An Update on Bloom: DC’s Soil Conditioner for Gardeners and Landscapers

One 25 lb. bag of Bloom

In April 2017, I wrote about Bloom, a soil conditioner made from Class A biosolids. Biosolids are organic matter, recycled from sewage, which have been treated and processed in order to use as a soil conditioner. DC Water was producing Bloom in bulk and working with Blue Drop to promote and sell Bloom. Bloom provides essential nutrients to plants, increases organic content in the soil, and increases drought resistance in plants. At the time, DC Water provided “fresh” and “cured” in bulk. DC and MD residents could drive to the Blue Plains Advanced Water Treatment Plant in DC to load up their containers or truck or pay a delivery fee to have a truckload delivered to their home. Since then, I have seen bags at Homestead Gardens in Maryland that were small enough for me to lift and put in my car.

I contacted Blue Drop to see what has changed since my original article and sure enough, Bloom is now available in bags in some locations. You can purchase bags and bulk at Homestead Gardens in Maryland, bags at Annie’s Ace Hardware and at W.S. Jenks and Son in DC, and bulk at the Rock Stone and Sand Yard in Virginia. In addition, there are two new products: the “woody” blend which has 70 percent hardwood fines (in bulk) and “sand/sawdust” which has 3/7 Bloom, 2/7 sawdust, and 2/7 sand (in bulk).

Sand/sawdust blend on left; woody blend on right

“Anyone can come to the plant and pick up either blends,” said April Thompson, Director of Marketing at Blue Drop. “The blends and cured material are all great as soil amendment and can also be used to topdress lawns.”

Bloom is fertilizer and compost in one product. Bloom can be added when establishing turf and when planting and establishing a garden bed. Bloom also can be added to topsoil, used as a top dressing to an existing garden bed or lawn, or incorporated with a container potting medium.

Bloom is dark and crumbly

This weekend I put a 25 lb. bag of the cured type on a new garden bed of perennials that I had created in the spring. The consistency was like brownie mix–dark chocolate brown and crumbly. There was no odor. April sent me a small bag each of the woody blend and the sand/sawdust blend, which I placed side by side. The texture was great and again, no odor.

The Bloom website has a nutritional analysis of each product, videos, testimonials, research results, and information on bulk orders and local retail outlets. They even offer tours of the plant to show you how Bloom is made. They work with contractors, farmers, landscapers, and the home gardener. For more information visit the Bloom website or contact April Thompson at

2 responses to “An Update on Bloom: DC’s Soil Conditioner for Gardeners and Landscapers

  1. Heavy metal contamination of sludge was a concern at one time. Large machines, Terragators, were designed to plow/inject large volumes of raw sludge into land. The landowners were paid to accept the sludge, but a limit was set do to concern for heavy metals.

  2. Pingback: Subscribe to DC Metro Area Gardening E-Newsletter - pegplant

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