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How to Edge a Bed

A crisp edge to your beds will give them a professional look.

Difficulty Level: Average    Time Required: 30

Here's How:

  1. Start the edge about 6 inches away from the plants in your landscape bed.
  2. Using a spade with a flat, sharp edge, push the blade into the soil, using one or both feet as leverage.
  3. Push down on the handle of the spade to slightly raise the soil/grass to be removed.
  4. Shake the excess soil off the grass and debris, and place in a bucket.
  5. When you are finished with the edge, put the debris on your compost pile.

What You Need: sharp, flat-edged spade and a bucket


How to Plant a Tree or Shrub

Here are the steps to successful planting of a containerized or balled and bur lapped tree or shrub.

Difficulty Level: Average    Time Required: 45 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Dig a planting hole about two times as wide as the diameter of the root ball or pot, and about as deep.
  2. Enhance the soil by mixing peat moss or compost with the backfill, up to about fifty percent by volume of the backfill.
  3. For containerized plants, remove the container and score the sides and bottom of the root ball with a sharp knife. This promotes outward growth of roots.
  4. Carefully place the plant in the hole.
  5. For balled and bur lapped plants only, if the wrap is polyester or another synthetic material that is not biodegradable, cut it away and slip it out from under the root ball to remove it.
  6. Fill the hole halfway with your backfill and tamp with your foot to remove any air pockets.
  7. Water the hole thoroughly.
  8. After water has seeped into the soil, fill up the rest of the hole with your backfill.
  9. Tamp the soil with your foot and water again.
  10. Mulch around the plant and keep watered for its first growing season. One through watering per week, unless it has rained, should be fine.


How to Sod a Lawn

Laying sod is the way to achieve an 'instant lawn' in your yard.

Difficulty Level: Hard    Time Required: 90 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Prepare the soil by raking and leveling the area.
  2. When your sod arrives, keep it moist and shaded. Try to plant on the day of its arrival.
  3. Water the prepared area that is to receive the sod.
  4. Begin rolling out the sod along a straight edge within the prepared area. If there is no straight edge, make one by using stakes and string.
  5. Press the edges of the sod tightly together; do not stretch the sod.
  6. Stagger the ends of the sod pieces so that no two adjacent pieces end together. When you need to cut the sod, do so with a sharp knife.
  7. When you are done laying the sod, gently but firmly roll the sod with a roller, filled about halfway with water.
  8. Keep the sod well watered for at least two weeks, during which time the sod will knit into the native soil.


  1. When sodding a slope, start at the bottom, and lay the sod horizontally along the slope rather than vertically.
If the slope is steep, use small wood stakes to hold the sod in place. The stakes will eventually rot away.



Those planning to purchase large size plant material, may prefer to have one of our professionals do the planting for them. Such being the case, the trees will be planted, staked, wrapped if necessary, and guaranteed for survival. However, if you should attempt to plant your own large trees, the following information will be helpful.

SIZE OF HOLE Dig the tree pit 15cm deeper and 15cm wider than the root ball. Replenish the pit with 2/3 top soil, and 1/3 peat moss. While holding the tree in its proper location, add the top soil, making sure there are no air pockets around the roots. Leave a saucer-like depression, and water well immediately after the tree is planted.

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STAKING Trees should be staked when planting. Two stakes, (3 meters in height) driven into the ground, on either side of the tree, will allow you to tie the tree with wire, inserted through a piece of garden hose.

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WRAPPINGMost trees do not require wrapping. However, all large transplants, and on all thin barked trees of dark colour, wrapping the first full year will help eliminate bark splitting. Tree wrapping material can be purchased from our Garden Center for this purpose.

WATERING Provide a good watering every week for one month, then once a month for the remainder of the growing season.

FERTILIZING We offer you a broad selection of fertilizers for your trees and shrubs, whether it be at transplanting time or feeding established trees or shrubs.

SELECTION-When deciding the size of a tree or shrub for the position it will take in the landscape, the ULTIMATE size should be considered. A large growing tree may be much too large for your property, whereas several smaller, flowering and fruiting trees might do the job better, and not eliminate sunlight penetration. Choose plants that do not have to be pruned severely to retain their size. If they are growing out of scale, (too large) remove and replace them as soon as possible, transplanting them to a more suitable site on the property. Our knowledgeable staff will offer assistance to you to ensure the proper selection of plant material to provide the colour and pleasing effect you desire.


Professionally landscaped properties obviously are expected to be rather outstanding, but the main advantage in having your landscape professionally done, is TIME. They (the professional landscapers) will definitely have your property looking beautiful very quickly, however, you will pay for that service. If you enjoy gardening, and do have considerable time to spend-evenings and weekends, (forget the golf and tennis) you can save yourself the cost of a professional job, and still have it looking gorgeous. Besides, landscaping is FUN and the fresh air and exercise is good for you. The key is PATIENCE and PLANNING.


You may prefer to develop your home landscape over a 3-5 year period. Establish a lawn first, then the patio and trees for shade and shelter. Consider the front area also, as far as trees and shrubbery, remembering that trees and shrubs grow and spread in time, so space accordingly. Also consider the window areas for view. The second year, add architectural screens, the traffic systems, and, if budget allows, the major landscape feature such as pools, etc.


Obtain a loan. A well executed landscape will appreciate the value of your home and will CONTINUE to increase in value as the landscape matures. Therefore, it might be a wise decision and in your best interests to obtain a loan and complete your home landscaping in one operation. Given the choice, landscaping the outside is a much, much better idea, investment wise, than broad looming the inside. activity, whether it be for social entertaining or quiet meditation and as such should receive serious consideration in your renovation plans.

The size and shape must suit your personal lifestyle and compliment the architecture of your home. Terracing or use of raised planters will add interest and dimension to your patio and provide quiet hideaways for reading or meditation away from the activity areas.

Many new paving materials are available from which to select your "Patio Floor" according to your personal taste.

The careful selection of plant material will not only add accent and colour and soften the hard landscape materials, but also provides privacy and screening of unsightly areas. Incorporating water fountains and lighting will add interest and a complimentary touch to your outdoor living centre.

>>How to choose the right Landscape Contractor or Design<<


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*Award winning Landscape Architect, trained behind the Iron Curtain*






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Stray's Landscaping Services Ltd
Box 1140
Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0

E-mail: strays@landscape-ontario.com
Phone: 905-880-1777
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