Dedication: It’s What Gets Us All Paid!

We know how time sensitive stabilization can be when approaching the end of a project.  It is critically important to get your seed down and achieve germination before the November cut off.  Once a site is stabilized, converting the silt catch basins into functioning bioretention basins is the last key deliverable for dedication.

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Having an experienced soil partner that understands the needs of your project is the key to achieving fast and successful slope stabilization and basin conversions.  Laurel Valley is a unique soil producer, as not only do we have a state of the art manufacturing facility, we have an experienced team who understands the chemistry and science of soils so we can make the quality compost and engineered soils that your projects require.

We have been in business since long before “bioretention Soil” was even a product; making compost for more than forty years and blending soil products for nearly twenty.  Specializing in PennDOT, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Philadelphia Water Department specifications is just some of what we do.

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We take the science of soil seriously and we work closely with landscape architects, soil engineers, universities and soil testing laboratories.  Soil specifications and the soil submittal process have become very complicated.  Our in-depth understanding of soil blending and soil specifications allow us to provide accurate and competitive pricing up front.  Don’t allow yourself to get to the end of the project only to find out that you have budgeted for the wrong soil blend or have your soil submittal rejected.

You can have confidence in knowing that we provide the whole package from inventorying the highest quality ingredients with large volume production capacity to providing guidance through the bid process and delivering testing and submittals.  Consider Laurel Valley not only your go to manufacture but your trusted advisor.  Your success is our success.

Laurel Valley Soils Dirt Shed

Project Location:  Christiana Fashion Center, Christiana, DE

Bioretention Basin:  3225 cu yds DENREC B-14 Bio-Soil:  60% Sand, 10% STA Compost, 30% Mulch

Christiana Fashion Center

As part of a new outdoor retail shopping center, a stormwater management plan adhering to local BMP’s was developed.  Several bioretention basins were strategically placed throughout the property to capture stormwater runoff from the buildings and paved areas.

Christiana Fashion Center After

Project:  Aerzen USA, LEED-Certified Facility, Coatesville, PA

Rain Gardens:  200 cu yds of Rain Garden Soil:  50% sand, 25% compost, 25% native soil

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Aerzen USA’s recent headquarters expansion was designed with environmental responsibility in mind.  The goal of this project was to double the office space, and add 30% more manufacturing area while including as many green building practices as possible.  In addition to the rain gardens, Aerzen incorporated solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and a garden which produces 250 lbs of vegetables per year that are donated to local food banks.

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Project Location:  Applecross, Downingtown, PA

Bioretention Basin:  800 cu yds of Bioretention Soil:  40% sand, 30% compost, 30% native soil

A Bioretention Basin was installed to manage stormwater runoff within this golf course and housing community.

Applecross

Project Location:  Wegman’s, Glen Mills, PA

Bioretention Basin:  1518 cu yds Bioretention Soil:  35% STA compost, 20% sand, 45% native soil

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Project Location:  Pennsylvania Turnpike, Northbound Shoulder, South of Exit 105

Shoulder Stabilization:  Enriched Topsoil

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Laurel Valley Soils Enriched Topsoil was installed for road shoulder stabilization as part of a new interchange project on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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Have questions?  Want to see how we can help YOU?  Contact us!  Jake@LVSoils.com.  610-268-5555.

What Business-Boosting Super Power Would You Choose?

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Would you wish for improved moisture holding capacity in your soil, so your plants would have increased drought tolerance and stay vibrant all summer?  Would you want to lighten up your heavy clay soils, improving percolation and reducing compaction, or would you want organic slow release nutrients that can steadily feed your plants all season long?

It would be hard to choose, right?  Because each of your projects may have different requirements and specifications, how would you ever be able to pick just one super power?

The good news is that you don’t have to pick just one!  You can actually get all these powers and more by simply incorporating Laurel Valley Soils OMRI Listed Premium COMPOST into your landscapes!

Organic matter has been Mother Nature’s go-to Super Power since 2320 BC.  We challenge you to think about how compost can super-charge not only your customers’ landscape installations, but your business!  Check out the infographic below to see how incorporating compost into your projects can get RESULTS, and elevate YOUR Company above the rest!

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Call us today!   We have your OMRI Listed, STA Certified, Super-Powered Premium Compost that is screened, dry, and ready for action!  610-268-5555.

