Category Archives: Spring

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:

Dethatching

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!

All About Grass Seed

New grass growing from seed

Now’s the time to plant fresh grass seed.

With the first day of spring just around the corner (Monday, March 20), now’s a perfect time to restore your lawn sod with fresh grass seed from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies.

Here’s what happened to your lawn over the winter:

  • Cold wind may cause grass to lose moisture
  • Frozen roots under the triple mix soil prevent water from reaching the grass blades
  • Heavy snow might have “suffocated” or compacted your grass
  • Ice buildup can damage grass due to trapped carbon dioxide

With warmer temperatures on the way, however, your lawn is ready to receive new grass seed.

Here then are some tips designed to help you get the most from your grass seed.

Selecting your grass seed

Firstly, if you aren’t sure what to use when you buy grass seed, feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

With that in mind, there are some factors to consider when choosing the best grass seed for your lawn.

Factor 1: Climate

Since we live in and around Oakville and Mississauga, you’ll want cool season grass (remember, this is a northern climate) that can handle lower spring and fall temperatures.

Cool season grasses tend to be shade tolerant; which is ideal if you have plenty of trees on your property.

  • Tall and red fescues
  • Kentucky bluegrass

Factor 2: Usage

Got kids? Pets?

Foot traffic and daily wear and tear will play a big role in determining your optimal grass seed.

You’ll want something tough that can withstand heavy and vigorous usage. You’ll also want something that can rebound from being stepped on all day.

  • Kentucky bluegrass
Watering grass seed

Select grass seed that can handle summer watering conditions.

Factor 3: Watering needs

Summer weather can be hot and dry; almost to the point of creating drought-like conditions.

So watering your lawn (especially when a watering ban is in effect) is something to account for.

If your neighbourhood is subject to bans or restrictions, use tall fescue. It can handle infrequent watering.

 

Basic steps to planting grass seed

Just like any other landscaping project, sowing new grass seed takes time and patience.

However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to protect your grass seed once it’s in place from windy weather or hungry birds.

Step 1: Break up the soil

Grab a tiller and loosen up the topsoil in your backyard. You’ll need to work the soil to a depth of around 2 inches.

As you till, remove any clumps of dirt, damaged roots or rocks and stones you may encounter.

When you’re finished, rake the yard to even out the soil.

Download FREE ebook

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

 

Need fresh topsoil this year?

Steer clear of low-quality, weed-filled topsoil by downloading your FREE copy of How to Identify & Avoid Poor Topsoil

 

 

Step 2: Spread the grass seed

When you finally select the right grass seed for your lawn, be sure to follow the directions listed on the package or bag.

After you’ve spread the seed (either by hand or with a spreader), rake over the ground to distribute it as evenly as possible. 

Step 3: Place straw, peat moss or premium soil over the grass seed

You aren’t trying to bury your grass seed. Rather, you just want to give it an extra layer of warmth, insulation and protection.

That means building a layer that’s about 1/3” deep.

But make sure it covers the ensure area of seed covering.

Step 4: Water the fresh grass seed

Once the seed is in place, water it for around 20 minutes (ensuring that water gets at least 6 inches into the ground).

Then, for the next two weeks, water your lawn twice a day (in the morning and afternoon) for around 5 minutes.

That’ll help keep your lawn nourished while preventing puddles or ponding which could wash the seeds away.

Lush grass seed

Getting your grass seed to fully grow can be easy.

Tips on getting the most from your grass seed

When grass seed products are tested in the laboratory, it usually carries a germination rating of 90-95%.

Of course, that doesn’t always translate once you get it on your lawn.

Understanding how grass seed germinates and grows can help you achieve a 90% (or better) germination rate.

Plus, there are other things you can do to help each individual seed sprout into a beautiful blade of grass.

Tip 1: Check your soil’s pH levels

If pH levels aren’t right, the black garden soil on your lawn can’t break down nutrients and food.

And if those vital elements aren’t broken down and dissolved, your grass seed can’t grow.

Think of it this way: It’s much better to water grass seed than feed it a frozen block of ice.

