Whether you are planting a large garden, using raised beds, or seeding a lawn, you are going to need to have good topsoil to help things to grow. If the project is small enough, you can go to a local garden supply store and pick up a few bags of what you need. When the project is larger, you will probably need to contact a business that handles bulk soils and aggregates. Before you go shopping, here are a few things you need to topsoil.
Know How Much You Need
If you are creating a new lawn, you will need to get enough to cover the area with four inches of it. If you are making garden beds, it is recommended you have eight inches of topsoil. To determine how much to buy, multiply the length of the area by its width to get the square footage. Now, convert the depth to feet. For example, if you need four inches, it will be .33 feet, and eight inches will be .66 feet. Multiply this number by the square footage to come up with the cubic feet needed. This number is divided by 27 to get the number of cubic yards you need.
Look at What You Are Buying
While topsoil should be very dark, almost black, it should not be all very fine dirt. To get the most out of it, there should be some minerals along with some organic matter. In other words, it should have a bit of a gritty feel to it. Organic matter will be soft, and minerals will be hard and gritty. This will ensure whatever you are growing will have adequate nutrition to get started.
Be Prepared to Till It into Your Soil
You should simply spread the new soil on top of the old and start planting. Spread a few inches and then till that area so the new and old soils mix. This will also break up the old soil so that the water drains well and does not damage the roots. Once you have filled in about half of the topsoil, spread the rest on top. Now you can start to plant.
If you are new to gardening, it is a good idea to contact the local Cooperative Extension to find out if the soil in your area is more alkaline or acidic. This will help you determine if your new soil needs to be fertilized or not. While many plants and grasses will try to grow almost anywhere, it is best to have the right nutrients to help them grow strong and beautiful.
Contact a company like Purdy Topsoil & Gravel for more information and assistance.