Monthly Archives: June 2021

Conserve Water by Improving Your Soil Quality

Garden Soil vs. Potting Soil

It’s hot in Utah, and very dry right now. You’ve probably heard our news stories about lakes and reservoirs already sitting at alarmingly low levels. Pineview Reservoir is currently registering 18 feet below normal for this time of year, and Lake Powell is hitting historic lows. KSL News interviewed Riley Olsen with Weber Basin who says: “We had a quite bad snowpack, it wasn’t historic lows, but it definitely wasn’t good.” Because of the poor snowpack, soil moisture levels are not good either. Olsen explains that “when that snow’s melting, it’s just going straight into the ground. Not much of the melt is making it to the reservoirs.” Olsen’s advice for Utahns is “do everything can to conserve every drop.”

Utah has promoted wise watering for years, but are you doing your part to slow the flow and save H2O? Long, deep watering cycles (not daily) are better for your plants and lawn and our waterways. Also, try to water before 10am so roots can absorb the water before the hot sun peaks. If you’re already doing this, what else can you do? Well, that’s where we come in. The right soil and some good mulch can make a world of difference.

Boost Soil and Use Mulch

High quality soil is imperative to water conservation. You don’t want irrigation water and what little rain we get to run off and not be absorbed into the places you want. Quality soil allows for this absorption, going deep into the ground where the roots are taking hold. Deeper roots mean healthier plants and less watering. Reducing soil erosion and lessening the need for pesticides and fertilizer are also benefits to using a rich, quality soil. Incorporate organic compost with a premium blend of products, such as alfalfa, grain by-products, straw, and compressed steer manure to boost poor quality native soils and promote better water retention by loosening compacted soils.

Another great water-wise landscaping technique is the proper use of mulch. Organic mulch aids in the reduction of evaporation around your flowers and plants. Boost this with a drip system and you’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing you’re maximizing efforts to conserve in our desert community. Not only is mulch a beautiful topper, but when you apply 3 to 4 inches in your beds or gardens, it will help keep out weeds and retain moisture for those thirsty plants.

Some other quick tips to being water wise are to fix any leaks you see quickly, stay on top of weeding so water doesn’t go to unnecessary plants, adjust your mower to a higher setting to shade your grass and promote a deeper root system, and even wash your dog outside and close to flowers or an area that’s dry in your lawn—your dog will love the cool water during the summer, too.

Being water wise doesn’t mean you need to xeriscape your entire yard. With a few smart switches, you can have a beautiful, green, water wise yard all summer long. At The Dirt Bag, we sell the highest quality soil prep, organic composts, and mulch options to maximize your conservation efforts.

Your Yard Rocks!

Landscape rock delivery in Salt Lake City

You don’t want a “rocky” summer, but you may want a “rocky” yard! Opting for landscape rocks is a great choice when designing or updating your property whether you want to simply conserve water, create pathways, or make a décor statement with beautiful, colorful boulders. Rocks can look stunning on their own account, but contrasting rocks with softer features like smooth, green grass and beautiful plants and shrubs is very eye catching, adding to your home’s curb appeal. Everyone recognizes a purposeful yard with clear, caring attention to the details.

Xeriscaping has become very popular in Utah, and our diverse rock options can create an appealing yard that stands out above the rest. The idea of xeriscaping can sound harsh and “cold” looking, and many people think it’s all just a boring, solid carpet of rocks. With the right vision and materials, this is far from the truth. Xeriscaping can be beautiful, serene, and inviting. Pair our delivered-to-your-door rocks with lovely, Utah-native plants that don’t require added water to create a fantastic, environmentally friendly setting. This look is gorgeous whether you have a large, full-acre yard or a small square in a townhome community. Ornamental grasses are popular options to add in xeriscaping plans and are beneficial to helpful insects and wildlife. Amending your soil before planting perennials is important, so be sure to ask one of our specialists for advice.

Rock and Roll or Zen Master?

For many, summer is the time for BBQs and pool parties. We only have a few months to really enjoy entertaining outside, so make the most of it by creating a great space for gatherings. Using rocks around a patio or pool area is not just functional, but also fun and attractive. Creating ponds or water features with rocks creates an added element of style to your home.

Are you more into Zen than rock and roll? Create your own Zen garden with rocks, or ishi in Japanese, for all the calm and peacefulness you crave. Rocks may symbolize strength and power, which is why they’re often used in Zen gardens. And don’t forget the large stone at the entry as a sign of welcome. If you have ample space, a small bridge can be created out of flat stones to symbolize the journey from whatever your “here” is to whatever your “there” may be. Want a little bit of both worlds? That’s absolutely doable by dividing up your space to whatever suits your needs. Our experts love new projects and ideas and are always at the ready with tips and advice.

The space you want is waiting for you and The Dirt Bag can help you create it. Creating the right focal points in your yard takes some time and vision, but with the right advice, materials, and work, you can get what you’re looking for. Visit us today for all your landscaping essentials from organic high-quality soil to unique, eye-catching cobblestone.

Avoid Fruit Flies in Your Compost

Avoid Fruit Flies in Compost

The season of fruit flies and gnats is behind us, but if you really struggled with an infestation in the autumn you might already be looking ahead to avoiding them in 2021. Composting your own kitchen scraps can be a great way to reduce waste and costs associated with actually buying compost. But is it worth it? It might not be if a fruit fly infestation tops your list of frustrations.

There are certainly steps you can take to reduce fruit flies. For starters, reduce your waste volume. Limit the food scraps in your kitchen caddy to just one or two days. The fewer days you have, the fewer flies you’ll have. You can also freeze your scraps if you have the space. Composting in the freezer is possible, though it of course drastically slows down the actual decomposition. On the other hand, colder temperatures naturally kill fruit fly eggs.

Clean Your Compost

Layering your compost can also help. You can put a used paper towel or a brown paper bag in between your compost layers. This helps to soak up moisture while also minimizing stink. Food tends to rot slower, though, when there is no liquid. One of the best ways to minimize fruit flies is to simply ditch the kitchen composting and take your scraps immediately outside. You can wrap food up in newspapers or paper towels, or simply dump them in your compost waste bin. Compostable bags can help to keep those bins clean—and sealed.

Make sure you rinse and clean bins regularly with warm water and soap in between collections. Ultimately, a lot of people realize that dealing with infestations and waiting months for composting to happen isn’t worth it. Plus, you will probably have to do some work with your composting to make it useable for your garden. It’s unlikely that your kitchen compost will be perfect without any additions or modifications. Purchasing compost that is rendered ideal for your gardening needs ends up being easier, faster, and a lot less frustrating for many gardeners.

Tips for Fly Control

Even if you’re not composting in the kitchen, you can still struggle with fruit flies. Fortunately, there are some very quick ways to keep them under control that will probably require no purchases. Simply fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and poke a few holes in it with a fork. This combination will draw the fruit flies into it and help decrease the number of flies in your home.

Of course, if you do want to compost your scraps, we’re here to help! We have everything you need to render at-home composting to make it a fantastic addition to your garden. We’re committed to staying green in all kinds of ways, and that includes reducing waste and reusing it. Call The Dirt Bag for tips on composting or to get help choosing ready-to-go compost for your garden.