General FAQ

How much material can I haul in my pick up truck?

Well, that depends on what you're hauling. If you're hauling mulch in a full sized pick up with a full sized bed, you can fit 2 cubic yards in the bed and have it be level. While 3 yards is a heaped load. If you're hauling soil, weight then becomes the issue. Most pick up trucks can hold 2-3 ton/ cubic yards of topsoil, however they can only haul 1 ton/ cubic yard. 

Why weight to determine accuracy? 

Weight is unquestionable while volume can be subjective. Why? The certified scales reduce the human error factor. In addition, operator techniques vary causing variance in the compaction of the material in the bucket. 

What if it rains the night before? Am I paying for water?

NO... Weights are taken at the beginning of each day and up dated  according to changing weather conditions throughout the day. 

Aggregate FAQ

What is the difference in river gravel?

Pea Round is exactly that, a little larger than the size of a pea. The next size is 2B Round. It is a flat smooth stone comparable in size  to driveway limestone. We like to say to envision them as a good skipping stones. Next is 2B Special. It is goose egg sized. 

How do I know how much river gravel I need?

That's what we're here for! Plug the square footage of the desired area to be covered into our chart here on our site. Calculate 2B Round at 2" and 2B Special at 4". And if you have trouble or can't figure it out we will be happy to help you out! Just give us a call or email!

What kind of sand do I use under my pool?

Masonry sand is appropriate for underneath swimming pools


Compost FAQ

What is compost?

According to the Field Guide To Compost Use, compost is the product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of organic material that has been sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the point that it is beneficial to plant growth. Compost is an organic matter source that has the unique ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils or growing media. It contains plant nutrients but is typically not characterized as a  fertilizer.

Does your compost contain manure or other waste?

There is NO animal waste, human waste or food waste in Rutter's compost. Rutter's compost is a yard trimming compost made up of leaves; grass clippings; ground brush, logs and stumps. These ingredients are proportionately placed in windrows. The windrows are watered, turned and monitored for temperature change. In 6-9 months, the compost is ready to be screened.

How can I use compost?

Compost can be used in many, many ways. It can be used as a landscape mulch, soil amendment for planting beds, soil amendment for turf establishment / renovation, soil amendment for upgrading marginal soils, soil mulch for erosion control and many more. (information adapted from the Field Guide to Compost Use, US Composting Council, 1996.)

What is the difference between coarse compost and fine compost?

The material is exactly the same.  The fine compost is screened through a fine 3/8" screen. It is commonly used as a soil amendment, however some people do use it for a decorative mulch. The coarse compost is screened through a 3/4" screen and is most commonly used as a decorative mulch. 

Colored Wood Mulch FAQ

Will colored mulch hurt my plants?

NO... Colored mulch is actually kinder to your plants than bark mulch. Bark mulch gets very hot as it decomposes in the stockpile. But, because the wood in colored mulch is generally seasoned hardwood, no substantial heat is generated in the stockpile. Therefore , colored wood mulch will not burn your plants or deplete them of nitrogen. Actually, this mulch is helpful to plants. It retards weed growth, maintains soil temperature, retains moisture in the soil and provides organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. 

Will the nails from the pallets be in my mulch?

NO... We have never had a nail contamination problem. Why? Nails are removed in the manufacturing process by extremely powerful magnets. Those nails are placed in a bin and sent to a recycling facility. 

Will this mulch float away?  

NO... We've never had a floating complaint. Why? As we stated earlier, this mulch is made with seasoned hardwoods. Hardwoods are heavier and more dense than bark. This helps the mulch stay in place. Of course, nearly anything will move if the water velocity is great enough.

How long will the color last?

In general, the mulch will last for at least one season whereas bark mulch turns gray after 4-6 weeks exposure to the sun. Likewise, cypress mulch silvers in sun exposure. If the mulch is applied deep enough, many of our customers are able to turn or fluff it with a rake and it looks like new. Some customers have told us that they get multiple seasons from one application. Generally, colored wood mulch needs a yearly one inch refresher. Direct sunlight, moisture exposure and proper application play an essential role in the longevity of your colored wood mulch. 

Does the dye pose any risk to my children or pets?

NO... The dyes are non toxic. We have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available upon request for all the colorants used in our mulch. 

How many colors are available?

We normally stock 3 colors: black, red, and cherry brown. 

Are the pallets used in the mulch contaminated in any way?

NO..... We require that all providers sign a dump agreement that explicitly expresses our dumping policies. All pallets are dumped in a designated area and examined by one of our employees to ensure no contamination. Once the examination occurs, the pallets are then placed in the general stockpile to  await grinding. 

How much mulch do I need? 

In order to get the advantages of mulch, you will need to apply it three inches deep. Knowing that its quite simple to calculate how much mulch you will need. Multiply the length times the width of the area to be mulched. Divide that number by 100. This gives you the cubic yardage needed to cover the area at a 3 inch depth. Simple as that!

I still get weeds even though I use mulch!

This generally occurs due to one of two reasons: improper depth or improper bed preparation. People generally apply mulch too thin. Mulch should be applied at a bare minimum of two inches thick, three or four preferably. Weed seeds have a tough time getting the required sunlight if the mulch is applied correctly. But before the mulch is applied , the area needs to be properly prepared. The existing weeds should be pulled. Then, many people apply black plastic or landscaping fabric. An even better, less costly and environmentally friendly solution is to place several layers of newspaper on the area. Spray them with the hose to weigh them down and you're ready to go. The newspaper decomposes and its easy to plant through.

Will colored wood mulch attract termites to my house. 

When it comes to insects, there are no guarantees. HOWEVER, we've received excellent feedback from our customers in this area. We've NEVER had a termite complaint. In fact, some of our customers have told us that their bug problems went away after using the colored wood mulch. Why? We're not exactly sure but we have two theories: the insects don't like the colorant or because the wood is seasoned, the cellulose has dried up and there is no food source. 

Will the colorant stain my concrete driveway?

If the mulch has had sufficient time to dry, it should not be a problem. However, because we have such a high turn around rate and can not ensure that the current stockpile is COMPLETELY dry, we recommend that customers place a tarp on their concrete driveways as a precaution. 

What is the difference between colored wood mulch and bark mulch?

The colored wood mulch is made from seasoned hard woods that we dye on site. The nice thing about this product is that it will hold its color all season. The bark mulch comes to us directly from the saw mill in the form of single - shredded bark. That product is extremely inconsistent and can have large pieces in it. Therefore, we double grind it here to ensure consistency and quality. The double shredded bark is medium to dark brown in color. It will begin to turn a grayish - white in six to eight weeks and should be cool to the touch before it is placed around plants.