Compost, Mulch & Soils

Quality Feed & Garden stocks a complete line of organic and natural soil amendments to help gardeners build rich, healthy, living and nutrient rich soil!  Have you tried a bag of Ken's Enriched Potting Soil?  Page down to learn more about how our store owner developed his own potting soil that we believe is far superior to the competitors!  Let us help you build productive worry and weed free garden beds!  Start with this link below for the basics building a healthy garden soil --

Building-Healthy-Soil

Our organic/natural soil products lineup includes merchandise from the following companies --

The Ground Up -- This company's motto is "building nutrition with superior organic methods."  The Ground Up is the leader in organic soil development, and is headquartered right here in Houston.  Texas’ leading organizations and institutions have recognized the company as the source for quality materials, and also for top expertise in the industry.

Nature's Way Resources is recognized as the leader in the Houston area for high quality compost, mulches, soils and potting mixes.  Developed and still made in Conroe, Nature's Way Resources has been recognized in many publications from The Houston Chronicle to The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its products, and has been featured in several gardening books and in Better Homes and Gardens.

Back To Nature -- Texas company South Plains Compost, Inc. the parent company of Back to Nature, Inc. has been producing agricultural compost since 1979.   In 1982, the company began supplying natural bagged cotton burr, chicken manure composts and soil blends to the lawn and garden industry. Today, Back to Nature Cotton Burr Compost and Composted Chicken Manure are preferred by independent lawn and garden dealers everywhere because of the company's continuing dedication to quality and service.

Lady Bug Natural Brand -- Another Texas company, Lady Bug Natural is known for producing high quality compost, soils, and mulches that meet the US Composting STA testing standards, the National Organic standards, and other certifying agencies.  Lady Bug only sells products that have undergone a complete compost process.  The company implements the latest technology in composting to assure the best nutrients and the best carbon to nitrogen ratios. They use both independent and universities labs to test all products, and their products are composed of the finest all natural, raw materials from regional sources (no biosolids) to custom blend a unique line of organic gardening products.

QUALITY FEED & GARDEN SOIL NATURAL/ORGANIC SOIL BUILDERS:

  • Mulch
  • Garden Soils
  • Compost
  • Manure (amends & fertilizes!)
  • Potting Soils

ADDITIONAL SOIL AMENDMENTS:

  • Sphagnum peat Moss
  • Coastal Hay Bales
  • Alfalfa Bales
  • Vermiculite
  • Perlite
  • Gypsum
  • Greensand
  • Dolomite Limestone
  • Expanded Shale
  • Lava Rock
  • Pumice
  • Play Sand

Ken's Enriched Potting Soil

THE STORY OF KEN'S ENRICHED POTTING SOIL

After years of selling commercial potting soils that he found unsatisfactory, Quality Feed & Garden Owner Ken found help and developed his own mix for the organic gardener called Ken's Enriched Potting Soil, currently for sale at the store.

"Since I bought the feed store nearly 25 years ago, our store has offered inferior potting soils that were too heavy, too high in moisture retention, and too low on nutrition," Ken says.  "For years, prior to potting my own plants, I had to blend this and that ingredient to the available commercial potting soils to get a soil I was confident in using."

"In the Fall of 2013, I asked my friends at Nature's Way Resources to help me develop a potting soil I could sell to customers with confidence," he said.  Nature's Way is recognized in the Houston area as a leader in producing pure and organically based mulches, soils and compost.

"I discussed ingredients that I knew  would make a superior potting soil, and with their help, I've developed an excellent product consumers will appreciate for seed starting, container growing, and even as an amendment to garden beds."

The key word used to describe Ken's Potting Soil is "light" according to Ken.  Available in one cubic foot and two cubic feet bags, a primary ingredient in the mix is Perlite, a lightweight volcanic rock that provides excellent water retention, superior aeration, and outstanding drainage, keeping the soil from packing and helping grow healthy and vigorous plant roots.  The soil also contains Microlife 6-2-4 brand fertilizer to boost plant growth right after planting.  Microlife is well known among organic gardeners in our region and was developed locally by Houston-based San Jacinto Environmental.

"The soil is taking Houston by storm with extremely positive feedback thus far," says Ken.

Amid TONS of compliments, Ken says he only received two complaints.  "One customer said she thought the soil seemed so light that a large plant could get blown over in high winds.  I recommended that she place more stones or pea gravel in the bottom of the pot before planting to weigh it down, and never rely on some cheap heavy potting soil as weight that only strangles the plant that has to live in it."

And the other problem, according to Ken, was the customer who found they had to water more often.  "The customer said they were watering more as the soil drained so well.  I responded that it's better to water a well drained soil, than to force a plant to live in wet boggy conditions."

Ken's Enriched Potting Soil, the BEST "home" for keeping your plant roots cozy and thriving!

 

HOUSTON HAS A SOIL PROBLEM!

Quality Feed & Garden Owner Ken constantly talks about how all successful gardening begins with a foundation of healthy soil!  Unfortunately, Houston's soil is comprised of "gumbo," a sticky, heavy clay soil that holds a lot of water.  If you'd look at it under a microscope, it's extremely dense and almost looks like pieces of paper piled atop each other.  Only water allows freer root growth through this kind of density, and unless you're planting a swampy bog, gumbo just won't work for planting anything.

Now, the trees we plant here learn to deal with gumbo conditions as evident in the environment around us.  However, even amending the soil as we plant new trees is important to get them off to a good start.  (See our tree page for a planting guide for your new saplings.)  But vegetables, herbs, and flowers will just whither and die if we don't amend the soil.  And truthfully, the best choice for Houston gardeners is to leave the gumbo alone and build RAISED BEDS.

BUILDING A RAISED BED GARDEN

Building a raised bed buries gumbo.  The goal is to build some sort of frame over the gumbo between 8 and 12 inches high.   its physical properties, such as water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure. The goal is to provide a better environment for roots.

To do its work, an amendment must be thoroughly mixed into the soil. If it is merely buried, its effectiveness is reduced, and it will interfere with water and air movement and root growth.

Amending a soil is not the same thing as mulching, although many mulches also are used as amendments. A mulch is left on the soil surface. Its purpose is to reduce evaporation and runoff, inhibit weed growth, and create an attractive appearance. Mulches also moderate soil temperature, helping to warm soils in the spring and cool them in the summer. Mulches may be incorporated into the soil as amendments after they have decomposed to the point that they no longer serve their purpose.

 

There are two broad categories of soil amendments: organic and inorganic. Organic amendments come from something that is or was alive. Inorganic amendments, on the other hand, are either mined or man-made. Organic amendments include sphagnum peat, wood chips, grass clippings, straw, compost, manure, biosolids, sawdust and wood ash. Inorganic amendments include vermiculite, perlite, tire chunks, pea gravel and sand.

Inorganic soil amendments are used to supplement the organic matter that is already in the soil. It is meant to improve the texture of clay soil, and help sandy soil by increasing the sandy soil’s capacity to retain water and nutrients. In a nutshell it is meant to make clay soil and sandy soil more like loam soil in texture and character. Vermiculite/ Peat, and perlite are examples of inorganic soil amendments. Both are used to improve the water and nutrient retention of the soil. Vermiculite/Peat and perlite are usually used on small scale in potting soils and small plant beds.

Organic amendments increase soil organic matter content and offer many benefits. Organic matter improves soil aeration, water infiltration, and both water- and nutrient-holding capacity. Many organic amendments contain plant nutrients and act as organic fertilizers. Organic matter also is an important energy source for bacteria, fungi and earthworms that live in the soil.

NO TILL GARDENING IS A MUST!

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