Vermiculite currently unavailable?

crcurrieMarch 25, 2010

I'm trying to plant my first square-foot garden bed this spring but have run up against a problem: In the Washington, D.C., area, it seems only Southern States sells the 4 cu ft bags of vermiculite -- but the Southern States outlet told me that there was a fire in the factory and shipments have been suspended indefinitely. Is there an alternate source with an hour's drive of Washington that anyone knows about? -- Chris

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shadysite(8)

I bought mine at Southern States in Annapolis in Feb...you might check there.
2550 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401-7405
(410) 224-3340
$21 I think and you could have a great day in Annapolis!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 1:47PM
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crcurrie

Thanks for the leads! I checked and Merrifield does have the bags in stock. All Southern States outlets are out of vermiculite because the manufacturer that supplies them had a devastating fire and has either discontinued production or will not be shipping new product for several weeks (depending on which source I checked). I wish there were a Maryland source but it looks like we suburban Marylanders will have to cross the Potomac to supply our gardens this year ...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 4:16PM
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rds1955

crcurrie:

I live on the Eastern Shore, and ordered mine in bulk
(Cheaper pricing that way...)from 7 Springs Farm in Check Va.

http://www.7springsfarm.com/catalog.html#Growing

Don't know how far it is from you, but they offer pretty good competitive pricing if you buy a good quantity of it..

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:18PM
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crcurrie

Thanks for the lead on 7 Springs Farm. I already bought a bag of vermiculite Saturday, but I'm keeping this Web site link for future.

One thing that surprised me was the Farm's contention that the "Coarse Vermiculite" product sold in garden centers, which is also called "Horticultural Grade" vermiculite, is NOT what you're supposed to use in SFG. They sell something called "A-3" grade which is supposedly sometimes called "coarse" and sometimes "medium," but which they say is the vermiculite specified by SFG. They say "Horticultural Grade" coarse vermiculite is made in the USA, whereas "A-3" is imported from Asia.

I don't remember reading about that distinction on the SFG Web site. However, I haven't read the book. Is it true that the "Horticultural Grade" coarse vermiculite I bought at an ACE Hardware in Arlington, VA, is NOT the right stuff?

Chris

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 11:52PM
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