The 12 Days of Compost

ICYMI, Here is An Encore Presentation of Your Favorite Laurel Valley Soils Team Members Presenting The 12 Days of Compost!

 

And no video is complete without its Bloopers!  Check out The 12 Days of Bloopers here!

Sports Turf: It’s All About Recovery

Whether you are a Golf Superintendent, Sports Field Manager, or Homeowner with a passion for a beautiful lawn, topdressing with Laurel Valley Soils STA-Certified Premium Compost may well be the solution to getting the turf you dream of.

Cool season grasses, which are typically grown from Delaware northward, benefit tremendously from a dose of compost every fall or spring, often in combination with aerating.  Adding organic matter-rich compost provides a myriad of benefits, as shown in the video below.

 

Have questions?  Call us!  866-LVSoils

DRY Laurel Valley Soils and Compost: Like It Never Even Rained!

May 2016 Was the 10th Rainiest May Since 1900.

But it didn’t stop our customers, because no matter how WET it was yesterday, we will deliver DRY topsoil and compost today!

Laurel Valley Soils 15,000 Cu Yd covered Dirt Shed

Laurel Valley Soils Enriched Topsoil is ALWAYS dry!

With 15,000 cu yd of covered topsoil storage and 30,000 sq ft of production capacity for blending custom engineered soils used for bioretention basins, rain gardens, green roofs and general stormwater management, we definitely have you covered!!!  As soon as you are able to get back out on the job site, we have dry soil and compost ready and waiting to be delivered to your location.  No more dealing with wet product, or delaying work while waiting for it to dry out.

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Our Enriched Topsoil contains our nutrient-rich Premium Compost, which provides the following benefits:

  • Improves soil structure
  • Adds organic nutrients
  • Stabilizes pH
  • Improves disease resistance
  • Supplies beneficial microorganisms, bacteria and fungi
  • Increases soil’s cation exchange capacity, helping the plant to absorb more nutrients from the soil

Want to learn more about ways customers have used Laurel Valley Soils?  Check out our blog post  “Jake and Suzanne Go Site Seeing in Philly

 

 

Cool Facts for National Learn About Composting Day!

 

friendship, summer vacation, freedom, happiness and people concept - group of happy female friends dancing and jumping on beach

So to help you celebrate, and to provide great Memorial Day Party Conversation Topics, Here are 5 Awesome “CLICKS ABOUT COMPOST”!

  1. How does COMPOST help SOIL?
  2. How does COMPOST give your neighbors LAWN ENVY???
  3. Composting 101—a Five Minute Overview
  4. Healthier Plants, Less Watering, Less Disease??? Tell Me More!!!
  5. I want some compost! Where can I get it???

And we wish you a very happy and safe Memorial Day, too!

Just think–with all your party scraps, it may be the perfect time to start your compost pile!

Want LAWN ENVY??? Apply STA-Certified Compost!!

Do you know how the best looking lawns in the neighborhood get that way?

According to Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World, it always begins with a generous topdressing of STA Certified Compost!  It’s the most readily available, economical, and stabilized form of organic matter on the market today.

Joe Lamp’l discusses how to topdress your lawn with compost in the video here:

 

 

Why Choose Laurel Valley Compost?

Like Top Chefs, We Know That Quality Ingredients, Blended Perfectly,

Create MASTERPIECES!

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Compost can be derived from many different types of materials, including yard trimmings, food scraps, leaves, manure, and post-harvest mushroom compost.  In the previous two blogs, we discussed why you should use compost, and why you should use STA Certified Compost.  Here, we are going to explain the benefits of using post-harvest mushroom compost from Laurel Valley Soils.

Many types of compost are made using whatever unused products are available at that time, sort of like when your Mom would make soup from all the leftovers at Thanksgiving.  Creating Laurel Valley Soils Compost is more like baking your Great Grandmother’s famous, award-winning upside-down carrot, macadamia and bourbon cake.  It requires using only the finest ingredients and carefully following the recipe, as there are high expectations on the line!

Because our compost is initially created to grow fresh mushrooms, we follow a strict formula containing only the highest quality, purchased and inspected ingredients including hay, straw, recycled horse bedding, cocoa shells, poultry litter, corn cobs, and gypsum.  After the crop of mushrooms is complete, we take back the post-harvest mushroom compost, let it compost down some more, and then upcycle it as premium compost or repurpose it to create enriched topsoil.