So grab a pH tester, take a measurement and note the results:

  • 0-6 (Acidic): Your soil needs things like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium
  • 7 (Neutral): This is where you want your soil to be
  • 8-14 (Alkaline): The soil needs iron, manganese and phosphorous
Stay off the grass

Don’t walk on your grass seed while it’s settling

 

Tip 2: Avoid walking on your grass

Earlier, we mentioned protecting your grass seed with things like straw, compost or a premium soil supply.

Another thing to keep away from your grass seed are feet (yours, your children’s or your pets’).

Stepping on your lawn before the grass seed can settle fully will either:

  • Trample the seed: Squished or damaged grass seed has no chance of growing
  • Move the grass seed: You may accidentally kick grass seed away from a spot that really needs it

So if you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a Keep Off the Grass sign and place it on your lawn until the grass seed has fully germinated.

We’ve got your grass seed needs (and your lawn) covered

Need helpful advice?

Looking for the best products?

Got questions about your lawn in particular?

Whatever you want to know about grass seed, we can tell you.

Contact us with your questions or request a FREE quote on any of our grass seed products.

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Annuals to Plant this Long Weekend

Happy Victoria Day

Firstly, everyone at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies wishes you safe and enjoyable Victoria Day holiday.

In between fireworks and barbecues, do your long weekend plans include working in the garden?

If so, the May holiday weekend is an ideal time to get your annuals in the ground because the threat of frost on your triple mix soil has finally passed.

And if you aren’t quite sure which annuals to plant, take a look at these popular and colourful flowers:

MarigoldMarigolds

Marigolds are a popular due to their bright, cheerful appearance.

  • Marigolds can grow to a height of 48” tall and a spread of 36”
  • Originally from Mexico
  • More pest-resistant than other annuals

ImpatiensImpatiens

Impatiens can be found in gardens all throughout North America.

  • Easy to grow and maintain
  • Brightens any garden with a splash of colour
  • Over 900 varieties of impatiens in North America

BegoniaBegonias

Begonias are big and love to show off their bright and delicate petals.

  • There are over 1000 varieties of wild begonias
  • Attracts attention due to its large bloom
  • Can grow to 6”-9” in height

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Need topsoil for your annual flower garden?

Download this FREE eBook on how to spot and avoid poor-quality topsoil products.

 

 

PetuniaPetunias

Petunias are popular ornamental flowers which come in many varieties.

  • Can grow from 6” to 4’ in height
  • Petunias need 5-6 hours of sun per day to grow and thrive
  • The petunia flower is usually shaped like a trumpet

Black-Eyed SusanBlack-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed susans are common wildflowers native to North America.

  • Butterflies are attracted to black-eyed susans
  • Official state flower of Maryland
  • Considered a “pioneer plant” and can grow after a fire

ChamomileChamomile

Chamomile is popular for its beauty and the pleasing odour they emit.

  • Usually reaches 12” in height
  • Can be used in tea, lotion, capsules and medicinal drops
  • People allergic to ragweed are often allergic to chamomile too

All your long weekend gardening needs in one place

Whether you need help bringing your garden to life or keeping it that way, the products or knowledge you need can be found at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies.

Convenient topsoil delivery? You’ve got it.

Mulch for your garden beds? Choose from a large selection.

Plant or grass seed? Take your pick.

All you have to do is contact us and tell us what you need.

Once again, happy long weekend everyone!

Contact Us

Grass Seed FAQs

A

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.

Enjoy!

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.

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Yes You Can! Divide and Replant Perennials in the Fall

Yes you can

Are you growing perennials in your garden?

Chances are, you’ll need to divide and transplant them soon because:

  • They’ve become overgrown
  • They’re crowding the garden or even encroaching on your grass
  • You want to spread them around to other areas in your garden
  • You’d like to share them with a friend

Whatever your reasoning is, many perennials will benefit from division once they’re overgrown or crowding.

It’s actually quite easy to divide the perennials in your garden without damaging the plant itself.

Here’s how to do it.

flowerbed flowering phlox in the gardenIdentify when it’s time to divide your perennials

Spring and fall are the ideal seasons for dividing and transplanting perennial plants:

  • Spring is best for transplanting autumn-blooming perennials
  • Fall is perfect for perennials which bloom in the springtime

Before your plants bloom, make sure they’re fully established in the ground.

