1. What is the difference between the Bio-Solid Compost and Manure Compost?

Bio-Solid compost is made from “sludge” that comes from waste water treatment facilities and is mixed with fine shredded bark to begin the composting process. The compost is then watered and turned with special equipment until it is ready for sale. Manure compost is made from animal  

manures mostly cow, horse and poultry. The manure arrives and is mixed with fine shredded bark to begin the composting process. Just like the Bio-Solid compost it is then watered and turned with special equipment until it is ready for sale.


2. What can I put on my lawn to “green it up” in the spring?

Compost is the key to healthier soil, grass and garden beds. Compost is organic matter from many sources such as manure (cow, horse, human, poultry etc.) and wood product. Organic matter is food for vegetation that is rich in nutrients. Some of the benefits of compost include loosening soil, increased water holding capacity and aeration 

3. Why shouldn't I put topsoil on my lawn?

Topsoil is the worst thing to put on your lawn. Topsoil is dug right out of the ground and unfortunately, in this area it is poor quality. By placing topsoil on your lawn you are not adding any beneficial nutrients to the lawn. It should be noted that topsoil is not weed free.


4. What are the benefits of mulch?

Mulching is the most important thing you can do for your landscaping. Mulching conserves water, feeds the soil, keeps roots cool in the summer, warm in the winter and eliminates weeds and grasses for healthier soils. Mulches are classified by the type of wood ground. Composted mulch has an additional benefit in that they age and compost the mulch with liquid compost run off a.k.a. composted tea.


5. What’s the best way to lay a flagstone patio?

There are essentially two ways to put down a flagstone patio, with or without mortar. Let’s start on a patio without mortar. The key to creating a beautiful flagstone patio is making sure the area is level. The biggest myth about leveling is you have to use sand. The best material for leveling is gravel base three quarters to dust because it will pack into a hard surface perfect for flagstone. Typically one to two inches of base is sufficient for putting flagstone on. Once the base is in place you are ready to start laying flagstone. Flagstone comes in many colors, shapes, textures and thicknesses. What matters most is the thickness; patio stones vary from one to two inches thick and will cover on average one hundred square feet per ton of rock. As you are laying stone down you will also be filling the cracks with a dry material. The most common dry material to use is decomposed granite a.k.a. crushed granite. Decomposed granite’s ability to pack in the cracks makes it ideal filler.

A patio with mortar is more complicated and most of the time a mason is called for the job. For a patio done correctly there should be a concrete foundation of at least two inches. This helps prevent shifting and cracking of the stone. Once the foundation is in place you can start laying the stones. To lay stone you need a masonry sand and mortar mix, usually on the bags of mortar it will say how many shovels of sand to a bag. Once the joints have been grouted completely it needs to set for three to four days. After it is set you can clean the patio. A pressure washer is a good way to clean the patio but often it does not get the mortar off the stone near the joints so a cleaner such as Vana Trol ® and muriatic acid are needed. After the patio is cleaned you should seal it to prevent water from penetrating the stone. Sometimes stone will absorb moisture and begin to flake off this can easily be avoided by sealing the patio with a product called Natural Stone Treatment. This product creates a waxy seal over the top and when water is applied it causes the water to bead up. One thing Natural Stone Treatment won’t do is enhance the color of the stone. If color enhancing is desired there is a product called Paver Enhancer. If you use Paver Enhancer than Natural Stone Treatment is not needed because they will both provide moisture retention.


6. On deliveries why can’t you split a load?

Split loads are difficult because truck beds are not compartmentalized. Most customers will ask why you don’t use a tarp or board to split the load. The simple answer is the weight of materials. Many of the materials weigh a half a ton or more so a tarp is not going to hold material back when dumped, and a board will buckle under pressure because it is not heavy enough to withstand the force. Another reason split loads are difficult is because dump trucks have a swinging tailgate. This means the driver cannot control the tailgate as it swings open to dump material.


7. So what are my alternatives for a split load?

Occasionally, we put two items in the truck when a customer does not want to pay for another delivery however it is at their risk. We often load the heaviest material on the tailgate and the lighter material close to the front, however, when the driver lifts the dump he has no control of how fast the material falls. Sometimes this method is good when the quantities are small enough or the material on the gate is very heavy but most of the time it turns out to be a disaster. Paying the extra delivery insures that materials do not get mixed. When you really think about the economics of delivery, isn’t it worth getting an extra delivery since you are already paying for the materials?


8. Do we sell grass?

No, unfortunately Stone & Soil does not sell grass but we are happy to recommend a supplier. Just call your closest store and ask for more information.