Category Archives: Soil

How to Improve Soil Quality This Fall

hand dropping topsoil on a pile

For master landscapers, knowing how to improve soil quality is a top-tier skill. Treating your soil is the single most important thing you can do to improve your landscaping success and fall is the best season of the year to do it.

Better soil allows your garden to thrive. Keep in mind that soil that is less compact leads to healthier plant roots and better blooms. Also, plants with nutrient-rich soil can better fend off pests and diseases.

Adding compost to soil, nutrients, and raw organic matter over the fall will truly help bring your landscaping back to life in the spring. Read on to discover more of how to improve your soil quality this fall.

Add Quality Soil or Compost

Adding good quality soil to your lawn and garden beds will improve overall quality by adding beneficial bacteria, nutrients, and improving soil texture. Our triple-mix soil is specially formulated to improve the soil types in southern Ontario, which tend to need lightening and to be made more porous for better root growth and drainage.

You can also add compost to get some beneficial effects. How does compost improve soil? It adds nutrients which can promote plant health and support beneficial bacteria. It can also improve soil texture, depending on how much organic matter it contains.

Whether you’re adding new soil or compost, you should aim to do this in the fall. In particular, add a few inches around perennials yearly, as the nutrients will make their way down to their roots over time. In annual beds, you can mix in the soil more aggressively using a pitchfork.

Are you using composted animal manure?  Add only aged (or composted) manure to your garden if you have perennials. Otherwise, adding fresh manure in fall is fine.

An Organic Helping Hand

You can also improve your soil with organic fertilizers. Applying fertilizer to young plants can burn them, so applying in the fall is wise. It gives the fertilizer time to spread out. If you use time-released fertilizer, you can add it anytime. 

Some of your organic fertilizer options include:

  • Blood meal
  • Bone meal
  • Kelp meal
  • Greensand
  • Rock phosphate

You can mix them straight into your garden (or add around your plants), along with shredded leaves and compost. The greenery provides nitrogen to break down organic materials.

Lime for pH Balancing

Improving garden soil quality also involves balancing pH. A balanced pH ensures strong colour in your summer blooms. In the fall, add lime to raise the pH level. Add acidifiers like pine needles, elemental sulphur, and peat moss if your soil is too alkaline.

With a few tips, the right garden-enhancing materials, such as compost, and the right soil, learning how to improve soil quality is easy.

Want to know how to improve soil quality in your landscaping, specifically? Contact Van Beek’s Landscape Supply for professional advice and high-quality landscaping supplies.

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!

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!

We Have a New eBook. Download Your FREE Copy of The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding

Early fall is a good time to rejuvenate your lawn.

A question we get asked often at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies is whether sod or grass seed is best.

The short answer is that both can be effective in growing lush, thick and very green grass around your home.

It just depends on what you want for your lawn, how much time you have and your budget.



Make the right decision when you download your FREE copy of The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding.





The things you’ll learn

There are 4 criteria homeowners in Oakville and Mississauga usually consider when deciding to sod or seed their lawn for the year:

  • Money: Budget is always an important factor
  • Time: How to get the best results as quickly as possible
  • Quality: It has to provide value for the dollars and effort spent
  • Maintenance: Easy ways to keep your lawn looking great

The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding takes a closer look at each of these items and details what to expect if you choose to use sod or seed.

It’s a great starting point; especially if you’re new to planting and growing grass for your home.

Take a look inside

Here’s a small preview of what you’ll find inside your FREE copy of The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding.

Want to see the rest?

Then visit our special download page to request your complimentary copy right now.

Don’t forget about the topsoil

Using high-quality triple mix soil and proper ground preparation is essential for sodding or seeding.

That’s why your FREE copy of The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding includes a helpful section on getting the most from your soil.

It features 4 easy-to-follow steps along with a listing of the tools you’ll be using.

Whether you sod or seed your lawn, topsoil is perhaps the most important element you need.

The time and effort you make in soil preparation will drastically improve the performance and appearance of your lawn.

For more helpful topsoil tips:

How to get your FREE copy of The Advantages of Sodding and Seeding

It’s easy, fast, and free.



Visit our special download page and complete the easy-to-fill form (it takes less than 10 seconds).





As soon as you hit the DOWNLOAD GUIDE NOW button on that page, we’ll instantly email your copy straight to your inbox.

Ready to sod or seed? Let us help

Before you start sodding or seeding your lawn, we encourage you to read the following blogs:

And when you’re finally ready to begin, you can:

Contact us to learn more about our triple mix soil

Topsoil Tasks to Tackle this Long Weekend

Victoria Day

Have a great Victoria Day weekend

Finally, the first long weekend of the spring is just around the corner.

