New name, same place for mulch in Leetonia

LEETONIA – Michael Hinten will be the man behind the counter and at the wheel of the front end loader as Hinten Landscaping Services will be the new name on the Wilms’ mulch business on state Route 344.

Wilms and his wife, Cathy, have co-owned the 18-acre site and John said Hinten will be “taking over the mulch.”

Wilms said, “It’s a done deal, for what he’s doing right now … it’s done.”

There has been talk of Wilms retiring. Forget it.

“I don’t know how you work 15 hours a day and call it retiring,” he laughed.

The place, location and phone number are all the same with a new operator.

Hinten will have four full- and part-time people and expects to grow the business and has already added some lawn decorations. But he is aiming at next year and a proposed aquaponic garden, a fairly large one, around 30 by 100 feet.

Aquaponic gardening is a sustainable food production system combining conventional aquaculture, or the raising of aquatic animals like snails, crayfish in tanks with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

The accumulated effluents in the water increase toxicity for the fish and the water is led to a hydroponic system.

There the by-products from the aquaculture are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria, then filtered out by the plants as nutrients, after which the cleaned water is recirculated back to the animals.

It is complicated, but Hinten feels he can make a 10,000-gallon tank work and become a first in a northern climate to make that type of gardening a reality. Hinten said there will be a greenhouse “here next year.”

Wilms said, “Hopefully he’s going to expand.”

Products at Hinten Landscaping Services include garden soil and top soil, mushroom compost and fill dirt, six types of mulch and four types of sand; four types of limestone and grass, straw, barn stones and loose stones.

Customers can access the business directly from state Route 344 or from the Leetonia industrial park.

Wilms has called the business the “home of the $16 double-shredded bark mulch.”

It’s a top seller along with limestone and top soil. A lot of the mulch is delivered and it is in its usual seasonal upswing and weekends are busy.

Most customers are do-it-yourselfers but there are commercial accounts and the delivery range is in northern Columbiana County.

For more information, call 330-427-6755.

Hinten said May through June hours will remain Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Larry Shields can be reached at