So why should YOU specifically select Laurel Valley Compost? What separates LVS from the crowd?

  • STA Certified: which means it meets the quality and consistency requirements of the US Composting Council
  • PA Certified Organic
  • Stored indoors.
  • Screened and Dry
  • Consistent recipe = consistent reliable performance
  • DNREC and PennDOT Approved
  • Punctual delivery for wholesale clients
  • Widely distributed through garden centers for homeowners

At Laurel Valley Soils, we specialize in providing the exact product you need, including creating custom engineered soil blends.  Whether you are looking for straight compost, compost-enriched topsoil, or blends for bio-retention basins, rain gardens or any other need, we have the skill, expertise and experience to meet all your project requirements.

STA Certified Compost–The Cream of the Crop!

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Good Housekeeping, Energy Star, United Laboratories, USDA Organic.  These icons invoke a comfort level; a feeling of trust, safety and quality endowed on the products that carry these coveted seals of approval.

For compost, the United States Composting Council is the governing body which sets the standards for this product.  Like the certifications listed above, the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) assures you that the compost products you are purchasing meet all the quality requirements set forth by the USCC by independently testing products on a regularly scheduled basis.

So how does the STA Program work?

  • STA Certified compost products are tested on a regular schedule, which assures the production of consistently high quality products.
  • Test results are completed independently by appointed accredited laboratories, and available upon request from, the US Composting Council and the manufacturer, for your peace of mind knowing exactly what you are buying.
  • STA products meet or exceed all related product quality and testing requirements prescribed by state and/or federal regulations, assuring you purchase a safe, eco-friendly product.

Because compost can be created from many different types of feedstocks, and with some manufacturers the components can vary dramatically from one batch to another, it is important to purchase compost that has been STA Certified.  You want to make sure that your soil receives a safe, healthy and nutritional amendment.

Here is where you can purchase STA Certified compost at an Eastern PA/NJ/DE metro region garden center near you, or ask your lawn care provider to apply Laurel Valley Soils Compost and Compost-Enriched Topsoil.  If you are a business interested in purchasing our products wholesale, please contact us at 866-LV-SOILS.

 

The Secret Behind Pinterest-Worthy Gardens

Smiling blond woman in the vegetable garden.

Think Gardens Like This Only Exist on Pinterest???

Not So! The simple, not so secret, secret ingredient behind robust gardens is COMPOST!

And don’t worry—if you don’t make your own compost, you can buy Premium STA Certified Compost at your local Garden Center.

Adding compost to soil provides the following benefits:

  • Increases the organic matter content of your soil
  • Improves soil structure allowing for both better percolation and moisture retention.
  • Adds organic nutrients
  • Stabilizes pH
  • Improves disease resistance
  • Supplies beneficial microorganisms, bacteria and fungi
  • Increases soil’s cation exchange capacity, helping the plant to absorb more nutrients from the soil

As a reminder to apply compost to improve the health of soil and the plants it grows, The US Composting Council has developed the “Strive for 5” Campaign.

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Most native soils contain between 1-3% organic matter, which is too low to grow!

Increasing SOM (Soil Organic Matter) to 5% or higher provides the benefits outlined above, and creates the ideal conditions to grow beautiful and healthy lawns, turf, flowers and vegetables.  And to top it off—applying just 2” of compost in lieu of the traditional 6” of topsoil can reduce project material cost by up to 2/3!  Now you know why it is referred to as “Black Gold”.

To celebrate the beginning of International Compost Awareness Week, (ICAW), here is a cool video featuring Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World, discussing the benefits of using compost in your yard.

Need Help?  Have questions?  Have photos of you compost projects?  Contact Us!

We’re Taking Compost to New Heights–95 ft Above Chestnut Street!

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Cira Green, Philadelphia’s first elevated public park and first blue-green roof, is a 1.25 acre park located on top of Cira Centre South in University City, which sits ninety-five feet above street level!  The oasis was built on a parking garage roof which overlooks Center City, University City and the Schuylkill River, and is an integral element in developing the Schuylkill River Greenway. The roof is both “blue” and “green,” with the blue roof  located under the paved walking areas to provide storm water management by capturing rain water which is then directed to irrigate the planted “green roof” areas.

