A pathway to spring
It's that time of year again when the sun begins peeking out from behind the clouds and Oregonians start tending to outdoor projects that have long been in hibernation.
Landscapers and homeowners alike typically ramp up their gardening efforts once spring flowers start to sprout and the sun unthaws winter's cold cover.
"Usually in the springtime what (people are) doing is they're cleaning out their flower beds, beautifying their flower beds, planting flowers so the birds like the hummingbirds will come back," said Heather Wubben, corporation secretary at Allwood Recyclers. "So, they get certain soil blends because right now, all we're seeing is a lot of brush from the storm that hit and the grass is finally starting to come in."
Allwood Recyclers typically sees people interested in purchasing decorative rocks or bark chips for pathways or flower beds this time of year.
The current trend, Wubben said, are raised flower beds and raised gardens.
"We've been having several people come in for their vegetable gardens and get our five-way (soil)," she said.
The five-way blend is a blend of dark fine fir, compost, mushroom compost, sand and pumice, which is good for retaining, releasing water and growing vegetables.
Address: 22800 N.E. Marine Drive, Fairview
Specializing in: A variety of different types of bark, rock, gravel, soil, amendments and decorative rock products.
Wubben recommends a three-way blend for people who need soil for flower beds and growing grass in spring.
"We also have a lot of decorative rock, where customers come in (and) they want to get some rock to brighten up their flower beds," Wubben said. "We have rock from the Columbia River. We also have rock from Montana … (and) rock from the Canadian glaciers."
Customers may go for decorative rock instead of bark dust because it requires less maintenance, while some customers, Wubben said, opt for cedar chips for pathways.
"A lot of people prefer the darker bark dust, but after the epidemic last year, it's harder to find the dark bark dust," Wubben said.
Wubben added that people usually replace their bark dust every two years.
"That's the pattern that I'm seeing, I believe," she said. "Some people just freshen it up by raking it. It will get the color to change a little, get the sun dried stuff off the top. That helps."
Wubben said for RV pads or driveways, landscapers use larger crushed rock, while for pathways, they might utilize smaller crushed rock or pea gravel.
"It just depends on preference on pathways because some people pick up pea gravel," she said. "Keep in mind, the pea gravel is going to move when you walk on it."
Wubben noted if folks don't like that, then it's important to add borders.
Another issue that homeowners have to deal with this time of year is drainage. Wubben said large or small river rock can help with water flow around drainage sites.
Wubben said within the last year, Allwood Recyclers opened a new yard with more room and new materials that also offers a safer environment for customers. While Allwood doesn't do composting at the new facility, people can dump yard debris waste (except dirt) at the old facility across the street.