Plus, they also require – at minimum – six weeks of garden care and growing time before the hard frost settles in.

wheelbarrowTools you’ll need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Shovel or spade
  • Pitchforks (two of them)
  • Compost and organic matter products
  • Wheelbarrow for transporting the perennials

Prepare to divide your perennials

The day before you’re going to divide your perennial seasonal plantings, water them thoroughly.

This will help them to stock energy and nutrients and survive the shock of being transplanted.

If your perennials are tall in height, consider cutting them back approximately 33% to limit accidental breakage.

Dig up your perennials

The way you dig and divide your backyard perennials is dependent on which types you have in your garden design:

  • Clumping perennials (daylilies, mums, asters, hostas): These perennials usually grow from a single crown, which gets bigger each year These plants are the simplest to divide if you dig them up completely – including the crown.
  • Spreading perennials (bee balm, phlox, leadwort): Grown by surface, under-the-ground roots or by dropped seeds, these perennials look more like individual plants with its own crown and root. Divide these plants by only digging up the ones you wish to transplant.
  • Woody perennials (lavender, rosemary, candytuft): These plants usually have a single stem or trunk, but they spread with a steam reaches the ground and takes root. Sever the root and dig up the newly grown plant.
  • Taproot perennials (oriental poppies, butterfly weed): These perennials have one main root which runs deep. Divide them by digging up the plant and cutting it so that each divided piece has some of the taproot attached to it.

Divide the perennials

Pull or cut apart the crown into approximately 3 or 4 pieces. Each piece should have multiple stems attached to it, as well as a strong clump of roots.

Larger pieces will establish quicker and bloom faster than smaller ones. As a general rule, you can expect next year’s plant to be about as wide as the newly divided root ball.

For large plants, you can place the two pitchforks directly in the middle to pull the plant apart.

Whatever you do, don’t worry about breaking a few roots. But do try to follow the plant’s natural lines of growth.

Lastly, throw away and broken or dead parts of the plant and only keep the healthiest pieces.

replanting perennialsReplant the perennials

Follow these steps to ensure your transplanted perennials will grow and thrive in their new location:

  • Dig a hole as deep – and a little wider – than the root ball
  • Mix in your compost mix and sprinkle in organic matter to help the roots grow
  • Put the divided perennial in the hole, being careful to spread out the roots and aim them downward
  • Fill around the plant with soil and pat it gently down
  • Water the transplanted perennial well (about every other day) and fertilize it on a regular basis
  • Add mulch around the plants to protect the roots and lock in moisture

Let us help you with your fall gardening needs

At Van Beek’s Garden Supplies, we know that fall is a great time to garden.

And if you’re looking for fall gardening tips, answers to questions or a quote on our products, we want to hear from you.

Contact us and one of our garden experts will be happy to help you out.

Contact us or Request a Free Quote

Outdoor Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dad

Wondering what to get Dad for Father’s Day this year?

Not interested in getting him another necktie, bottle of cologne or pack of socks?

If Dad enjoys spending time outside in the backyard – or loves working in the garden – then why not get him an outdoor gift that he’ll love and use over-and-over again?

After all, Father’s Day falls right near the start of summer. It’s the perfect time to celebrate Dad while enjoying the great weather and beautiful sunshine.

Skip the shopping mall this year and visit us at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies. We’re certain to have a Father’s Day gift that’s truly a breath of fresh air.

High quality soil for plantsMix it up and give him topsoil

Yes, triple mix soil.

And no, you’re not giving Dad a bunch of dirt for Father’s Day.

Instead, you’re giving him a supply of nutrient-rich topsoil which he can use to keep his garden healthy and thriving all season long.

Which is perfect; especially if he’s an avid gardener.

You can arrange to have topsoil delivery straight to Dad’s house. Then, it’ll be ready for him to use whenever he wants to work in the garden.

New lawn tools

Are Dad’s garden tools as old as he is?

Or maybe, they’re even older.

Why not get him a brand new set of grass and turf tools, like:

  • Pruning shears
  • Spades
  • Hand shovels
  • Digging forks
  • Wheelbarrow

Now, Dad may not think he needs new lawn tools. But he’ll be surprised at just how quick he can get his yard work done when he has brand new tools in his hands.

FirewoodFirewood

After you celebrate Father’s Day, enjoy the evening with Dad in the backyard, surrounded by a supply of fresh firewood that you gave him.

