In-Ground Gardens
In Ground Gardens
This page outlines the features, options, and accessories of in-ground gardens we create, including information on square foot gardening, who it is for, and ordering information. For information on our other types of gardens, garden services, or to request a consultation for a garden for your property, click on one of the links below.
In-Ground Garden Information

Whether you have an unused piece of lawn or an old garden spot you’d like to revive, we can help you bring new life to your property. In-ground gardens are highly customizable to your unique yard conditions and allow you to get creative with a variety of plant options, layout options, and more.

What's Included

For our GTA customers, our in-ground gardens come with everything you need to get started. First, we’ll help identify a suitable spot(s) for the garden area, taking into consideration factors like sun exposure and existing landscape features. Our team of urban farmers will come to setup and plant the garden, including labour, our YUF Custom Soil Blend, and the seeds and plants for one round of planting.  Add-ons such as our copper trellis, garden accessories, and additional rounds of planting are available for an additional cost. After setup, we’ll send you a copy of our vegetable growing guide and all you need to do is water, maintain, harvest, and enjoy your own fresh produce.

Setup Labour

When it comes to setting up the garden, a strong foundation and proper preparation is essential to for the long-term growth and health of the plants. That means we start with choosing the most suitable spot for the garden and the best soil mix and growing media.

Setup labour can include double digging, removing existing plants, digging out larger tree/shrub roots, and working carefully around irrigation lines. It also includes adding soil amendments and stale seed bed preparations to get the in-ground area ready to support the vigorous growth of vegetables.

Finally, mulched pathways, row covers, and irrigation lines can be added to minimize weeding, deter pests, and make the next steps of garden maintenance easier. More details on our setup services can be found here.

Custom Soil Mix

One of the secrets to excellent gardening results is our premium Custom Soil Mix made from select ingredients including certified organic worm castings, perlite, and peat. It is made locally without animal matter (no composted manure, so no chance of fecal contamination) and is full of bio-available nutrients. It has good water retention properties and has been screened so as to be loose and easy to work with. Our soil mix can also be purchased individually from our online store. Order the YUF Custom Soil Blend.

For most of our gardening projects, we arrange for the soil to be delivered to the garden location in advance of the setup date. Our soil mix comes in a sturdy tote bag which makes for a no mess delivery. While the soil doesn’t have to be replaced, it does compact over time and should be amended each year with more of our custom soil blend or other organic matter like worm castings, compost, and organic fertilizer.

Premium Seeds/Plants

Every year, we use the best quality, fresh, untreated seeds in our gardens, purchased from reputable Canadian suppliers. Because seeds have a limited shelf life, we purchase fresh seed each year that is certified to be disease free. This helps to ensure vigorous growing plants and excellent yields. Many of our varieties we select are open pollinated, heirloom, and certified organic. Some of our seeds are hybrid varieties and are selected for disease resistance, drought tolerance, and tremendous flavour.  None of the seeds we use are GMO.

For our transplants, we start the almost all of our plants at our partner greenhouse just outside of Toronto. Grown under almost ideal conditions, these seedlings are carefully nurtured until they are ready to be planted out in the gardens.

In-Ground Garden Sizes

In-ground gardens can be customized to almost any shape and size. This versatility allows for unique plantings to maximize the gardening area, especially when it comes to smaller sized gardens.

For larger gardens, it is important not to overlook pathways and access points to the garden so that harvesting, watering, maintenance and suitable tools can be utilized. For this reason, we typically recommend more rectangular beds that are 3 or 4 feet in width. Pathways 2 – 4 feet in width are then created to allow access into the garden.

Specialty garden dimensions such as SPIN-farming beds, or edible landscaping designs can also be created.

Smaller sized in-ground garden can be rectangular or custom sized.

An example of a larger sized in-ground garden with multiple beds and paths.

Who It's For

Who In-Ground Gardens Are For

In-ground gardens are great for people with a patch of sunny earth who want to grow some delicious veg. It is especially suited for larger perennials like rhubarb and asparagus, as well as for perennial herbs, fruit bushes and trees. These plants can take several years to reach maturity and for those with patience, the results are well worth the wait.  Space is generally not as much of an issue for in-ground gardens, and so plants can get larger, some plants can be set aside to save the seeds, and more options for plants are available.

In-ground gardens can also be more efficient and economic over the long term, though every garden is different and results will vary.

Who In-Ground Gardens Are Not For

As much as we love in-ground gardens, there are a few situations where we would recommend a raised bed or container garden. If your property used to be on the site of a gas station, dry cleaner, printing shop, autobody shop, rail yard, former land fill, or other industrial area, do not use the existing soil unless a soil test shows limited or no harmful contaminants in the soil.

