to dig will save frustration and give you a better chance of success.

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The Benefits of Polymeric Sand

The type of joint sand used in your interlocking paver patio or walkway may be the biggest factor in how much time and effort you spend maintaining your paved landscape. Polymeric sand is regarded by many landscape contractors as the best choice for the joint sand that goes between pavers. Though it costs a little more upfront, over the long term, using polymeric sand will save you money and time.

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6 Strange Facts about Soil

What lurks just below the surface of your garden? Hopefully, it’s good quality garden soil. How much do you know about this source of life for your yard and garden? Topsoil holds mysterious secrets and is much more interesting than it appears to be. Here is some strange-but-true information about your garden dirt.

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How to Evaluate the Quality of Soil

Experienced gardeners know that not all soil is created equal. The quality varies greatly from garden to garden and region to region. Your garden soil is usually the biggest factor in determining the success of your landscape planting projects. It makes sense to learn some basic information about soil and how to determine if it is a good fit for your plants.

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What’s in Van Beek’s Triple Mix?

Triple mix is always a combination of some sort of top soil, compost and peat moss. You’ll hear the term triple mix often because it’s the best concoction to promote healthy growth of all your landscape plants. Most garden supply companies create their own unique mixes using biomass (or source materials) they know will help plants thrive in the local ecosystem. Van Beek’s is no different. We think our triple mix is the most efficient and effective of any garden supplier in the Greater Toronto Area.

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6 Questions to Ask When Designing Your Landscape Project PT.3

In part 2 of this series we talked about determining the overall scope of your landscape project. In this post we will talk about the areas you’ll be working with.

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6 Questions to ask When Designing Your Landscape Project PT.2

In the last post, we talked a bit about determining the scope of your project. That simply means the size of the project and where you are starting from. The three starting points are from a fresh start or from the dirt up, replacing an existing project with something new, or adding to or updating and existing project. Each has their own merits and short comings. Let’s take a more detailed look at each.

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How to prepare for a Spring Yard Clean Up

I’m sitting in my living room looking out the 3 foot snow drift that is blocking our back door to the patio. It is currently -19C with the winds blowing. Is it too early to think about the spring yard clean up? You might think so but the fact of the matter is that we really don’t know when the snow will be gone. As a life-long Scouter, I’ve always lived by the philosophy of “prepare and plan ahead”. So for me, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the yard for spring. There are several things to consider now so you are ready to get started in the warmer weather.

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How Long Does the Average Landscape Project Take?

Estimating construction time is one of the most difficult tasks a contractor faces. It can take many years of experience and completed projects to say with confidence how long a given task should take to complete. Even then, factors outside of a landscape contractor’s control – the weather, materials suppliers and subcontractors, for example – can throw everything off schedule.

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The Cost Savings of Do-It-Yourself Compared to Contractor Prices

Encouraged by a never ending stream of television shows that feature home renovation, landscape makeovers and other DIY projects, more and more homeowners are tackling backyard projects that, years ago, they likely would have hired a contractor to complete. Successful DIY projects will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, more money in your pocket and, most likely, a few sore muscles. If you are tempted to take on a weekend warrior, home landscape project, you may be wondering how much money you will save.

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When & How to Transplant Seedlings

Starting vegetable or ornamental plants indoors from seed is a great way to neutralize the last of the winter blues. It also provides a greater selection of vegetable or flower varieties than what is available at the local nursery. After germination, the next step is to prepare your seedlings for the outdoors.

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Germinating Seeds in Soil versus Paper Towel

Germinating your own garden seeds instead of purchasing seedlings is fun and saves you money to boot. However, seeds are delicate and may require coddling during germination and when transplanting them to their final location. There are two popular home gardener methods for germinating seeds: A germination bed made from moistened paper towel or filter paper and planting seeds directly in a small amount of soil or soil-less starter mix

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How to Set Up an Indoor Planting Station

Before winter ends, get a jump on your next garden by starting seeds or cuttings indoors. Creating an indoor planting station that provides the right amount of light, temperature and humidity ensures your garden gets off to a healthy start. A table about six feet in length is enough to hold a few seed trays and provide a preparation area. If you plan on more than a few trays or you will be making starts throughout the growing season, then prepare a unit with several shelves that is open on all sides.

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What Kind of Wood is Best for Fireplaces or Stoves?

Firewood as a heat source is superior to fossil fuels in that it is a renewable energy source. The energy for trees to grow comes directly from the sun. After it is cut, more can be grown on the same land. Well-seasoned firewood, especially hardwood species, has high energy content that can supply winter warmth to a modestly sized house from a single, high-efficiency stove. The energy density between firewood species varies however. Besides the amount of relative heat given off, there are other properties of firewood you should bear in mind.

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How to Choose High Quality Seasoned Firewood

Well-seasoned firewood burned in a high-efficiency stove is a less expensive source of heat than fossil fuels. The best way to receive the most bang for your firewood buck and avoid fire hazards is to buy firewood that is completely seasoned. Seasoned firewood has less than 30 percent moisture content. To achieve that level of dryness, it must be split, stacked and stored in a covered area with plenty of airflow. Only select wood that has been dried in this manner for a minimum of one year.

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What’s Better – a Patio or Deck?

Here is a common scenario for homeowner: knowing that a pleasant outdoor place is naturally relaxing and restorative, you have decided to add a picnic table, outdoor grill and a couple of lounge chairs to your backyard. Currently, there is no place to put them. Is it better to build a patio or a deck? Here are some things to consider as you decide what type of construction is best for your landscape.

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What is the Lifespan of Patio Stone and Pavers?

Any landscape construction project can be a significant investment. Though you are increasing the enjoyment you receive from your landscape while increasing the value of your home, you also want to be sure you are getting your money’s worth. In particular, you may wonder how long a particular feature or item will last before it has to be repaired or replaced. As with many things, the answer is: it depends. In the case of a patio, it will depend on the materials used, how the patio was located in the landscape and how well it was constructed.

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