I just visited my local Home Depot store and believe it or not, there, stacked on the shelf, were those big familiar tan bags of coarse vermiculite, 2 cubic feet each, for a good price of around $20. I’ve seen it elsewhere at $24 and $26.
So call your local H.D. store and ask for this product. Ask them to make sure it’s the 2 cubic foot size and it’s the coarse grade (sometimes they carry the medium grade, so be careful: we want the coarse). Get their price and then reserve any number of bags in your name. Then pick it up at your convenience.
If you don’t want to call, you can go online and search for vermiculite. If they are out of stock or don’t carry it, call their telephone number, ask for the store manager. Tell him what you want, why you want it, for your Square Foot Garden Mel’s Mix (ask him to make sure it’s coarse grade) and if all goes well, he’ll get it ordered and in the store for you. Since it’s in some of their stores, there’s no reason why they can’t have it in all of their stores.
Another idea to help you obtain it is, if they don’t have it, ask them to search all surrounding Home Depot stores and find out what other Home Depot store does and then at your request, they will have any number of bags shipped to your local store, saved in your name and you can pick it up at your convenience. One last request: if you don’t need it right now, please call your local store anyway, as a favor to Square Foot Gardening, just to see if they have it. We have got to get this material in the local stores. That is our most often asked question: where can I get vermiculite? And the most often given complaint: that we can’t find it anywhere. So please help everyone in the SFG movement and at least call your H.D. store, but if you have a little time, call all your local nurseries as well as some of the other big box stores. They will respond to customer calls and complaints and you will help us immensely.