If your property is close to a hydro corridor, infill area, rail line, or major arterial road, we suggest getting a soil test before proceeding with an edible garden. A soil test is also recommended if there is evidence of dumping or burning in your property, weird smells in the soil, or staining of the soil.

Despite these precautions, most residential land in the city is suitable to grow in. Other reasons why some people do not go with an in-ground garden is to avoid working heavy clay soil, to avoid working with marginal soil, and to avoid battling tough weed problems. In-ground gardens may also not be most suitable for those who have plans on moving residences in the near future.

More Garden Features
Bean Teepee

Our bean teepee is a living and edible show piece. Perfect for kids or as a design statement, the bean teepee allows your bean plants to grow higher than our regular trellis. Nasturtiums and other edible flowers can also be grown on the teepee.

Edible Landscaping

Edible landscaping is a premium service for those who want a custom designed in-ground garden filled with plants focused on looking great, providing great produce, and fitting in with you lifestyle and eating habits.

For each garden design, we put together a visual plan on how to make your garden beautiful, sustainable, and filled with a mix of edible and ornamental plants. Principles of organic agriculture, companion planting, and permaculture all factor into our designs.

Tools and Equipment

For a functional garden, you want to use high quality tools. We can help you suggest and equip you with professional and/or consumer grade equipment to help you get the job done right.

This can include hand tools, irrigation equipment, harvest bins, and more.

In Ground Garden Accessories

There are a few accessories we sell to extend the functionality of your in-ground garden.

Copper trellis. Available in 4′ or 6′ heights, the copper trellis can attach directly to the box or anchored directly in the ground providing additional vertical support for climbing plants like pole beans, peas, and cucumbers. Copper is a natural slug and snail deterrent and provides excellent strength and stability. Durable nylon netting allows air and light to pass through and is provides an excellent anchoring point for plant tendrils and vines.

Tomato Spiral Stakes. Give your tomato plants additional vertical support with these galvanized stakes. Measuring 6′ in height, simply weave the tomato plants up the stakes as they grow. We prefer these over other styles of tomato cages.

Remember exactly what you’ve planted in your garden with these stylish, durable, zinc garden tags. They are designed to last for many years and stand up to the harsh garden environment of sun, water, and wind exposure. Simply use any carbon pencil (we like to use 2B or 3B art pencils) to label. Get rid of those other plastic tags in your garden once and for all while giving you and your kids a chance personalize and engage in the garden by writing their own garden tags.

These 6′ bamboo stakes measure on average 1″ in diameter and help to support plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and more. We like these stakes because they can be cut down to smaller sizes are a natural and renewable resource. Bamboo stakes should be replaced every year or two as they will eventually degrade and lose their support strength.

Square Foot Gardening Method

One of our favourite gardening methods is the square foot gardening method. We’ve made a few slight modifications that we find allow for an easier and more enjoyable gardening experience. Some of the best things we like about the method is that it makes for an attractive garden, produces high yields, prevents people from walking on and compacting the soil, and is easy to weed and water.

Kale is planted 1 per square foot while other plants like arugula and beets are 9 per square foot.

Vegetables like spinach are planted 9 per square foot.

Ordering an In-Ground Garden

In ground gardens typically require an in-person consultation for an accurate estimate. During the consultation, we’ll be assessing sun conditions, existing soil conditions (where possible), current landscape features and discuss with you your gardening goals when it comes to experience, time commitment, and eating habits. While we can do a limited assessment through photos, the best way is to book a consultation for us to judge on site the best way to proceed.

To book a consultation, you can call us by telephone or book online through The YUF Online Store. in-ground gardens, we require an initial 40% deposit of the cost of the project, with the balance due upon garden setup.

When Should I Order An In-Ground Garden?

In ground gardens can be setup anytime during the outdoor growing season. We’ve setup gardens in early April all the way through the end of October. For spring installations, we recommend pre-booking in late winter or in the spring as soon as you’ve decided on a garden. The earlier you can book, the more confidently we can book you into the busy spring season. In the fall, we can setup a garden for garlic planting and to get a jump start on next year’s gardening season.

Can I Combine an In-Ground Garden with Another Garden Type?

Yes, many customers choose to grow using raised beds, containers, in-ground gardens or a combination of all three methods. If you’re unsure what would be best for your situation, contact us to arrange a consultation and we can help guide you through the process.

Can You Setup An In-Ground Garden for Me If I Live Outside of Toronto?

Yes, while our main base of operations is in Toronto, we’ve served customers across the GTA and Southern Ontario. Please note that additional travel costs will be added based on distance and travel time.

More In-Ground Garden Photos

We’ve compiled some more photos of some of our in-ground gardens. Click on individual photos for a larger sized version.