(Before we forget, we’d like to wish a very Happy Victoria Day to you and your family).

The weather’s expected to be perfect; meaning you’ll be able to spend plenty of time outside to work on your garden or landscaping.

The most logical place to start is with your triple mix soil.

That’s because without fresh, nutrient-rich topsoil from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies your plants won’t look as good or be as strong as they could be.

Before you start planting, weeding or watering your lawn this weekend, make certain to take care of these important topsoil jobs.

Job 1: Download your FREE copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil

At first glance, all topsoil may look and feel the same.

But when you download your FREE copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil, you’ll know what separates good soil delivery (like the kind you’ll get from Van Beek’s) versus low quality, poor-performing topsoil.

Other things you’ll learn inside this FREE guide include:

  • 5 factors to consider when buying topsoil
  • How good topsoil can help your garden grow
  • How bad topsoil can negatively impact your landscaping
  • Easy-to-perform tests you can do anytime on your soil

Before the long weekend gets here, make sure you grab your FREE copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil and keep it with you when you arrange topsoil delivery.

Job 2: Calculate how much soil you need

When it comes to bulk soil delivery or soil bags for your garden, you don’t want to buy too much or not enough.

An easy and smart way to get an accurate estimate on how much soil you need for your lawn or garden is to use a FREE soil calculator.

It’s easy. Just grab a tape measure and enter the length and width of the garden bed or area you want to fill.

Then, decide how deep/thick you want the topsoil to be.

Once you have all those numbers, enter them in the landscape material calculator and you’ll have a clearer picture on the amount of topsoil you’ll need.

Job 3: Find a good place to store your soil

Before you arrange for topsoil delivery (we’ll get to that later), you should find a good place to store any extra soil you won’t be using this long weekend.

You could leave it out in the open, but it’s not generally recommended due to three factors:

  • Sun: If topsoil gets too hot, the sun will dry it out completely
  • Rain: Too much rain will wash away your soil supply
  • Wind: Those windy spring days can blow some of your topsoil away

If you have an enclosed shed, it’ll be a perfect place to keep your topsoil nice and dry.

Plus, storing your soil indoors will keep it clean and free of pollutants like dust or weeds.

Just make sure your shed doesn’t have any leaks in the roof and that the landscaping topsoil is placed on high, level ground.

Book topsoil delivery

Get soil bags delivered to you

Job 4: Book your topsoil delivery

You know what to look for when selecting a good quality topsoil mix.

You’ve figured out how much you’ll need.

You’ve got a dry, clean and safe place to store it.

The next job you’ll need to take care of is to arrange to have Van Beek’s deliver soil right to your home.

How it gets there is completely up to you. Choose from:

  • Soil bags: Highly convenient, soil bags make it easy to store, move and access your supply
  • Bulk delivery: Your order is dumped on your driveway; perfect for front garden use and easy shoveling

In case you’re wondering; we’ll make sure your topsoil order gets delivered in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, no matter where you live in Oakville, Mississauga or surrounding areas.


Top dress with fresh soil

Job 5: Topdressing the garden

In the winter and first part of spring, your garden topsoil has been exposed to a variety of temperature changes and natural elements (snow, wind, rain, cold, etc.).

So right now, it might look a bit dull and old.

With your newly fresh supply of topsoil, you can instantly revitalize the look and feel of your garden.

At the same time, you’ll give any plants, flowers and annuals you want to plant a fresh source of food.

You aren’t looking to overfill your garden beds. Rather, you want to smooth out and level the soil surface.

Topdressing the garden also helps with:

  • Thatch: Dried up stems pile up on the soil surface not only look bad but they also prevent water from reaching plant roots
  • Root development: It’s much easier for roots to take hold in fresh, nutrient-rich soil than it is in dry, nutrient-poor conditions

Let us help you with all your soil needs this Victoria Day weekend

If you already know:

  • How much topsoil you’ll need
  • How you want it delivered
  • What/how you’ll use it

Contact us for a FREE quote or to book your topsoil product delivery.

If you have questions about:

  • The topsoil we carry
  • How topsoil should be used in your garden
  • The composition of our triple mix soil

Ask us any questions you have or download your copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil.

Contact Us

What’s Happening To Your Topsoil Right Now?

Cold Temp

It’s bitterly cold out right now.

Thankfully, you’re indoors. All warm and cozy.

