Past Issues:

Garden Basics for Spring

All good gardens start – and continue to grow – with good soil.

Spring is a great time to prepare and improve your “dirt”.

The first thing to do, once the ground is dry, is to dig up a shovelful of soil and take a look at it. Does it look very sandy, or is it very dense clay, or does it look dark and crumbly? No matter what you have to start with, you want to end up with the last type – rich, dark, loose, crumbly soil with lots of organic material in it.

There are two common types of soil in Toronto, sandy and clay. Here in the Beaches, many of us have soil that looks like coarse beach sand. If you have very dense clay, you should add some coarse sand to help improve drainage. In either case, all soil types will need organic materials added to it. The organic material can be composted animal manure, composted leaves, or from your own compost bin.

To start a new garden bed in spring you can either remove all grass and weeds by digging it up and adding some new  soil, or you can try smothering the grass and weeds.

  • Lay down several layers of newsprint over the area you want to plant. Wet the paper down thoroughly.
  • Add about 6 inches of  compost or good soil on top of the newspaper.
  • Then wait at least 4 months and your bed will be ready for planting.

For more information visit or call 416-397-1345.

Information provided by the Beach Garden Society –