• Plant Trees and Shrubs in February - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at
  • Southern California cities average about seven days of rainy weather in February meaning there is still plenty of sunny days to plant trees and shrubs and prepare gardens for spring, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 Southern California communities.

    Plant Trees and Shrubs: Planting trees and shrubs is relatively simple. First, dig a hole twice as wide but just as deep as the tree's root ball. If the soil is mostly clay or compacted, dig a hole three times as big and amend the soil. This will encourage trees roots to spread out. Place the root ball in the hole with the top of the root ball even with the top of the hole. Add soil until the hole is about two-thirds full. Water and then let the soil settle. Add a thick layer of mulch to keep in moisture, but don't let the mulch touch the trunk. Water as needed during periods of no rain.

    Avoiding Staking New Trees: Unless the newly planted tree is in a windy area, do not stake the tree. If you must stake the tree, do so for no more than a year. Movement helps strengthen the trunk and stimulates root growth. A staked tree may grow taller faster, but in general, their root system is less developed and their trunks are weaker.

    Plant Warm-Weather Flowers: Once the danger of frost has passed, plant warm-season flowers such as marigolds, petunias and already-blooming plants such as violas, snapdragons, calendulas and primroses. They provide instant color.

    Select Healthy Plants At The Nursery: Watch for signs up an unhealthy plant before you decide to make your purchase at the local nursery or home center. Otherwise, your garden will not be as successful, despite your best efforts. Wilted or yellow leaves could mean an illness or not enough water. Long stems without much leaf growth are an indication the plant has been in its container too long. While flowers on a plant may look nice in the store, too many blooms mean the plant is devoting too much energy into creating those flowers--and could go into shock once transplanted. Roots poking out of the bottom of the plant are another sign a plant has been in its pot too long and is experiencing stress. Weeds in the pot are not a good sign. It means the plant is sharing the soil nutrients with an unwanted guest.

    Plant California Native Shrubs: Plant California native plants now, many of which are ready to bloom. These include Creeping Sage, varieties of Manzanita, California Morning Glory, Ceanothus Rigidus Snowball, Maritime California Lilac and Wooly Blue Curls.  

    Get A Jump On Weeds: Even during mostly dry winters, weeds will find a way to grow. Remove them by hand or with a hoe before they get too big. Once they go to seed, the time it takes to remove them becomes much greater. Cover your garden with two or three inches of mulch to keep new weeds from growing.

    Water Potted Plants: The winter sun can quickly dry out both indoor and outdoor potted plants. Water outdoor potted plants so the soil remains moist, especially if the weather has been dry for 7 to 10 days. Indoor plants can try out just as quickly, especially if exposed to sunlight or warm air from heaters or fireplaces.

                For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • New Turf in Time for Soccer Season at Ranch Capistrano - Monday, January 16, 2012 at


  • Soccer players from United Futbol Club (UFC) and The Blues Soccer Club have lush new grass to play on this season. The grass on its fields at Ranch Capistrano was upgraded courtesy of Hutchins Agronomic Services with organic soil amendments from Agromin and grass seed and sod from Crop Production Services and West Coast Turf.

                With 40 teams from the UFC and 20 teams from the Blues practicing four days a week, plus high school tournaments, soccer tournaments and league play, the fields are under constant use. "It is mind boggling how much soccer is played on the ranch's six fields. That is why it is so difficult to maintain good field conditions," says Kevin Hutchins, owner of Hutchins Agronomic Services. Hutchins' son plays for UFC. His company specializes in golf course and turf field renovation.   

                Hutchins' company used state-of-the-art equipment to seed the fields including an Amazone seeder and PlanetAir aerifier. His team also sodded areas where there was little or no turf. He then used Agromin's organic lawn dressing to cover the seeds and sod for warmth, to hold in moisture and provide nutrients. Hutchins used 240 yards of Agromin's lawn dressing over the six acres of fields. He also replaced 200 sprinklers. His team worked four, 16-hour days in December to complete the project.

                The reaction from The Ranch Partnership, the nonprofit group that runs the fields and soccer programs, was shock. "They were amazed how fast the grass grew and how great it looks," says Hutchins. The grass is a combination of 75 percent ryegrass and 25 percent red fescue. Over 5,000 pounds of seed and more 3,500 square feet of overseeded "328 Bermuda" sod were applied to the fields.

                Says Kelly Nunn, a UFC girls soccer coach, "This is the best that I have ever seen the fields. They have never looked this fabulous! Thank you Kevin. Thank you for your kindness and hard work."

                For more information about large-scale landscaping, contact Kevin Hutchins at kevinhas@ymail.com.  Hutchins Agronomic Services offers agronomic consulting, soil testing, renovation planning and execution.  . For more on organic lawn care, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Agromin's Tom Kelley to Moderate Program at Annual US Composting Council Conference - Thursday, January 12, 2012 at


  • Tom Kelley, Agromin's vice president of sales and business development, will be moderating a marketing panel at the US Composting Council's 20th Annual Conference & Tradeshow, January 17-20 in Austin, Texas. Kelley will be moderating the January 18 "Achievements and Advances" program.

    Agromin is a Gold Sponsor of the USCC conference. The company is dedicated to supporting the USCC and its state chapter, the Association of Compost Producers (ACP). For more information about the USCC, go to http://compostingcouncil.org/

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  • Agromin Names Tom Kelley Vice President of Sales & Business Development - Friday, January 6, 2012 at
  • Agromin, one of the largest organics management companies in California, has named Tom Kelley as vice president of sales and business development.  

                Kelley has over 27 years in the organics industry, most recently as business development manager for Harvest Power, Inc., a renewable energy and organics management company, where he directed California business development and nationwide product marketing and sales.

                Prior to Harvest Power, Kelley was with Gro-Well Brands as its western region sales director. Before that, he directed sales and marketing for Synagro Composting Company of California Inc., developing programs to market, sell and distribute 550,000 cubic-yards of organic products annually in southern California.

                "Tom's expertise in organics sales and marketing and his years in the organics industry make him an excellent addition to Agromin," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Tom will play an important role in the planning and implementation needed to further establish our brand and presence in California."

                Kelley is currently serving his ninth year on the board of directors for the U.S. Composting Council. To reach him, go to tom@agromin.com.

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