Tuesday, July 17, 2012
How to Get A Deal at the Soil Yard
If you are your regular garden variety gardener, maybe you have never been to a soil yard. If you are about to attempt a big project or are planning to compost a large area- a soil yard can be worth the travel time.
How does it work? You can buy gravel, sand, soil, compost and mulch at most soil yards. We love Fertile Gardens. I think they have the best quality compost. I'll walk you through the process because I know it can be intimidating to go to a business that you have no prior experience with. Don't worry- you'll be a pro in no time.You drive up, go inside, say hello, (they are very friendly there), if you are not sure what you need - check out the price list behind the counter, then order, pay and get a ticket. It is also helpful to look online before you go:fertile gardens.
If you are going to get a jumbo bunch (1/2 yard or more) loaded into your truck, you drive up to the stop sign, give them your ticket and they dump it in with a tractor. If you are worried about some flying out of the back of your truck, they have a hose so you can spray down the top layer.
If you are buying a small amount, you order how many bags you need. You can buy bags to bag your own for about 25 cents if don't have any. Take your bags outside and there are 5 gallon buckets with the bottom cut out, you fill up the bucket twice, tie up your bag and Viola! 10 gallon bag of compost. This will be about as big as a large prepackaged bag you can buy at any nursery, big box store,Whole Foods Market, etc. But! And here is the whole whiz bang bo! It comes out to less than half the price per bag.
Now some soil yards sell junk so you need to make sure you know what/where you are purchasing. We are really picky about compost but less picky about mulch or gravel. Use your best judgement- you can even go look at the actual pile of compost before purchasing. Fertile Gardens specializes in organic and natural so this is the really good stuff. When you see an * by any product there, that means it is weed free. Weed free means they heat the piles up enough to kill any weed seeds or bad bugs. You can also get a steal on DE by bagging your own. It's really worth a go-see.
Hot tip: Our favorite compost is the turkey, horse, molasses. It is more expensive but worth it.
If you are in Austin- you are in luck- you can do the exact same thing at Natural Gardener. There you can basically bag your own Ladybug for half price! Love Natural Gardener.
So go pick up your sweet deal on mulch, gravel, compost, soil! More on mulch coming soon. I know you are waiting with baited breath. MULCHAPALOSA 2012!