By giving Dad firewood for Father’s Day, he won’t have to worry about picking it up himself. If Dad loves entertaining, he’ll really appreciate this gift.

Plus, he may have some firewood left over to bring inside and use in the fireplace during those cold Southern Ontario nights.

If Dad has a preference, you can get him firewood in the following varieties:

  • Birch
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Cherry

Plants to keep the mosquitoes away

As tough as Dad is, even he hates swatting away bugs while relaxing in the backyard.

If Dad loves to garden, why not give him plants that look good and also keep away pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquito-repellent plants include:

  • Citronella
  • Horsemint
  • Catnip

Is there a tomato garden in Dad’s backyard? If so, then get him some marigolds to plant. Not only will they keep the mosquitoes away, but they’ll also provide added protection for your tomatoes against bugs.

Happy Father's Day from all of usHappy Father’s Day from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies

To all the Dads out there, we want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. And we want to say thank you – for all that you do.

This year, make Father’s Day truly unique by giving him outdoor-themed gifts that he’ll enjoy. Not just on Father’s Day – but every day too.

Unsure where to start? Contact us at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies today and let us know what you have in mind for Dad. We’re certain to have the right outdoor gift for you to give this year.

Mix It Up in the Garden on Victoria Day

Victoria Day is celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday (which was May 24, 1819, by the way).

This year, Victoria Day falls on Monday, May 18. A long weekend in the heart of spring, Victoria Day is a great time to enjoy the outdoors; whether you’re firing up the BBQ, going to a fireworks display or working in the garden.

Victoria Day is an ideal time to mix it up and focus on your garden’s soil needs. After all, as we explained in our Earth Day blog, soil is a vital and amazing component of your garden which requires ongoing care.
So, if you can’t wait to play in the garden during the day (and then enjoy the fireworks at night), here are some Victoria Day soil tips you can apply over the long weekend.

Top dress your garden with quality triple mix soil

If the soil in your garden (or your lawn) is looking a little dull and bumpy then it may be time to High quality soil is full of nutrients to help your plants thrivetop dress it.

Top dressing involves applying a thin layer of triple mix soil to smooth out and level the surface, and to improve the current condition of the soil.

More reasons you should top dress this Victoria Day are:

• Control the appearance of thatch
• Protect from extreme temperatures (especially with the hot summer coming)
• Strengthen the soil around the roots

Remember: When you top dress your lawn or garden, use the best soil mixture available on the market – courtesy of Van Beek’s Garden Supplies.

Have topsoil delivered to you

For many people, the Victoria Day long weekend is the perfect opportunity to stock up on
topsoil. That way, whenever they want to apply topsoil to their garden during the year, they can.

If you don’t want to fight the crowds at your local landscape supplier (or transport topsoil in your car), then don’t. You can arrange to have a topsoil delivery service bring it right to you.

Usually, soil delivery is available in two options for you to choose from:

1. Soil bags: Having soil bags brought right to you is a convenient way to have the soil you need for the season neatly stored in an easy-to-access container. Plus, you can cover up the bag whenever you wish.

2. Bulk soil delivery: Many homeowners and gardeners choose bulk soil delivery where the soil is dumped on your driveway because they find it easier to shovel from the ground than from a bag.

Lay down new sod

If you’re going to be working with new soil this Victoria Day weekend, then you may also wish to
lay down new sod on your lawn too.

Lay down sod on Victoria Day

Victoria Day is the perfect time to lay down new sod. It shouldn’t be too hot or rainy on the long weekend.

When you select your sod, there are a few things you should first consider:

• Traffic: How many people will be walking on the sodden area
• Sunlight: Is your lawn in direct sun, or in partial or total shade
• Soil: Is the soil strong enough to support new sod on top of it

And if you aren’t sure how much sod you need on Victoria Day, just follow this simple calculation:

• Length of area to be covered X width = Square Measurement

Let us help you in the garden this Victoria Day

If you’re looking to mix it up in the garden during the Victoria Day weekend, we’d be happy to help with all your soil and soil delivery needs.

Contact us and tell us about the soil you’re looking for, how much you need and how you want it delivered. And we’ll make sure you get exactly what you need in time for the long weekend.

