F.A.Q

LIVING EARTH – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How much is a yard of mulch, soil, compost, etc.?

Please contact your closest Living Earth Site and they’ll be happy to email you their price sheet or give you specific pricing based on your order.


Is there a minimum order to set up a delivery?

Yes, our minimum for delivery is 4 cubic yards. However, that minimum can be achieved with one or even two different types of product. An example would be 2 cubic yards of soil and 2 cubic yards of mulch, as long as it equates to 4 cubic yards.


How much does delivery cost?

Delivery costs are based on current fuel costs and distance traveled by delivery truck.


Does Living Earth install materials they deliver?

Living Earth is strictly a manufacturing and delivery company and does not install landscape product.


Does Living Earth recommend any specific Landscape Contractors?

Living Earth recommends https://www.landscapetexas.org/ to locate a professional landscaper in your area.


How long has Living Earth been in business?

Living Earth has been in business since 1985, opening its first location in Houston TX. We currently operate 25 locations (outlets) in Texas.


Who can I call if I don’t know what materials to use for my application?

Call your closest Living Earth for assistance. They will be happy to guide you to the best product for your particular application.


What are your hours of operation?
  1. DFW sites are open Mon -Fri 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  2. Houston area locations are open Mon -Fri 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  3. All Living Earth facilities are closed on Sundays.
  4. Please contact your nearest Living Earth if you have any questions.

How many Sites do you have? How do I find the closest to me?

Living Earth currently operates 25 locations in Texas. Type in your address in our store search locator to find your nearest location


How do I calculate the amount of cubic yards that are need for my application?

Use the Coverage Calculator or download our Mobile App. It is always better to order a bit more because soils tend to compact a little after a few waterings. Plus, many gardeners plant extra vegetables or flowers in small raised beds around the landscape, so a little more can make a big impact.


Why don’t you deliver 18-wheeler loads in residential areas?

18-Wheelers typically weigh up to 80,000 lbs and are often considered too heavy for residential streets. The turn radius is very large and typical residential accesses cannot accommodate such a large turn radius without running over curbs, shrubs, etc.


Do you have a smaller residential truck that can access an alley way?

Yes, but there may be limited access caused by overhead wires, tree branches and turning radius. When placing your order, let the office know you need your product delivered via alley way so we can schedule the correct type of truck and discuss delivery parameters to ensure the driver will have safe access to drop off the material.


What makes a product “Organic”?

“If it is related to or derived from living matter.” For example, Living Earth Compost is derived from once living matter such as leaves, grass clippings, discarded plant material, fruit and vegetable discards, sawdust. We manage these materials through the natural process of decomposition, making a finished organic compost that is certified with the U.S. Composting Council.


How do you make colored mulches?

Colored mulch is made through a multi-step process. Living Earth processes tree trimmings, limbs, logs through a grinder using a large screen. The material is processed a second time through the grinder using a smaller 2-inch screen, making smaller wood fibers, or fresh ground mulch. This mulch enters a coloring system, where ultra-concentrated, environmentally safe colorant is mixed with water and applied to the wood fibers. The colored mulch feeds out on a belt and is positioned into bulk piles. Some of the product is transported to our bagging, where it is packaged and sold in 2 cu. ft. bags.


Is colored mulch safe?

The colorants Living Earth uses in our colored mulch products are safe for people, pets and the planet. The results of independent lab studies have placed the colorant used in colored mulch in the lowest and safest toxicity possible (Category 4), which is the same level as sugar, and lower than levels of toxicity in baking soda and salt; although we do not recommend eating colored mulch.


How long will mulch sustain its color?

There are many variables to determine this. The amount of sun and moisture can contribute to mulch losing its vibrancy early. An occasional “fluff” with a leaf rake can extend the color of your mulch. Living Earth recommends adding mulch at least 2x per year to protect your plants and soil, as mulch will naturally decompose over a period of time.


What kind of mulch should I used if on a slope?

Mulch with a longer shred tends to interlock and stay in place better on sloped areas. Hardwood & Cedar Mulches are excellent examples.


Does your mulch float?

While we cannot guarantee that your mulch will not float away, we can guide you to mulches such as Hardwood and Cedar that do tend to stay in place better.


Do I need to fertilize to Living Earth soil blends?

Yes. We definitely recommend a fertilizer regimen. Fertilization is very important to the growth of your plants, flowers or vegetables.


Is Compost a fertilizer?

Not per se, compost cannot be considered a fertilizer. Compost provides organic matter, a broad range of nutrients and active biology – all important elements of a rich, healthy organic soil.


Is your Compost Certified and why is that important?

Our Organic Compost proudly carries the USCC’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA). Which means that we’re regularly required to submit samples to an approved third party lab for tests. The compost must pass a rigorous set of guidelines to receive the STA endorsement. When purchasing any compost, we recommend that you buy only compost with the STA seal as pictured.


