Author Archives: Van Beek's

fire safety

Fire Safety in The Winter Months

Many people kindle a fire in their fireplace through the winter to enjoy a warm, glowing flame. If you’re among them, it will be essential for you to follow fire safety best practices to keep your family safe. Every week in winter a fire will claim eight lives in Canada. Even if you don’t keep a live fire, there are other causes of winter home fires. To keep yourself and your family safe, be on the lookout for the causes of winter fires and know how to reduce your risk.

The Causes of Winter Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the heating appliances we use in the winter months are the second leading cause of home fires. The major causes of house fires during the winter include:

  • Cooking accidents
  • Fireplaces and wood-burning appliances
  • Other heating equipment, especially space heaters
  • Candles left unattended
  • Holiday decorations, especially lights
  • Portable generators.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Fire

The Canada Safety Council suggests several ways to reduce the risks of the different heating methods you might be using.

  1. Wood-Burning Fires

It’s important to add the right fuel to your wood-burning fire to keep control of it. The Canada Safety Council suggests:

  • Do not overload your furnace or fireplace with too much wood, doing so may cause creosote or tar build-up which is a fire hazard
  • Only use wood in a wood fire, not paper or gasoline, as they create fireballs or too much fire
  • Always keep your fireplace damper open until after the fire is burnt out and the ashes are cool
  • Keep a screen in front of the fireplace or stove
  • Only use dry wood and mix fast-burning wood with slow-burning wood
  • Do not leave children or pets alone with the fire.
  1. Space Heaters

  • Check the heater’s electrical cord before use, and don’t use it if it’s frayed
  • Keep a meter of unoccupied space around the space heater
  • Do not try to dry clothing on a space heater because once dry the clothing may catch fire
  • Do not leave children or pets alone with the heater
  • Do not run an extension cord for the heater beneath a rug.
  1. Stoves and Kitchen Appliances

  • Have an ABC fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen at all times
  • Read the instructions so you know how to use the extinguisher in case of a fire
  • Don’t attempt to put out grease fires with water. Instead, cover the grease fire with a pan lid when available. Baking soda will also put out small grease fires.
  1. Candles

They aren’t exactly a heating source, but many people use candles in the winter to get the atmosphere only a real flame can create. There are a few ways to keep safe with candles:

  • Only use candles on level surfaces
  • Don’t leave children and pets unattended near lit candles
  • Have a candle extinguisher or water nearby
  • Extinguish candles if you start to get drowsy.

Fuel for Wood Burning Fires

Van Beek’s Garden Supplies delivers pre-dried and split wood right to your doorway, so you don’t have to resort to using unsafe fuel sources. Call us for convenient delivery right to your home!

firewood burning stove cat sitting near fireplace

How to Properly Use a Firewood Burning Stove

A wood burning stove can be a lovely addition to any home, something that can be enjoyed year round. But with the colder months drawing in, there’s really nothing better than popping in a log or two, feeling the heat envelop you, and listening to the embers crackle. Of course, it takes a little bit more effort than that! Allow us to give you some simple guidelines on how to effectively and properly use a firewood burning stove:

  1. Starting the Fire

The first step to starting your fire is to make sure that your stove and chimney are in working order. Make sure there is no damage to the stove itself and that the exhaust pipe or chimney are clear and clean.

It’s recommended that you review the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly light a fire for your particular stove. However, lighting any fire takes on the same basic principles: you need the right fuel, and something to light the fire with.

Use newspaper and kindling to build a good base. This will increase the temperature in the stove and get the flames burning. The other thing your fire needs to burn is oxygen. Open the controls on your stove to allow air to flow in.

Next, use matches or a lighter to start the fire. Ignite the newspaper first, this will go on to ignite the smaller pieces of kindling resting above. Leave the door open for a few minutes and watch it carefully to make sure the fire is catching.

Finally, add you firewood! Make sure your logs are dry and you are burning the right type of wood for your stove. Wait for the flames to die down slightly before depositing them and ensure that you stack them loosely to allow as much air into the fire as possible.

Continue to keep the door slightly open for about fifteen minutes, watching closely. This should give the fire enough time to establish. You don’t want to risk smothering the flames by closing it too early!