Mother’s Day Gifts For the Garden

Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday, May 10) and you may be wondering what to get mom this year.

If she likes working in the garden; planting flowers, pruning trees and installing decorative landscaping features, then you’re in luck. That’s because there are plenty of Mother’s Day gifts for the garden which are both fun and functional.

Actually, you can mix it up this year when it comes to Mother’s Day garden gifts. You can give her something practical, like high-quality triple mix soil to help with her planting. Or you can give her something fancy, like a installing a new pond in the backyard.

Looking for something different to give this year? Check out these garden gifts for Mother’s Day.

Living roof birdhouse

A living birdhouse makes a great Mother's Day gift

More than just a regular birdhouse, a living roof birdhouse will allow mom to grow grass, succulents, moss or other small plants right on top of the roof.

A living roof birdhouse is the perfect way to practice container gardening (if mom is interested) and provides the birds in her neighbourhood a cool and safe place to relax.

Garden sundial

Classic and timeless, a garden sundial is certain to be a gift mom won’t be expecting – but she’ll love anyway. And it’s certain to find a prominent place in her garden, too.

Depending on the garden sundial you get, you can actually have it engraved with a personal message telling mom just how much you appreciate her.

Installing a garden sundial is easy, too:

  1. Select a spot that’s level and in full sunshine
  2. Point the arm of your sundial so that it’s pointed north (true north, not magnetic north)

Interlocking stone pavers

If you’re want to really surprise mom this Mother’s Day, why not give her the option of transforming her garden completely with new interlocking stone pavers.

Let her select the look, style and type of interlocking stones  for a redesigned garden patio or a new interlocking brick walkway.

Then, let her design the stone garden of her dreams and help bring it to life for her by hiring a skilled contractor to build it for her.

Cast iron fire bowl

Bring warmth to mom’s garden with a magnificent cast iron bowl which will hold a decent sized fire safely inside.

Tough but attractive – and with sleek curves – a cast iron fire bowl will have mom enjoying her days – and her nights – in her garden.

Happy Mother’s Day from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies

Happy Mother's Day from Van Beek's

To all the moms out there, we want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. And we want to say thank you – for all that you do.

Make Mother’s Day truly special this year by giving her helpful garden supplies that she’ll use and love – not just on Mother’s Day, but every day too.

Not sure where to start? Contact us at Van Beek’s and let us know what you have in mind for mom. We certain to have the right garden gift for you to give.

Work in the Fall so Your Property is Healthy in the Spring

Cool, sunny days in autumn are among of the best times for outdoor lawn and garden work. Sweater weather means you won’t get too hot or cold; it’s both pleasant and easy to spend all afternoon in the garden. Fortunately, there are lots of fall landscaping chores that will help get your garden ready for cold weather. The most notable benefit of these is they also help prepare your landscape for spring.

Renovate Your Lawn

In Ontario, fall is usually the best time for lawn renovation. Start by aerating your lawn. Rental supply centres rent aerators by the hour or day. Leave the plugs of soil that the aerator pulls out of the lawn in place; they will break down soon enough. Lightly overseed, paying special attention to bare and thin areas. Finish off with a light topdressing, like topsoil we can deliver right to your door.

Prune Shrubs and Trees

Fall and early winter are also good times to prune many ornamental shrubs and trees. It will help to stimulate new growth in spring. Generally speaking, most summer and fall blooming plants can be pruned in late fall or early winter. Hold off on spring flowering plants until after they bloom. Remove dead or damaged branches first. Thin out branches that are crowded or crossing. Most plants look best if you retain their natural shape. Cut back branches that you remove to the next intersection instead of shearing off the tips.

Mulch Planting Beds

We all like a little extra warmth in winter. Give your perennials, flowers and shrubs a light blanket of mulch this fall. While mulch helps to retain moisture, it also helps to moderate soil temperatures. Your plants’ roots will have an extra layer of protective insulation for freezing temperatures. Plants that have been mulched in the fall will be eager to grow and bloom when spring rolls around.

Inspect Patios and Pavers

Your patios and walkways, whether constructed from interlocking pavers or flagstone, should have a fall inspection to prevent problems from developing over winter. Reset any pavers that are displaced along the edge of your patio and reinstall or repair the edging to hold them in place. Sweep in aggregate or polymeric sand between pavers if there are obvious gaps. If you use a sealer on your pavers, fall is a good time to put on a new coat. Depending on the type of paver, it will provide some extra protection from freeze-thaw damage.

