HoursMon-Fri: 8:30-4:00pm | Sat: 8:30-2:00pm   |   Sun: Closed   | Open weather permitting


Kinney Nursery and Topsoil has got your back when it comes to information you need. Here below is a bunch of questions and answers to your most popular questions. You can review our BLOGS for all our growing tips and advice, and feel free to call us with questions! (530) 839-2196

Q) Do you deliver soil and how much does it cost
A) Small delivery 1-10 yards depends on material some materials are heavier $95/hour round trip from our location
Large Deliver 10-40 yards depends on materials some materials are heavier $140/hour round trip

Q) How much material (soil, bark, compost etc.) will I need for my yard
A) Measure your area l X W X D and go to our online calculator or measure up your yard and call or text us and we will help you figure it out.

Q) I’m topdressing my lawn how much should I apply, and what material do you recommend?
A) You want to apply about 1-2” (take L X W X D) and enter into the project calculator over the entire lawn, roll with weighted roller, seed over top and water. We recommend the Barnyard blend to top dress lawns, it is easy to work with, and chalked full of nutrients that will help aerate heavy soils and provide a extra pep to your soils.

Q) What soil do you recommend for new garden beds, and raised Beds?
A) For new garden beds we recommend the Nor Cal Thunder as an awesome all-around garden soil. If you have water sensitive crops you might try the Gardeners Delight.

Q) Do you carry Soil
A) Yes! We have many blends to meet all your soil need.

Q) Is your soil Organic
A) Our soil is not organic certified; however, it is all natural and we don’t add anything that isn’tof the highest quality and purity.

Q) I am planting acid loving plants which soil blend do you recommend?
A) The Gardeners delight with a little extra Mendo peat (link to product) added to lower the ph.

Q) Do you offer landscaping services? Tree Planting, lawn maintenance landscape design etc.
A) No, we don’t but we might be able to help find the right person for the job.

Q) I have heavy clay soil what amendment do you recommend?
A) For heavy soils we recommend Barnyard Blend, or Garden Humus If it is extremely heavy soil, we recommend the Nor Cal Thunder the pumice helps break up the clay and stays in soil for years increasing air space. To loosen soils further you can also apply granular Humic acid 2-3 times a year 10-15 lbs. per 1000 square feet.

Q) I am transplanting some trees and shrubs what amendment you recommend.
A) The NorCal Thunder, Barnyard Blend, or Garden humus.

Q) My plants are not struggling and not growing as fast as they should? How do I make them grow faster.
A) If you didn’t mix any amendment when native soil when transplanting, we recommend top dressing with Barnyard Blend. If the plants are in a landscape and have bark or weed cloth pull that away and add ¼-1 cup per plant of KNTS 5-5-5 or KNTS Bloom Instigator, also add ¼-1 cup of humic acid every 2-3 months in the drip line of the plant. (Blue Flamingo has a great definition for drip line)


What Is It and Why Is This Ingredient Important?

Alfalfa Meal/Ground Alfalfa
Derived from dried, fermentented alfalfa plant seeds, alfalfa meal/ground alfalfa has a sawdust-like consistency and a light, earthy scent.

– Decomposes quickly to allow the plant quick access to the nutrients
– Improves water retention
– Provides nitrogen, vitamins, merials, amino acids, and a growth hormone (trianconatol) to encourage growth and bloom

Basalt Rock
Basalt rock is a type of volcanic rock dust derived from basalt, which is cooled and hardened lava. It contains a variety of minerals and micronutrients.

– Won’t burn plant roots
– No heavy metal contaminants
– Lends minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, silicon, cobalt, zinc, boron, and aluminum to the soil
– Environmentally friendly (usually derived as a by-product from basalt mining)
– Slow release of nutrients
– Helps improve soil function
– Improves root system
– Boosts plant yield”

Beneficial Bacteria
Beneficial bacteria is simply microbes benefitting the soil system. There are generally four different types of beneficial bacteria, each with different roles.

– Decompose plant and organic material to ensure nutrient intake
– Some bacteria can help cycle nutrients water and ensure nitrogren intake
– Some can produce growth factors for plant health “

Beneficial Biology
Sometimes called biological fertilizer, or biofertilizer, beneficial biology is essentially living microorganisms.

– Breaks down or converts organic material (often supplied through additional programs like a compost tea regimen) to useful nutrient forms
– Helps resist disease and extreme teamperatures
– Improves water ciruclation and retention
– Improves quality of crops and flowers”

Bio Char
All-natural, bio char is the charcoal resulting from wood specifically burned for agricultural purposes. It’s burned in low oxygen and extinguished as it becomes a charcoal, but before it turns to ash. It can also naturally occur through forest fires.