And before winter truly hit in December, you took the time to prepare your backyard for winter by wrapping trees in burlap sacks and bringing fragile plants indoors.

Unfortunately, though, your triple mix topsoil from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies needs to stay outdoors all winter long.

So what’s happening to it? And how will you take care of it once spring arrives?

Read on to find out.

Thermometer in soilExtremely cold temperatures lead to soil erosion

Soil erosion is a common soil term we use at both our Oakville and Mississauga locations.

Erosion takes place when topsoil breaks down due to ice, snow and other chilly conditions.

As a result:

  • Black garden soil loses vital minerals it needs to keep healthy during the winter
  • Air flow through the soil to plants and roots becomes restricted
  • Organisms living in the soil aren’t as effective in producing beneficial nutrients

The main job of topsoil is to protect everything underneath it – such as roots systems, microbes and other subterranean animals – from freezing.

Additionally, a thick layer of topsoil retains heat, which is absolutely essential as winter progresses.

But the soil itself becomes weaker and more ineffective during the season.

And that leads to soil erosion.

Download FREE ebook

Download your FREE copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil


Looking for fresh topsoil?

Download your FREE checklist to help you identify and avoid poor-quality topsoil before it’s too late.


The “frost layer”

There are pockets of water throughout your topsoil products.

When the water that’s closest to the surface freezes, that’s called the “frost layer.”

(However, it’s worth noting that the “frost layer” can actually go several feet deep.)

While those pockets of water solidify into ice, the microorganisms living inside them have to leave. Otherwise, they’ll freeze too.

So those frozen pockets don’t get the same level of attention as thawed or dried areas of your topsoil do (because they’re inaccessible).

When spring finally hits and those frozen pockets eventually melt, they may be rotted or decayed.

A small frozen pocket here and there may not seem like a big deal.

But several hundred pockets inside the “frost layer” will compromise the strength and integrity of your topsoil; leaving it unequipped to handle spring and summer plant, flower or sod growth.

Freeze thaw cycleFreeze/thaw cycles

If you remember, winter 2015/2016:

  • Started out mild
  • Got a little chilly (but not too cold)
  • Warmed up
  • Got really cold
  • Stayed that way until spring

So far, this winter hasn’t followed the same pattern.

But there have been small instances where the ground has frozen, only to thaw and freeze back again.

As the composition of triple mix soil freezes and thaws, it breaks down and exposes the roots of plants around it.

And while the soil may be okay, the roots won’t be.

They’ll quickly become damaged and in some extreme cases, the thawing soil can actually uproot them from the ground.

top-soilTips on preparing your topsoil for spring

Although spring feels like light years away (the first day of spring is Monday, March 20), it’s never too early to think about getting your soil ready for when it arrives.

Some things you can do (when the time comes) include:

  • Clear your triple mix soil of any debris or junk (like leaves or branches) that’s on top of it
  • Aerate the soil as soon as possible
  • Boost it with some organically natural soil fertilizer

Most importantly, though, you’ll want to spread a fresh layer of topsoil onto your garden, plant or tree beds as soon as possible.

That way, your yard gets a nice, fresh replenishment of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients it lost over the winter.

Contact us for all your topsoil needs

Right now, in the dead of winter, you’re probably not thinking about working on your topsoil.

But spring will be here before you know it.

Why not get an early start?

Contact us to request a FREE topsoil quote or to arrange bagged topsoil delivery to wherever you live in Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Burlington or any of the surrounding areas.

Ask for a FREE quote

Grass Seed FAQs


Until very recently, we’ve had a mild winter.

And that run of unusually warm weather has brought many people to both Van Beek’s Garden Supplies locations asking about grass seed.

So we’ve collected all of the common questions we’ve heard over the past few weeks and put them together here for you.


Q: I’ve heard oat grass is safe for my cat. Is that true?

Yes it is.

And it’s also healthy for humans too.

In fact, many people purposely set aside areas of their lawn or garden to plant oat grass.

Not only is oat grass tasty to cats (and people), it’s also full of healthy vitamins and minerals too:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, E, K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Protein

Q: Is it possible to use too much grass seed?

Grass seed – just like those plants and flowers – need space for their roots to grow and spread.

If you spread too much grass seed on your topsoil, it can lead to a multitude of problems:

  • Seed competition: The roots of the grass seed will fight for space. Some will grow faster and take the moisture and nutrients vital to growth. Others won’t grow strong roots. The result? You’ll have a patchy lawn.
  • Weak grass: Grass that actually germinates from densely populated seed will be thin. They also can’t withstand the pressure of people walking on it as well. Eventually, when summer hits, the grass may die. Even after it’s already established.
  • Slow germination: With too much grass seed, each seed doesn’t have the same access to soil. Seeds piled atop another won’t even touch the soil. Grass seeds at the bottom will take a longer time to push through the seeds on top of it.