  1. Keeping the Fire Burning

Once the fire is established, close the door to your stove and keep it shut. The only time you should open it is to add more logs to the fire. Each time you open the door you are letting more air in. This will result in heat loss, making the fire less efficient.

When the flames have died down a bit and there are mainly embers remaining, add a couple of larger logs to the fire. To do this, open the door slowly to prevent a rush of air. You don’t want to add more than five logs at once as adding too many could smother the fire.

After about twenty minutes, close the air intakes partially. This will provide the fire with enough air to keep it burning at a reasonable pace. You don’t want it burning too quickly.

  1. Cleaning Your Firewood Burning Stove

Make sure you regularly clean out the ashes under the grate or in the bottom of the firebox when they start to build up. Too much ash could restrict the airflow, which could result in your fire not getting the oxygen that it needs to burn.

You can clean ashes with a metal shovel or brush and put them into an approved metal bucket for immediate disposal. Leave a 2.5cm layer of ash at the bottom of the fireplace for insulation.

Firewood Home Delivery 

We hope these steps will allow you to make the most of you firewood burning stove this winter! Remember, just as important as the stove itself, is the quality and the product in which you are burning. Van Beek’s offers a wide variety of high-quality firewood. Choose from our extensive range here!


lawn ready for fall

Get Your Lawn Ready For The Fall

It is sad to accept the reality that summer is coming to an end when we see the leaves change and the temperature starting to drop. While there are months of cozy sweaters and warm drinks to look forward to, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget: taking care of your fall lawn maintenance. There is a lot to do to get your yard ready for fall, but by following this guide and using our recommended products, you’ll be able to tackle everything on your fall “to do” list.

Don’t Stop Mowing

Just because summer has come to an end doesn’t mean you should stop mowing your lawn. It’s beneficial to continue mowing your lawn as long as possible into the fall months. Autumn is known for seasonal warm weather, when you feel the mowing season is coming to an end, drop your mower blade to the lowest setting for the final cuts. Keeping your grass short maintains optimal conditions for your lawn, so drop the blade gradually over the course of the fall season.

Aerating is Important

The ideal time of the year to aerate your lawn is during the fall. Aerating the grass allows oxygen, water and fertilizer to successfully reach the grass’ roots. Consider renting a powered aeration machine or hiring a professional to do this job for you if you have a very large yard.

Rake Throughout the Season

A key task to complete before winter is raking your leaves. This can be a particularly fun (but also tricky) task if you have kids who enjoy playing in a pile of leaves! Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t wait until all of the leaves have fallen before you start raking. While this means that you may have to rake the lawn more than one time, it’s better for the overall health of your grass. Letting wet leaves sit on the grass for an extended period of time will damage your sod and produce an environment of fungal diseases and pests.

Remember to Fertilize

The best time to fertilize your lawn is right before frost appears. Applying fertilizer in the fall helps your grass grow deeper roots, which is critical to ensuring your grass has the essential nutrients it needs to thrive – even in cooler temperatures. In order to fill bare spots, use a high-quality grass seed to help initiate new growth.

Set The Stage for Spring with Seeding

If your lawn was damaged from high heat or lack of irrigation during the summer a bit of lawn maintenance in the fall can provide you with full, healthy grass next spring. Don’t forget – before you start to remove all pesky weeds that may disrupt your lawn.

Contact the team at Van Beek’s for all of your fall lawn maintenance needs and products this season. With decades of experience, we’re well equipped to answer all your landscaping questions!

grass seed lawn

Grass Seed: What You Need To Know

If you want to plant a brand new lawn or you’re looking to fix dry patches, grass seed is a great way to improve the quality and growth of your lawn. Whether you’re an amateur gardener or an experienced lawn care specialist, grass seed is your companion when it comes to growing a lawn that is robust, healthy and beautiful.

What is Grass Seed?

Though the exact number isn’t known, it’s estimated that there are thousands of different species of grass, each with its own diverse characteristics and growth cycle.

Grass seed comes from stems of grass that have not been mowed and are allowed to grow tall. The seed heads, known as ‘inflorescences’ emerge and stick out to allow for pollination and then recede into dormancy. As the seed hardens or matures, they are then ready to be collected.