Laurel Valley Soils was founded in 1979 by a handful of the nation’s leading mushroom growers who had the foresight before “sustainability” was a hot keyword to realize the opportunities available for upcycling their abundant, high organic matter, post-harvest mushroom compost. “Mushroom farmers from around the world visit our 120 acre facility located in the Mushroom Capital of the World to learn how to emulate our state-of-the-art practices.  We feel great pride to be leaders not only in mushroom compost production but environmental stewardship” notes our own Joseph DiNorscia, Manager of Laurel Valley Soils.

450 cubic yards of our “black gold” was blended into the growing media provided by rooflite® and used for Cira Green’s various green roofs as well as lawn areas and planters containing trees and perennials.

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When selecting a location to kick off the nationally-focused 2016 International Compost Awareness Week being held May 1-7, 2016 and features the theme: Compost – The Soil and Water Connection,  the “blue” & “green” Cira Centre South was the perfect choice.  Events, including tours and education highlighting the benefits of incorporating compost into the engineered soils required for green roof projects are scheduled nationwide throughout the week.

DiNorscia, in conjunction with The US Composting Council (USCC), The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and other notable industry leaders are kicking off the celebration on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 1:30pm at Cira Green with a summary of how this project was constructed and the role of compost in its success.

As a visitor to Cira Green, it’s hard to imagine that this complete aerial ecosystem is man-made and was previously a parking garage roof.  But one thing is for sure – with the warm weather upon us, it is proving to be a popular and dynamic green space in the city for all to enjoy!

Want to attend the ICAW Kickoff Event at Cira Green on Tuesday, May 3, 2016?  Contact me!  We would love to see you there!

Suzanne Longacre

Suzanne@LaurelValleySoils.com

866-LV-SOILS

 

 

At the Radnor Hunt Races, We’re Focusing On What You Can’t See!

So here we are—publishing our FIRST BLOG!  I am Suzanne Longacre, Marketing Champion for Laurel Valley Soils. I am extremely lucky to be able to utilize my passion for marketing and writing every day here at Laurel Valley Soils, and it is my goal to create interesting and useful blogs to help you grow awesome plants, grass and businesses.

I have thought A LOT about what topic is most deserving of our inaugural post. Should we provide an overview of the Laurel Valley Story, or discuss the many advantages of using compost to increase soil’s organic matter? Or do we feature a case study about one of our awesome customers who are doing remarkable things for their soil and their communities? But as I over-pondered this, and as life often works, the perfect topic literally fell into my inbox.

Wait for it…wait for it…

Radnor Top Dresser

Now at first glance, I am SURE you are thinking— WOW— that is one beautiful pile of compost!

And thank you for that—we appreciate it—but the beauty of our “black gold” is not the focus here.

See, this rich, gorgeous compost is being applied to the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase race track for its Annual Event on May 21, and there are extremely high expectations as this course consistently rates a 10 out of 10 from the National Steeplechase Association, and there is $185,000 prize money on the line.

Steeplechase tracks are judged on performance, as the safety of the horses and riders is of utmost importance. For the best traction, the track must have just the right balance of firmness, (not too hard and not too soft), and requires deep rooted turf to prevent both slippery surfaces and divoting. The grass must also be resilient enough to withstand the continual beating and wear caused by the 6 races that take place throughout the day.

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Photo Credit Jim Graham

Charlie Fitzgerald of Grass Management, Inc. has been managing this track for over two decades. Every year, five to eight weeks prior to the race, he aerates the soil and top dresses with Laurel Valley Compost to provide organic matter, nutrients and beneficial microbiology. These components help to make the turf more disease resistant while reducing compaction, improving drainage, and encouraging deep root growth. Deep roots allow for better absorption of water and nutrients, while holding the turf in place during the brutal hammering it gets from the horses’ hooves.

Grass Management Inc. Applying Laurel Valley Soils Compost to Radnor Hunt Races Track 2016

So this is why Charlie’s story was the first one we wanted to tell. Many times, turf amendments are applied for the end result of making turf grass look beautiful. But here, the focus is actually on what you can’t see. It’s all about the healthy soil and turf relationship that ensures the prize winning horses and their riders are protected on the big day. The fact that the track looks beautiful is a bonus!

Going to the Radnor Hunt Steeplechase? Bring your #CompostCam and post your pics to our Facebook page! We would love to see them!