Q: What’s the best shade tolerant grass seed to use?

Grass – like most plants – aren’t too fond of the shade.

And if you have plenty of shady trees (or low light conditions) on your lawn, it’ll be tough to grow a thick, lush lawn.

Some of the best shade tolerant grass seeds you can use in Ontario include:

  • Creeping red Fescue: The temperatures in early spring are still somewhat cool. Creeping red Fescue thrives in lower temperatures and has a great reputation as a shade tolerant grass seed.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: Fast acting and very effective in the shade, a layer of Perennial Ryegrass will last about a year. Use this grass seed in areas which are very shady and difficult to grow grass.

Q: What’s the best temperature to start seeding?

Grass seed germinates best when the soil temperature is 17˚C or higher.

Q: When should I lay down grass seed?

Most people who come to us are thinking about planting a new lawn in the spring.

If that’s you, then you should begin as soon as the soil is dry enough to work. That’s usually mid-April to mid-May.

This will give the new grass plenty of time (grass germination typically takes between one and three weeks) to settle in nicely before the warm, hot and dry weather sets in.

Download FREE ebook



Download this FREE eBook on identifying and avoiding poor topsoil for your grass seed




Q: What are endophyte seeds?

Endophytes is a fungus that infects your lawn. However, it isn’t harmful.

Rather, endophytes make your grass undesirable or poisonous to grass-munching pests like:

  • Chinch bugs
  • Webworms
  • Billbugs

Endophyte seeds can also make your lawn stronger and more durable during the hot, dry summer months.

Two things to know about endophyte seeds:

  1. As a grass seed, they can be used on new or existing lawns
  2. Do not use endophyte seeds if any livestock will be grazing on your lawn or grass

Q: Should I wait until fall to plant a new lawn?

Actually, if you can wait until autumn to buy grass seed and lay it down, you should.

Why? The seedbed (where the grass seeds will rest) won’t dry out in fall (whereas a very warm and hot spring is possible).

Unlike the spring, fall offers a longer window (approximately 45 days vs. 30 days) that’s ideal for planting grass seed: mid-August to the end of September.

Q: Can I over water my grass seed?

Too much water can harm your newly planted grass seed in a variety of ways:

  • Seeds will wash away: Over watering before the seeds are fully rooted will result in them washing away. For the seeds that remain, they’ll be buried in puddles and clump together. This means they won’t have room to grow.
  • Erosion of topsoil: If you water too much, the topsoil in your yard will erode. This will create an uneven surface or slopes where grass won’t grow properly. It’ll also move any loose topsoil and redistribute it in other areas of the yard.
  • Fungus: Yes, fungus. Fungus will grow pretty much anywhere, but it loves super wet environments. Fungi will damage new grass as well as established sod What’s even worse is that the more you over water, the more widespread the fungus will be.

Watering grass seedQ: What’s the right way to water my grass seed?

Follow these tips to make sure your fresh grass seed gets the right amount of water:

  • Only use enough water to keep the soil moist, not drenched
  • Don’t water all at once; divide your watering to 2 or more sessions per day
  • Water only a few minutes at a time

Once the grass is about 3”-4” in height, you can start mowing it and stop with the frequent or daily watering sessions.

Come to us for all your grass seed needs

No matter if you need high-quality grass seed mulch products or advice on how to correctly plant your grass seed, Van Beek’s has the information you need.

It may be winter (even though it doesn’t feel like it), but you can get ready now for planting grass seed in the spring.

Contact us for a FREE quote on all our grass seed products.

Contact Us

Yes You Can! Plant a Back-to-School Garden with the Kids

Yes you can
The next installment in our “Yes You Can” series focuses on something the whole family can do.

With back-to-school just around the corner, your kids may be exposed to some general science activities (like planting seeds and watching them grow).

Plus, the whole family will be busier, with less time for errands like grocery shopping.

So, why not save time – and take advantage of your children’s upcoming science classes – by planting a back-to-school vegetable garden with the kids?

And this is how to do it:

fresh carrotsPick the right vegetables to grow in fall

Ask your children what they’re favorite fall vegetables are, such as:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce

That way, they’ll have something to monitor and look forward to as harvest-time approaches.

handful of soilGet the topsoil ready

Premium triple mix soil is vital to ensuring a good fall vegetable crop.