Install New Plants

With just a few exceptions, fall is the best time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. Though the plants will be dormant for winter, below ground, cool weather gives roots a chance to get established without the pressure of feeding the foliage. When warm weather comes, plants that were put in place in fall will recover faster. They will be healthier, with more leaves and blooms.

Fall planting is one of the best ways to get a head start on spring. With some new plants in place, your pruning  hyhhgcomplete, a renovated lawn, repaired pavers and touched up planting beds, you’ll be fully prepared for spring garden recovery. In fact, having spent all that time improving your landscape, you’ll almost hate to go inside for the winter!

Get all the supplies you need for your fall work at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies. Give us a call to request a quote today.

Backyard Dreaming: 5 Ideas to Get You Excited For Spring

It may be bone-chilling cold right now, but spring, with its colourful blooms, pitchers of icy lemonade and—most importantly—delightfully warm weather, is just around the corner. Bust out of the late winter doldrums and dream of your perfect backyard landscape setup instead.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 fabulous ideas oozing with refreshing recreational charm and expansive grill zones to get you on the path to paradise before the snowflakes finish falling. Spring may be a few months away, but you can start planning your weekend barbecues right now.

Water Features

If you love the sound of running water, just not when it’s dropping from the sky, consider adding a rustic stone water feature to your backyard space. The gentle rushing of a small fountain is calming, and it also helps block out noise pollution from traffic, boisterous neighbours and overzealous groundskeepers. A fountain decorated with a few flowers and charming candle lanterns can be placed inconspicuously in the corner or featured more centrally. Either way, your friends and neighbours will readily offer their compliments.

Water Features
Photo provided by one of our preferred contractors, Escarpment Company

Comfortable Seating

Every backyard space needs adequate seating, which means something a bit more inviting than a few collapsible wood chairs. Offer plush armchairs and couches with weather-resistant fabric all safely tucked under a lightweight canopy. Provide additional functionality with end and side tables, and decorate with brightly coloured pottery and low-maintenance plants for a fully fleshed out look that’s effortlessly welcoming.

The base of this living space is a modern and resilient interlocking patio surface, which clearly sets the tone for the complete outdoor living space.

Comfortable Seating
Photo provided by one of our preferred contractors, Escarpment Company

A Griller’s Paradise

The essential purpose of any backyard is to provide an outdoor location to relax, converse and, of course, barbecue. Invest in a built-in grill and create a full outdoor kitchen, replete with mini fridge, fireplace and maybe even a pizza oven. There are varieties of different materials that can be used to build you outdoor kitchen- both manmade and natural. This design combines natural- the flagstone patio, with manufactured stone/brick- used in the grill island and fireplace.

For a space this sizable, lay a large paved area outlined in river rocks. A second, more casual seating area around a brick fire pit means everyone has a place to sit and chat while the food is cooking.

A Griller’s Paradise

Poolside Pergola

If you’ve got extra land leftover, or you prefer the breaststroke to barbecued breast meat, opt for an enticing poolside pergola and pool house. A simple cottage stores the supplies and water toys away from sight, and a wood pergola cuts the midday sun for a shady reprieve with cozy seating and an oversized table perfect for a picnic. Add elegance to this casual setup by hanging a decorative metal lantern or chandelier overhead. Give the fireflies some competition.

Poolside Pergola
Photo provided by one of our preferred contractors, Flawless Designs General Contracting

A Swimmer’s Delight

It’s not a poolside pergola without a swimming pool! Embellishments include built-in fountains, diving boards and the ultimate kid-friendly luxury: a slide. Keep it classy with a professionally designed landscape using resilient materials that won’t wear with heavy use, and keep it safe with sturdy steps and handrails where necessary.

A Swimmer’s Delight
Photo provided by one of our preferred contractors, Flawless Designs General Contracting

It may be hard to picture now, but you’re a few short months away from swimming laps and grilling up some burgers. Make the most of the spring weather by using these fresh ideas to imagine your own idyllic retreat, pool oasis and all. Drop into Van Beeks in Oakville or Mississauga to browse your different landscape supply options today.