– Attracts beneficial microbes to come “”live”” on the porous surface of the char and break down nutrients.
– Surfaces provide a home for water and nutrients to reside
– Acts as a binding agent so the nutrients won’t wash away with rain or water.
– Helps soil become more disease- and drought-resistent. “

Compost Tea
Compost tea is a concentrated organic liquid fertilizer made from biologically active compost seeped in aerated water and combined with specific organic bio stimulants to encourage exponential bacterial and fungal growth.

– Breaks down or converts organic material (often supplied through additional programs like a compost tea regimen) to useful nutrient forms
– Help plants resists disease and extreme teamperatures
– Improves water circulation and retention
– Improves quality of crops and flowers.”

Crustacean Meal
A 100% organic, sustainable form of fertilizer made from crab, shrimp, lobster, and other crustaceans, this fertilizer ingredient is usually dried in a kiln and then ground.

– An excellent source of chitin, a compound containing nitrgrogen.
– Contains calcium and magnesium.
– Produces rich green foliage and is great for flowers and vegetables. slo
– Slow-release properties ward off disease, encourage growth and fertility, and enhance the properties of other fertilizers.
– Safe near water and won’t overfertilize your garden.”

Dried Poultry Waste (Litter)

Dried poultry litter is a mix of the bedding for poultry raised in captivity, along with feathers, spilled seeds, and poultry extremement. The bedding can include aborbent organic incredigents like sawdust, straw, peanut hulls, and shredded sugar cane.
– Adds extra nutrients.
– Includes a variety of much-needed micronutrients
– Improves soil tilth (condition in regards to suitability for garden growth)
– Aids in the retention of water and nutrients
– Helps break up heavy clay soil
– Lowers erosion rates from wind and water
– Promotes growth of beneficial soil organisms”

Feather Meal
Feather meal is made from cleaned, dried feathers, heated on high and then ground.”

– Provides high levels of nitrogen for plant growth
– Improves soil structure, decomposition, and green leaf growth.
– Provides both an instant nitrogen boost as well as long-term, slow-release nitrogen enrichment”

Fishbone Meal
Fishbones meal is derived from cleaned, dried, and ground fish bones.
– Great for adding phosphorus and calcium to the soil
– Supports new growth, bulbs, and perennials
– Encourages more vibrant blooms”

Glacial Rock Dust
Glacial rock dust is made from a variety of rocks crushed and pulverized over time as glaciers expand and retract. When a glacier melts, the crushed rock, called glacial moraine, is left behind and can be mined for use in re-adding minerals to soils needing replenishment. It usually contains trace minerals and elements like calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

– Adds minerals and nutrients to vegetables, providing nutrition to the plant and to humans.
– Can help increase yield and microbial activity, deter pests and improve soil structure
– Improves ability to hold moisture and make nutrients available.
– Increases phosphorous availability “

Greensand, as its name implies, is sand or sandstone with a green tint. It is most commonly termed for marine sediment of greenish-colored pieces, usually including clay and mica.

– High levels of potash, and one of the best sources of potassium for organic gardening.
– Generally found on the ocean floor and contains up to 30 trace minerals, including a high percentage of glauconinte (marine clay mineral).

Humic Acid
The final molecules remaining from the decay of plant and animal matter are known as humic acid. It can be found in soil, peat, oceans, and lakes in naturally occurring sediment layers called leonardite. It is usually a dark brown substance, soluable only in high pH solutions, and can often be centuries old.

– Enhances the soil structure by increasing the amount of organic matter
– Helps plants absorb water and nutrients
– Responsible for stimulating root growth and microbial activity, thereby improving nutrition and yield in plants
– Provides essential elements, nutrients, and vitamins”

Kelp Meal
Kelp meal is a 100% organic, naturally-occuring, and highly-renewable sustainable fertilizer made from dried seaweed (kelp).

– Excellent source of potassium
– Also offers 70 other vitamins and minerals
– Contains growth stimulants to help with overall plant growth and root development
– Improves yield and appearance
– Prevents against disease
– Provides a food source for microbes and compost”

Rare, 100% organic, naturally-mined and sustainable, langeinite naturally combines potassium, magnesium, and sulfate into one crystalline mineral. It is sourced primarily in New Mexico from areas where oceans dried and left salt deposits behind, which were then buried under centuries of sediment.

– Contains a high contentration of potassium, magnesium, and sulfur, making it an excellent ingredient for fertilizers used on gardens requiring a broad spectrum of equally-distributed nutrients.
– Good for commercial and large-scale crops, especially ones sensitive to chloride and salt, such as hemp.
– Because it’s easily dissolved in water, plants can absorb the nutrients quickly.”

Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is sometimes known as epsom salt, sulfuric acid, or magnesium salt. It usually is found in a crystalline form.

– Helps plants absorb the crucial ingredients of nitrogen and phosphorus.
– Encourages germination, growth, and yield
– Helps to discourage pests
– Excellent way to add magnesium to the soil, especially among plants needing magnesium-rich soil, such as potatoes, roses, and tomatoes.
– Because it’s very soluable in water, it is easy for plants to absorb”

A soft mineral made of calcium sulfate dihydrate, mined gypsum is widely mined and used for fertilizers but also for chalk, drywall, and plaster. Used to be called “Plaster of Paris.”