If you haven’t refreshed the soil in your garden recently, or if you’re planting your back-to-school garden in a new location, now’s the time to have topsoil delivered to your doorstep.

Once you have fresh soil available, it’s time to prepare the garden beds. This is something you can definitely get the kids to help with.

  • Raised garden beds: Break up the soil and turn it over while adding your new batch of triple mix soil
  • In-ground garden beds: Replace the native soil with your new topsoil

Plant the vegetable seeds

Your kids will love this part – and it’s real easy too.

Dig troughs where the seeds can be planted. Then plant the seeds at the depth and spacing as recommended on the packaging.

watering vegetable gardenWater the seeds thoroughly

Give your kids the water hose and tell them to give your newly planted vegetable seeds a good soaking.

Your kids will love doing this part.

So much so, in fact, that they may not want to give up the garden hose!


Feed and protect your vegetable seeds

  • Every 10 days, give your vegetable garden an extra boost by feeding it a natural fertilizer product that’s formulated for vegetable growth
  • Cover your back-to-school garden with garden fabric to protect it in case of an early or light frost

picking vegetablesPick and enjoy your vegetables

When the time comes, have your kids pick the vegetables they worked hard to grow (with some help from you, of course) and enjoy them!

Your kids will really experience a sense of pride and ownership as they see the results of their efforts from start-to-finish.Plus, they’ll have healthy, delicious vegetables to eat too!

“Yes You Can!” grow a back-to-school garden with the kids

It’s always great to get the kids involved in gardening and planting.

And now that you know how easy it is to plant a back-to-school garden, your next step should be making it happen!

If you need any help along the way – whether it’s advice or gardening supplies – all you have to do is tell us what you need.

Rich Dark Soil Delivered to Your Doorstep

Soil Terms You May Hear Us Use

GlossaryIf you’re new to gardening, you may have come across terms or phrases associated with soil and have wondered “what does that mean, exactly?”

Well, wonder no more.

We’ve put together a list of some common soil terms you might hear us use when you come and visit us.

Check it out – or better yet, feel free to print this page and keep it with you as you work in the garden with soil bags from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies.


The process of puncturing the soil with small holes so that fresh air, water and nutrients can make their way inside of it

Aeration helps with soil compaction, which means that too much soil and other material is stuck together in a small space, which prevents circulation of air, water and nutrients


Soil which is clumped together in such a way that when you pick it up or work with it, it acts like a single piece – instead of soil particles which break apart

Arable Soil

Soil that’s perfect for plowing and cultivation


A layer of material that can be placed underneath the soil (or any other material you want to lay on top of the base)

The main reasons you would put down a base are for load distribution, drainage or reducing frost action


Stiff, sticky fine-grained soil particle that’s either yellow, red or blue-gray in colour

Clay is a hard layer in the soil (it won’t allow liquid or water features to pass through) but can be molded when wet and is used to make bricks, pottery and ceramics


Mixture of organic residues and soil that’s placed in a pile, made wet and allowed to decompose

DDepleted Soil

Soil that has lost most of its valuable nutrients



Natural or synthetic material that’s added to soil to provide it with extra nutrients to help it with plant growth

Frost Action

Freezing and thawing of moisture in the soil and the effects it has on it


Adding water artificially (so not through rainfall) to soil for the purpose of growing fruits, vegetables and other crops



Material like straw, sawdust, wood chips or leaves that is spread on the surface of soil

Mulch is applied to protect the soil and plant roots from the harmful effects of rain drops, soil freezing and evaporation

PPeat Soil

Natural soil that only has slight – if any – decomposition to it


Manmade chemicals designed to kill pests which are harmful to crops, gardens or plants

Common pests include insects, mites, weeds, rodents and microorganisms

Productive Soil

Soil in which all the conditions are idea for great vegetable or plant gardening


The natural material found on the surface of the earth that supports the growth of land plants



The very top layer of soil that’s usually moved and cultivated for gardening or planting

Topsoil usually ranges from 3” to 10” in depth from the surface

Triple Mix Soil

A specialized blend of soil designed to provide your garden with the vital nutrients it needs to grow and thrive

We’re your soil source – from A to Z

Now that you know your soil ABCs, it’s time to put words into action as you build your garden.

Contact us with all your soil needs and questions. We know what we’re talking about, so we’ll get back to you with the right answers.

And now that you’ve read our handy-dandy list of soil terms, you know what you’re talking about too.

Rich Dark Soil Delivered to Your Doorstep