Where to buy compost or garden soil in the Bay Area

bakaroniSeptember 20, 2009

I'm going to be planting some vegetable beds and need to amend the clayey soil with compost and/or garden soil. I'll probably need a lot of it. I could go to Home Depot/Lowe's and get Kellog's 3 cu ft garden soil. But at nearly $8 a bag, it isn't exactly cheap.

Where do you get your compost from in the San Francisco Bay Area?


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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

The county has arranged with some "waste disposal" companies to provide compost and soil at cheap prices to its residents. Some cities provide it free if you can show them your garbage bill. Here is a link for SC county - not sure where you are.

Here is a link that might be useful: Santa Clara county Compost sources

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:52AM
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Thanks. I'll look them up. I'm in Alameda County.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:55AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

You could also check out local landscape materials suppliers in the Yellow Pages. I don't know of any that are located in the Fremont area off hand, but American Soil Products in Richmond is a good source, and has several different blends of compost and soil in bulk quantities, and will deliver. There is also Lyngso over in Redwood City.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Okay, U-Save Rockery in Hayward sells compost by the yard (about $25-28) as well as 1 cu foot bags ($1.25-1.50). It's more expensive than Zanker Recycling, but I believe the latter does not sell less than a cubic yard. However, it's still cheaper than HD or Lowe's. The compost has an earthy smell to it, unlike the nearly sterile stuff from the big stores.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:31PM
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American Soil's ClodBreaker does wonders for our clay soil.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 10:00PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Payless hardware and Rockery in San Jose sells planting mix/topsoil/mushroom compost/etc. by the yard.

Also, I believe South Bay Lumber does as well.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:35PM
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Another vote for U-Save Rockery (San Jose by Gish). Compost blend is $23 a yard. If you have a truck this is the way to go. I have also used the "hog Heaven" compost from the Guadalupe Landfill (by delivery), but they are not open for landscape materials on the weekends...


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Bakaroni, have you ever done lasagna-style beds? 3 inch Layers of your own dirt interspersed with a layer of leaves, a layer of compost, a layer of sweepings from messy trees, water it down, and top it off with a 3 inch layer of leaves or straw as mulch to keep it damp underneath. By spring your clay soil will be amazing and full of what plants want. I go around to neighborhoods with street trees that drop major amounts of leaves, and shovel them into bags, since the fall is the only time of year you can really collect the good stuff, I store as many as I can, and it's free! And if you are able to compost your kitchen scraps, it's amazing how they add up.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:08AM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

We used american soil and had great results

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 12:53PM
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wesparker(z9 / Sunset 16/17)

Here's another vote for Lyngso in Redwood City. You can get it by the yard or bag it yourself. They provide the bags and you have several soil mix types to choose from. I pay two bucks a bag for the compost mix I use in my veggie beds. Cheap and I like the quality. Plus, this yard is very close to a favorite nursery- Wegman's.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:05PM
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runswithcompost, thanks for your tip on lasagna gardening. We have an Asian Pear tree that's about to shed its leaves. I'll put them to use in the manner you suggest.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:39PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Wheeler Zamaroni in Santa Rosa has a wide selection of soils by the yard or the bag. Al

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Lou at American Soil is awesome.

However, for the cheapest product, San Francisco's green compost bins go to Bay View Green Waste Recycling in the city and the contents are turned into a composty mulch that might be really good for amending clay.

It's free if you show up and help yourself! They'll also deliver 20 yard truckloads for a fee.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bay View Green Waste Recycling

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 1:06PM
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