What is the white “dust” mold that develops on mulch? Does it present a danger to my plants, pets, or family members?

This is actually the remains of a Slime Mold. Slime Molds are easily identified by their pink, yellow, or orange colors. As they dry up, they leave a white powdery residue. This is actually part of the natural decomposition process and though it can be unsightly, it is not harmful. You can usually fluff the mulch or just remove it altogether if you would like. Note: decomposed mulch can help with water retention of your soils.


What do you use to make a flowerbed?

Living Earth has a selection of soil mixes suitable to build a new flowerbed.

Landscaper’s use Mixed Soil with Compost in the Houston area and Pro-Bedding Mix in DFW. Both these blends combine high-grade compost with some sand or top-soil. These mixes have some weight to them so they can be used to make raised beds. They provide organic material that retains enough moisture and promote adequate drainage.


How deep should a new flowerbed be? What about shrubs?

Most raised beds tend to be at least six inches deep. In many cases the soil is sloped toward the border of the bed. Some raise beds use stone or other material to provide a short wall effect to hold the soil in. Using Living Earth soil mixes will give your plants a good start before their roots reach the soil level below. For larger shrubs, a deeper raise bed will be necessary. You will find that after plants have established and watering the beds that they subside. This is when you add additional soil or mulch.


What can I use to plant Roses, Azaleas and other prized plants?

Living Earth makes a selection of special soil mixes. Our Rose Soil Mix comes in bulk or bags as does Azalea Soil. Both these soil blends are meant as top-shelf soil amendments. Roses like a heavy, yet well-drained mix with plenty of organic content. Azaleas want a slightly acid mix suitable for their fine root systems. In Dallas / Fort Worth Living Earth blends Sphagnum Peat into Azalea Soil. In Houston, Pine Bark is added to both Rose Soil Mix and Azalea Soil.


What do I use for my vegetables?

Living Earth blends several ingredients in our Vegetable Soil. Some manure-based compost is the beginning. To this we add some fine mulch, sand and top soil. In DFW expanded shale is added to insure good drainage. In Houston Microlife fertilizer is added.

Microlife has many nutrients one expects to find in a fertilizer, but there’s a big difference. Microlife comes with inoculants that promote healthy soil biology. Vegetable soil can be used to make a raised bed with timber walls around it. Use about six inches of Vegetable Soil when building these beds. Vegetable Soil can also be incorporated into existing vegetable beds to boost the existing soil.


I’m planting some expensive plants. What about me?

In Dallas/Fort Worth, Living Earth Specialty Planting Mix is designed for the elite gardener who wants prized plants to thrive. Green Sand and Expanded Shale are found in this mix. In Houston it’s Living Earth Ultra-Soil with Microlife fertilizer. Both these blends start with top grade compost. Other organic material and some sand and top soil are added.


Why Use Mulch?

Mulch provides numerous benefits to landscape both from a visual and ecological standpoint. Mulching conserves water by reducing evaporation from soil simply because the mulch layer keeps moisture from escaping. Proper use of mulch prevents erosion of underlying soil. Finer textured, shredded Mulch binds together and stays in place through even severe rain events.

Mulch moderates soil temperature by insulating the planting area because it stays moist longer; the soil generally stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Mulch provides a weed barrier. The coarse nature of Mulch acts as a weed barrier by preventing weed seed from growing.

Decomposition of Mulch adds beneficial organic matter to the planting bed. Microbes flourish in rich, organic soil, which promotes healthy plants.

And finally, Mulch adds a beautiful, “finished” look to planting beds.


What kind of Mulch should I use?

A finer textured Mulch such as Living Earth Fine Shredded Hardwood Mulch would be a good choice in areas where smaller plants are placed.

There will be areas where coarser grades of Mulch would be better; for example, around trees and under large shrubs. Regular Hardwood Mulch and Living Earth Houston Mulch ™ are good choices for these areas. Apply Mulch evenly around the base of the tree, avoiding the trunk itself.

There are areas where one might use Mulch by itself as a ground cover to prevent erosion and weeds. In these areas Cedar Mulch and Pine Bark Nuggets can be used.


How much Mulch should I use?

Mulch is usually applied at the depth of three inches. For smaller plants less is advisable. Sometimes Mulch is used in areas where there is foot traffic. Here it may be applied even deeper than three inches.


Are Biosolids used in any of Living Earth’s materials?

Absolutely not. The term “biosolids” is just a marketing term for sewage sludge, which is the remainder of all things flushed down our sewers, to include human waste, chemicals, drugs, cleaners, etc.


Where can I dump brush or tree limbs?

At most of our locations. Just input your address in our store locator and you’ll be directed to the closest facility’s homepage. It will identify those Sites that accept brush. If you don’t want to do that, just give us a call and we’ll direct you to the closest facility.


Does Living Earth work with Municipalities?

Yes. You can contact Lora Hinchcliff at lhinchcliff@letcogroup.com