– Provides sulfur for plant growth
– Adds calcium to prevent mildew and root rot
– Improves the soil condition of soils with too much sodium
– Improves drainage in the soil by binding with clay particles”

Mycorrhizal Fungi
Mycorrhizal fungi can be found in the soil or on the upper parts of plants. They can aid in preventing against drought and heat and provide resistance to insects and plant diseases.

– Can help increase resistance to heat, drought, disease, stress, and insects
– Create symbiotic associations with plant roots
– Aid in soil fertility and restoration, as well as plant health
– Assist in water retention and nutrient extraction”

Oyster Shell
Crushed or ground for fertilizers, oyster shells are a naturally-occuring, organic and sustainable amendment.

– Improves the pH of the soil
– Ecourages microbial and soil enzyme activity to increase decomposition and release nutrients to plants
– Improves health and growth in leafy greens
– Reduces soil compaction”

Potassium Sulfate
Potassium sulfate is mined from naturally-occuring minerals and rinsed with water and salt solutions to extract its final form.

– Excellent source of potatssium and sulfate
– Helps to build protein and activate enzymes to break down nutrients
– Regulates water and nutrient flow
– Helps to sustain the photosynthesis process”

Seabird Guano
As its name implies, seabird guano is made of collected seabird excrement.

– Adds the all important nitrogen and phosphor to the soil
– Quick release properties give soil a fast boost of nutrients”

Sulfate of Potash
A naturally-occuring mineral made of 51% soluble potash (potassium) and 18% sulfur as well as small amounts of calcium and magnesium, sulfate of potash evolved from an older method of deriving the potassium from the ashes of burned wood materials and separated into a pot (“”pot-ash.)

– Provides an excellent source of potassium to prevent against disease and increase crop yield.
– Helps to circulate water and nutrients.
– Aids with photosynethesis and nitrogen uptake
– Prevents against disease
– Increases resistance to drought and stress
– Helps with the quality and appearance of crops and flowers”

Volcanic Ash
Depending on the type and length of eruption, volanic ash is exploded magma particles hardened into ash. Volcanic ash is generally evaluated on its silica content, which will vary depending on the type of magma from which it originated.

– Resupplies the soil with minerals.
– Slow-release provides long-term nutrient benefits
– Enhances yield, growth, and health”

OIM Side Dress
Apply fertilizer around the sides of the plant, usually in a circle or furrow about 1″”-2″” deep and just outside the widest spread of the leaves. Fill with fertilizer, cover with soil, and water.”

– Important in gardens with sandy soils and during growth spurts when plants require lots of nutrients
– Can help replace nutrients washed away during watering and boost growth at midseason”

Top Dress
Evenly spread or scatter fertilizer on top of the soil. Don’t mix it into the soil, but instead, leave it alone or plant direclty on top.

– Builds up the amount of soil in your garden and improve overall soil
– Prevents any potential damange to the roots or the soil ecosystem from tilling or mixing”

The rhizosphere is the soil environment directly touching or surrounding the roots of a plant. It’s the soil directly affected by the substances the roots exude, including but not limited to sugar, carboyhydrates, organic acids, vitamins, enzymes, and hormones. It’s also the soil with nutrients and microbes which may positively influence the health and growth of the root.

– Most important part of the soil food web for the health and growth of the plant
– Portion of the soil needing most tending”

Soil Food Web
The soil food web refers to the complex relationships between the diverse groups of fauna and flora found in soil. These groups include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods, and the larger plants and animals found in and around soil. The composition of each specific web is greatly influenced by biological, chemical and physical forces in the environment.

– A healthy soil and healthy inhabitants mean healthy plants!

High Intensity Container Garden
High Intensity refers to plants that are heavy feeders (require more fertilizer than average plants.) Cannabis, Corn, Giant Pumpkins, Tomatoes, Gardenias, and Citrus”

Guaranteed analysis
The guaranteed analysis (or fertilizer grade) is a listing of nutrients contained in the bag, by weight. The first number of the analysis lists % N, the second number represents % P2O5 (phosphate), and the third number % K2O (potash). The guaranteed analysis of the fertilizer in the above example is: 5-5-5 is an equal percentage of each micronutrient. https://www.espoma.com/learn-grow/plant-food-basics/reading-labels/”

The dripline of a tree or plant is essentially the widest circle that would be made from the branches, leaves, or canopy when “dripping” onto the ground. The soil and roots inside that circle are often referred to as the dripline area.”




“Soil FoodWeb Incorporated][1]; Dr. Elaine Ingham

1 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Soil; Brussard, Lijbert

Teaming with Microbes; Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis”