Stone and its Many Uses

Stone products are both effective and versatile for use around the home, with almost endless possibilities. With a wide range of colors and sizes, stone can be used for decorative purposes, or for improving drainage around foundations and garden beds. It requires little maintenance and is easy to lay. Here are a few of the many uses for different stone products:

River Rock: 3/4 inch and round, river rock is tan in color with slight variations and is a decorative stone that is perfect for around a fire pit, or around pool areas. River rock can also be placed in garden beds to discourage weed growth and promote drainage.
Pea Stone: With a smooth finish, pea stone is a perfect product for high-traffic areas like walkways , dog-runs and patios.
Star Pack: Star pack is a combination of 3/4 inch crushed stone and stone dust. Star pack packs solid and is perfect for driveways and on walkways under paver stones.
Crushed Stone: With a variety of different sizes including 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch, crushed stone has a multitude of uses. Crushed stone can be used as a replacement for paving on residential driveways, or for paths. Crushed stone is also a key ingredient for drainage and can be used as a base for filling areas.

With so many uses, and low cost, stone is perfect for projects around the house.

Why Mulch?

The USDA defines mulch as “a protective layer of material that is spread on top of the soil.  They further define it in two categories.  Organic and Inorganic.  Examples of organic mulch are bark chips, straw, or grass clippings.  Examples or inorganic mulch are stone, fabric, or plastic.  Here are some benefits of mulch:

  • protect the soil surface and help stop raindrop erosion
  • feed crops and increase the crop yield
  • add organic matter to the soil
  • protect soil around new plantings
  • smother weeds
  • hold moisture in the soil

In recent years mulch has also assumed a decorative role in our landscapes.  However, it is important to remember the other reasons for it.  Here at Dexter and Harpell, we offer a diverse selection of mulch materials for both decoration and functionality.  Check out our mulch descriptions to learn more!

Source: USDA,

What is loam? What is topsoil? Are they the same? Are they different?

In order to fully answer this question, we must define topsoil. Topsoil is very simply the top layer of the soil profile and can vary greatly depending on the type of vegetation, client, subsoil, and land use.

Now, with the definition of topsoil fresh in our minds we can examine loam. Loam is a subcategory of topsoil. Therefore loam is topsoil, but topsoil is not always loam. It is a mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. A medium loam has a makeup of 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay according to the USDA Textural Triangle below (figure 1). Soil organic matter varies a great deal depending on the soil. In general organic content is less than 10% in naturally occurring soils (and most of the modified ones too). At D&H Loam we normally make additions of compost if the organic content is too low in a soil that we intend to sell. Our regular screened topsoil falls into the sandy loam or loam category and we try to stay as consistent as possible when we look for materials.