• Agromin Soils Products on Display at E. A. Lyke & Son Landscape & Pool Design Center
    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at

  • Here's a chance to see, smell and feel a variety of Agromin mulches and barks--at the newly opened E. A. Lyke & Son Landscape & Pool Design Center in Ventura. The 2,000 square foot retail outlet is operated by Eric Lyke, a construction and landscape professional with more than 10 years in the business. The company has always used Agromin products when creating backyard landscapes for its customers. "Agromin products are great," says Erick. "I've never had a complaint in more than 10 years."

    Eric asked Agromin to create a display featuring its soil products so customers have the ability to see and touch the soil products used for their landscaping project. That's in keeping with the concept of the center where it's very much a hands-on experience. An barbeque work area, water feature and dozens of hardscape materials are on display.

    E. A. Lyke & Son is at 1413 Victoria Ave. # A, in Ventura. The phone number is 805-672-0192.

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  • Agromin Co-Sponsors Green School Award With City of Ventura
    Sunday, November 23, 2008 at

  • For the second year, Agromin co-sponsored the City of Ventura's Green School Award for achievement in environmental excellence. This year's winner is Saticoy Elementary School. Ventura Mayor Christy Weir and Agromin's CEO Bill Camarillo presented the award and $500 cash prize to the school at a November 14 school assembly. The school was again honored on November 17 at a Ventura City Council meeting.

    Saticoy was one of 12 school entries. It was selected because of its continuing green efforts. Saticoy Elementary School students, parents, faculty and staff, with the support of school principal James Sather, implement an ongoing campus-wide conservation, recycling and waste reduction program.

    Under the guidance of fifth grade teacher Debi Tygell and other faculty members, students collect scrap food after lunch and put the materials in composting bins. A "green team" makes sure anything that can be recycled from lunch including plastics is put into recycling bins. The school recently introduced a valet team, with members escorting younger students in the morning from their parents' cars to their classrooms. This effort eliminates green house gas emissions by reducing morning traffic congestion around the school.

    Some Saticoy students developed a game show, skits and public service announcements (PSAs) on the value of recycling. The PSAs are currently airing on the local cable station. Students also plant trees and maintain a school garden with Agromin supplying the mulch for these projects.

    In addition to Saticoy Elementary, Lincoln, Pierpont and E.P. Foster schools were named award finalists for their green efforts.

    "Agromin is pleased to partner with the City of Ventura for the Green School Award," says Agromin's Bill Camarillo. "When children are taught early about the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment, it becomes a life-long way of doing things. We're finding kids are more conscious of the need to recycle than most adults."

    Agromin is the green materials recycler for 19 cities in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Every year, the company collects over 260,000 tons of green material (leaves, grass clippings and wood). It then cleans, processes and composts the material into soil products. The products are returned to the earth when used by farmers, landscapers and consumers--thus closing the "recycling loop."

    Agromin compost is listed by the non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) so it is used in certified organic production or food processing in accordance to the USDA National Organic Program standards. Agromin soil products are also approved for by the U.S. Composting Council (USCC). The certification means Agromin has met the USCC standards for compost content and its soil products are clean and safe. Agromin products are sold in bulk and in bags at locations in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Products are also available online at www.agromin.com.

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  • How to Select a Christmas Tree
    Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at

  • 1) Check the delivery date
    Most pre-cut Christmas trees were cut several weeks before arriving on the lot. Ask the lot attendant when the trees were cut and delivered. Buy your tree early in the season for the best selection.

    2) "Drop test" for freshness
    To test for freshness, lift the tree a couple of inches off the ground and drop it on its trunk. If it's fresh, green needles should not shed.

    3) Pull on branches
    Another easy way to test for freshness is to hold a tree branch and lightly run your hand outwards. Very few needs should come off if the tree is fresh.

    4) Check the tree trunk
    Check the trunk for straightness. Securing a tree in a stand can be a challenge if the trunk is crooked. You also want to make sure that limbs can be removed without hurting the tree's shape.

    5) Inspect the Christmas tree for insects
    Check your Christmas tree thoroughly for egg masses, insects and other pests.

    6) Be mindful of where you set up your Christmas tree
    Avoid placing your tree near like fireplaces, air ducts, radiators and other heat sources. The ideal height for a Christmas tree is at least four feet below the ceiling height.

    Remember to recycle your Christmas tree after you have enjoyed it and use the mulch created from it throughout your garden.

    Christmas trees are sustainable products. Agromin, the green materials recycler from Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and portions of Los Angeles County, takes thousands of post-Christmas trees and transforms them into mulch and soil products at its green waste recycling facilities. The finished mulch products are used by local agricultural operations, consumers and landscapers--thus completing the sustainability loop .

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  • November Gardening Tips for Southern California
    Monday, November 3, 2008 at
  • Winter gardens have a beauty all their own and November is the time to plant hearty cool season flowers, trees and vegetables, say experts at Agromin, a Camarillo-based manufacturer of premium soil products.

    Certain Flowers Thrive in Cool Weather: Plant fall annuals such as pansies, violas, primrose and calendula so they will be in full fall and winter bloom. Perennials including nemesia, godetia and schizanthus are also good choices for a richly varied fall and winter flower garden.

    Keep Lawns Healthy: Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is looking "tired," sow in annual rye seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water thoroughly.

    Plant Trees Now: Fall is the ideal time to plant trees. Our fall climate, with cool nights, mild days and moderate rainfall, gives trees a strong beginning that will serve them well when growing season begins in spring. Just about every tree type can benefit when planted in fall. The key to success is to select a planting location that is best suited for the tree type. Take into account the tree's rate of growth, root configuration, leaf type (evergreen or deciduous), tree shape and ultimate height at maturity. Make sure the site you select has enough sun. Other issues: is the selected location on a slope where watering may be difficult? Is it near a walkway or patio where in a few years roots may cause a problem? Will the tree at maturity be too big for the site? Better to answer these questions now or you may find yourself trying to extract a tree and its roots when it outgrows its location.

    Winter Vegetable Garden: You can enjoy fresh vegetables even during winter months by planting cool-season vegetables including beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, turnips and rutabaga. Plant fall herbs including oregano, garlic, rosemary and thyme.

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

    About Agromin:

    Agromin manufactures premium soil products for the agriculture and horticulture trades and for consumer use. For more than 30 years, Agromin has provided quality soil amendments and products to some of California's largest vegetable, citrus, avocado and strawberry growers. Agromin is also the green waste recycler for 19 cities in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Each month, Agromin receives and processes hundreds of thousands of tons of urban wood and green waste. Agromin then uses a safe, organic and scientific system to formulate its soil products from the processed recycled green waste. The result is more vigorous and healthier plants and gardens, and on the conservation side, more room in landfills and less greenhouse gas emissions.

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