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The Deal: 99 Cent Only Stores' organic potting soil

August 24, 2009 |  9:31 am


I’ve been ordering a lot of organic topsoil from Agromin Premium Soil Products. The Oxnard-based green materials recycler turns much of Southern California’s lawn and garden clippings into soil, mulch and compost. But for home delivery, Agromin has a 3-yard minimum, which means a dump truck’s worth of that rich, brown stuff gets piled in my driveway until we load the wheelbarrow and make dozens of trips to the backyard.

What if you need soil in smaller quantities? Agromin packages its organic potting soil in a 4-quart bag for 99 Cent Only Stores in Southern California. Branded as Organic Grow, the lightweight mix is manufactured by Agromin and distributed by Spring Valley Floral. Chief executive Bill Camarillo estimates that Agromin has sold 1 million bags of the 99-cent soil in two years. It’s just the right amount of dirt to fill a few flowerpots on your front porch or windowsill. And for less than a buck, it’s an affordable way to go organic.

“The majority of our market demographics are women who don’t want to lift heavy bags of soil,” Camarillo says. I reckon apartment dwellers and patio gardeners appreciate the diminutive alternative too.

-- Debra Prinzing

Photo credit: Debra Prinzing