Signs You Need Grass Seed

If you’re creating a whole new lawn, grass seed is a much more affordable option than laying down turf. If your lawn is ragged or has dead spots, it’s definitely time to add some grass seed. The process of adding grass seed to an existing lawn is called ‘overseeding’.

How Does Overseeding Work?

After grass seed is applied to the soil, it needs to go through germination. This is a process where the seeds retain enough water to start sprouting blades of grass. There are multiple factors that can help or hinder the germination process. Some of these factors include:

  1. Soil temperature – For spring grass to thrive, the soil should be around 12°C.
  2. Seed shell thickness – Germination all depends on the outer shell of the seed, and when it’s ready to start the germination process.
  3. Moisture level – The amount of moisture has to be just right. Too little or too much can harm the seed and impede its ability to grow.
  4. Oxygen content – If the soil around the seed is too water-filled, the seed will be unable to obtain oxygen from the soil, which it needs to grow.
  5. Light source – The seed cannot be buried too far into the soil or it won’t be able to catch the sun’s UV rays. Without enough sun, the seed won’t be able to support the photosynthesis process.

When is The Best Time for Seeding?

The best time to plant grass seed in Ontario is between mid-August and mid-September. The mix of warm and cool temperatures encourage germination and root establishment. It will also have less competition from weeds trying to take its nutrients. You want to make sure the grass is well established before the chilly days of autumn and morning frost appear.

If you’re looking for a supplier that has a variety of types of fresh grass seed, look no further than Van Beek’s Landscape Supply in Oakville or Mississauga. Contact us today to grow your new lawn or replenish your existing one before the winter hits. We have a variety of high-quality grass seed products and our expert team are always ready to answer any questions you may have!

retaining walls backyard

Retaining Walls: How Do Know If You Need One?

A well-constructed retaining wall can offer functionality and beauty. They are everywhere, you may not even notice them, but they’re an excellent way to solve a landscaping problem while still keeping your property looking its best. The question is: do you need one? Let’s take a deeper look at retaining walls and what you need to consider before deciding whether it’s time to put one up on your property.

The Purpose of a Retaining Wall

Before you decide, you need to know what a retaining wall does. They have many different types of applications, such as:

Combat Soil Erosion

If you have a hill on your property, erosion will most likely be a concern for you at some point in the future. With help from water and gravity, a hill will start to erode over time. Installing a retaining wall can prevent some of that erosion by cutting down the angle of a slope and holding the soil back.

Add Useable Space

Again, if you have a hill on your property, a retaining wall can be installed to create a flat, usable area on the hill. They can also be used to build terraces and gardens.

Prevent or Reduce Flooding

If you live near water or possible flooding areas, retaining walls can slow down the flow of heavy rainfalls. You can also use them to help control where the flow of rainwater goes on your property.

Signs You Need a Retaining Wall

  1. Location of your home

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or at the bottom of a steep incline you should definitely consider installing a retaining wall, especially if there is a very tall or steep incline.

  1. Your foundation is at risk

If you even suspect that the erosion of a hill around your home could impact the foundation of your home, a retaining wall should be installed. Erosion on a slope can compact an uphill foundation.

  1. Peace of mind

There are many things that can happen to the land around your home. A retaining wall can prevent any sort of mudslide or ground shake that could affect your home. They can offer you and your family stability and peace of mind when it comes to your property.

What Type of Retaining Wall Should You Install?

You have a few options when looking at retaining walls:

Timber walls – This is your least expensive option. However, they also won’t lost as long due to the moisture from the soil wearing down the timber.

Poured concrete or interlocking blocks – This style of retaining wall will cost you slightly more. It offers some durability and strength,  but very little visual appeal.

Natural stone – The most visually attractive option, the variety of colours and contours will add a ton of style and character to any landscape. It also offers long term durability.

If you’ve decided that your home needs a retaining wall, look no further than Van Beek’s. We have the great high-quality products to help you create a visually appealing and functional retaining wall. Contact us or call for a FREE estimate!

interlocking pavers patio backyard

Why You Should Choose Interlocking Pavers for Your Home

If you’re considering replacing a driveway or patio this summer, consider choosing interlocking concrete pavers. Interlocking concrete pavers are a multi-diverse product produced in a variety of colours and styles to work with the existing architectural design of any home. Interlocking pavers offer many benefits to homeowners. Here are a few of the top reasons to choose interlocking pavers for your home this summer:

Durability and Strength

When installed correctly, your interlocking pavers will look beautiful for a long time. They will generally last longer than poured concrete and asphalt. All it takes is proper maintenance and quick repairs (when needed), and your interlocking pavers will hold their strength and appearance for many years.

Easy to Maintain

Like anything, with proper maintenance, you can have your interlocking pavers looking strong and beautiful for years to come. Here are some tips on how you can keep your interlocking pavers in optimal condition:

  • If you don’t already have one, get yourself a power washer. You’ll need it to remove any stains or spills that occur on your interlocking pavers.
  • Don’t forget to get any fragments of debris that may be stuck between the stones. This will allow more space for polymeric sand to sit, which provides stability for the pavers.
  • Speaking of polymeric sand, make sure to keep a bag on hand to fill in any gaps in your pavers, that may appear over time.

Enhance Your Home’s Appearance

Interlocking pavers offer more of a distinguished look to your home than asphalt or poured concrete can. A huge benefit of pavers is they can be personalized to suit your home through complementary colours, such as beige, coral, or a diverse blend of darker colours. Pavers can also suit any home’s style, due to the different designs you can choose from and make with them. Intricate designs can be made in the middle of a driveway or patio to add extra charm.

The Price is Right

Interlocking pavers are extremely affordable when you look at what they add to the appearance of your home, and how long they last. It’s a much more affordable option than natural stone, and pavers are also cost-efficient when compared to other, less durable options.

Add Curb Appeal and Resale Value

The most important thing is that you find your home beautiful, but it doesn’t hurt for others to find it stunning as well. Interlocking pavers are visually pleasing and add an extra element of beauty to any home. Pavers add resale value for when and if you decide to sell. A potential buyer will see the pavers and know if they buy your home, they will not have to deal with the hassle of installing a new driveway, or patio. For buyers looking for a move-in ready property, interlocking pavers can be the deciding factor between your home and someone else’s.

Interlocking Pavers for Your Home

If you’ve decided you want to install interlocking pavers, make sure you get the top of the line products from the best supplier. At Van Beek’s Landscape Supply we have a trusted, professional team of experts ready to help you complete your interlocking paver project. Contact us today, so you can begin your outdoor renovation and add a little extra value to your home!

improve your lawn and yard

5 Ways to Improve Your Lawn & Yard

Are you bored of the way your lawn and yard looks? Luckily, your grass can be greener on the Van Beek’s side! There are many ways to alter your lawn look to meet your personal design vision. Here are five ways to improve your lawn and yard:

Use multiple seeds and grass types

It is important to try different types of grass and seeds because some are more durable, while other types require varying amounts of sunshine and shade.

Add grading to your lawn

Adding different textures and surfaces to your lawn can create a unique look. More importantly, it can create better drainage throughout your property… no one says your lawn has to be flat!

Experiment with new shapes and lines

Add curves around trees, rock gardens, etc. this can make your lawn more visually appealing- don’t be alarmed if you don’t like the lines you create they are easy to change back!

Insert new lighting

Combining different light fixtures for functional or decorative purposes can create more usable space, make your home safer, and allow you to enjoy your grass for longer periods of the day.

Insert built-in pathways

Interlocking steps from your sidewalk to your house is a great way to keep visitors off parts of your lawn and create a charming feel to your property.

Improve Your Lawn & Yard With Van Beek’s Products

Triple Mix Soil

This combination of soil, peat moss, and compost is made to provide your garden with the vital nutrients it needs to thrive and prosper throughout the summer. It makes for the base of your lawn/garden and at Van Beek’s you can count on a constant supply with consistent characteristics: colour, moisture, and texture.

Grass Seed

It’s important to get grass seeds that will thrive quickly with minimum weeds. The seeds should be fresh, shade-tolerant, and free from contaminants. At Van Beek’s, we carry Speare brand products with many varieties of high-quality seed that meet the standards listed above.


Add colour to your outdoor landscaping with Van Beek’s large selection of mulch. Mulch is spread after your foundation of soil/triple mix is laid. Spreading mulch comes with many benefits, including reduced weed growth and improving underlying soil health.

Interlocking Stone Pavers

At Van Beek’s, our interlocking stone pavers are industry quality stones that can transform your lawn into a usable outdoor living space. With our versatile, durable, and easy to maintain materials, you can count on us to improve your outdoor space… so you can enjoy the outdoors more!

Upgrading your lawn is only limited by your imagination! Whether you’re looking to spruce up your lawn or improve your outdoor design, our simple tips can help update and modernize your yard. Contact us or call 1-866-778-5824 to speak with a lawn care expert today, we’re here to help you achieve the lawn and yard you’ve always wanted!

soil delivery for garden and landscaping

Top 5 Reasons You Should Get Soil Delivery

Garden season is upon us once again! It’s time to get out our gloves, seeds and tools ready, but what about soil? Nobody wants to make multiple trips to the garden centre to lug around heavy bags of soil. Well, that’s where Van Beek’s soil delivery comes into play. Here are five reasons why you should get soil delivery this spring:

Save Time

Having a bulk amount of soil on hand saves you multiple trips to your local landscaping and garden centre. This gives you more time to work on your yard, lawn and gardens.

Save Money

You can save more money when you buy in bulk. Buying multiple bags of soil can be costly, as well as inconvenient. Instead, use Van Beek’s landscape material calculator to figure out exactly how much soil your gardens will need. Having your soil delivered allows you to order as much as you want, which means nothing goes to waste.

High Quality Soil

Not all soil is created equal! If you want a large quantity of great soil, having it delivered from Van Beek’s is the way to go. Our soil is all natural and weed-free, an ideal blend of loam, organic material, and sand that has been composted for over two years for added richness.

Less Strain on Your Body

Having your soil delivered means you can have it placed where you want it, with no need for constant trips to and from your vehicle or garden centre to grab more soil. Take the load off your body and keep your muscles intact. Your back will thank you!

Soil Delivery When You Need It

When you get into landscaping and gardening mode, you don’t want to have to stop because you’ve run out of soil and lose all the motivation and momentum you had. Having bulk soil delivery helps ensure you’ll have the soil you need to finish the job.

Types of Soil We Deliver

  1. Triple mix

At Van Beek’s, we have been using the same formula for over 50 years to give your gardens the vital nutrients they need to flourish. Our triple mix is organically tested for moisture content and fertility. It is also thoroughly screened to ensure that it remains virtually weed-free.

  1. Topsoil

The backbone of a healthy lawn or sod is good topsoil. Van Beek’s Topsoil will offer your gardens nutrients to provide new life, increase resistance to weather and diseases, increase root strength, balance porosity for proper drainage, and improve your landscape’s overall appearance.

  1. Custom mix

No one knows your lawn and garden like you do, so why not work with the specialists at Van Beek’s and create a custom mix? We can help your garden get the nutritional requirements it needs to thrive!

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your personal gardens or you’re a landscaping business looking for a great soil delivery service, look no further than Van Beek’s soil delivery for all of your soil needs. Our delivery services will save you time, money and hassles. Also, make sure to check out all our other incredible products our team has to offer. Contact us or call 1-866-778-5824 for your soil delivery today!

Topsoil Triplemix Soil and Mulch

Garden Tips 101: Topsoil, Triple Mix & Mulch

Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time to get our green thumbs ready for some gardening. Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener, it’s important to know how to get the best out of your gardens, plants and flowers. Using the right materials for the job is a great way to start. With that in mind, here are some guidelines to better understand the difference between topsoil, triple mix and mulch.

Soil vs. Dirt

Let’s start with some basics. There is a monumental difference between dirt and soil. Dirt is a substance that consists of mud and dust. Not a very fertile material to use on your plants.  Soil, on the other hand, is made up of sand, clay, silt and organic material. This is what enables plants in your garden to grow. It’s a common myth that garden soil is a living compound, but this is simply untrue. Soil can offer nutrients and life to other things, but it alone is not living.

The ideal percentage of components in your soil breaks down like this:

  • Sand – 38%
  • Silt – 38%
  • Clay – 19%
  • Organic – 5%

What’s the Difference Between Topsoil, Triple Mix & Mulch?

Who hasn’t been in a garden store staring blankly at what you think would be best to put on your garden? With so many different products, it can be an intimidating choice. Here is a brief summary and description to better understand what your specific garden needs to flourish:


This is a great place to start when you’re levelling your landscaping, grading your property, filling holes, or preparing a base when laying down new sod. A good topsoil is made from a clay and sand mix that has been thoroughly screened so it doesn’t contain any clumps or added debris. This ensures you’ll have an aligned turf with a durable foundation.

Triple Mix Soil

Triple mix soil generally consists of 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost. This combination is widely known as meeting most planting needs. Due to the moss and compost, it is more airy than regular topsoil, which is excellent for your plants – as it holds more air and water.

Make sure to always read the ingredients on the side of the package to make sure the amounts will meet your plants’ needs.


Mulch is like the icing on a cake. After laying a strong foundation of soil and/or triple mix, you spread mulch on top of the soil and around your trees and plants.

Mulch has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Conserving and improving the health of the underlying soil.
  • Reducing weed growth.
  • Insulating roots.
  • Adding visual appeal.

Mulch comes in a variety of forms. Pebble/rock, straw, grass clippings and landscape fabric work well, but the most common mulch includes wood chips and shredded bark. It’s best to do some research beforehand, so you know what’s best suited for your garden and plants’ needs before deciding on an option.

Order Premium Soil at Van Beek’s

The team at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies are here to help you choose the right soil and mulch for your garden and landscaping. We can answer all your questions when it comes to garden products, design ideas, or landscaping advice. We’ve been helping homeowners and contractors with their gardening needs since 1962. Contact us today to place your order and have soil, mulch and landscaping supplies delivered right to your door!

Spring garden landscaping tips

Top Spring Garden & Landscaping Tips

With winter weather slowly starting to fade, each day brings us a step closer to the warmer weather and extra sunlight of spring. After months being cooped up inside avoiding the frigid temperatures, the long-awaited change of season is almost upon us. As much as we might appreciate the arrival of the spring weather, nothing needs it more than our gardens and yard.

The freezing, harsh winter conditions can leave your lawn and plants damaged. Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, you can have your property looking luscious and healthy once again. Here are a few spring maintenance and clean up tips to get your garden and landscaping looking like new:


After months of piled up snow and frozen soil, your lawn could really use some fresh air. Untouched leaves, thatch, and other debris can suffocate your grass and its roots, prolonging the recovery of your yard. Dethatching is an essential part of any spring landscaping and gardening routine, as it increases airflow and reduces unwanted pests such as grubs and chinch bugs.

Clean out the Garden

Much like dethatching, cleaning out your garden in the spring can make for a healthier yard. Compacted soil, mulch, and other debris make it difficult for plants in your garden to grow. It’s important to clean out your garden every year as part of your spring cleaning.

Add Mulch to Plant Beds & Tree Wells

Once you’ve cleaned up your plant beds, tree wells, and garden, make sure to lay down a generous layer of mulch. Mulch helps lock in moisture and prevents your soil from drying out, providing a nutrient-rich environment for your plants to thrive in. Additionally, mulch can make your garden look more appealing while deterring weeds and surface pests to develop.

Prune & Trim Shrubs

Plants and branches can get out of hand if left untouched for too long. Part of your spring landscaping and gardening routine should involve touching up parts of your garden and plants to ensure everything looks clean and tidy. Take a few hours to scan over your garden and yard, then trim down any areas that look overgrown or messy. This eliminates dead branches and makes room for new plant growth during the spring.

Touch up Landscaping & Hardscaping

Finally, the last step of your spring landscaping and garden routine should involve touching up areas of your property that look a bit out of order. This includes plant beds, lawn edging, patios, and any other landscaping or hardscaping features around your property. Doing so will make your property more appealing and safer for guests.

Spring is an exciting time of year, and it plays a huge role in how your property looks over the coming seasons. Many people neglect their lawn and garden, but a little spring cleaning and maintenance can drastically improve the look and feel of your property.

At Van Beek’s Garden Supplies, we are a trusted supplier and retailer of gardening and landscaping materials in Southern Ontario. We provide expert advice on high quality products and tools you need to bring your property back to life. Contact us or call 1-866-778-5824 for more information on garden and yard maintenance today!