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Topsoil/compost questions


I'm gardening a 200 sq ft patch of ground, and would like to put down a few inches of topsoil and compost as a soil amendment. Ordering in bulk seems cheaper than buying bag after bag. However, I'm not sure whether I'd be better off getting soil delivered, or transporting it myself. Can anyone advise me on how much a cubic yard of topsoil weighs? Would you recommend delivery, or DIY?
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Posted 2015-04-21T15:26:01+0000  by Skyman Skyman
 

Hi Skyman.

 

Thank you for your question and welcome to our community. 

 

Although ordering bulk soil may be cheaper, you may get more than just composted soil.  Some bulk soils that are delivered by the truck load have not been composted for very long.  As a result, many of the weed seeds have been left behind along with some potentially harmful fungus.  Be sure that you are getting your bulk soil from a reputable source.  


Bulk Soil availabilty may only be available in the following states:

 AL,CT,DE,GA,KS,KY,MD,MS,NC,ND,OH,RI,SC,SD, TX, VT 

 

Depending on where you live will determine what types of bagged products are available to you.  The weight of the product will depend on the moisture content and its density. The wetter the product the heavier it will be.  The courser the compost is the lighter it will be but the wetter it is, the more weight the product will have.  On the average, one cubic yard of garden soil can weigh around 1200 lbs. or more.

 

When you are adding compost to your garden area, the best method will be to mix the soil much deeper than just a few inches especially if you have a sandy loam or a clayish type of soil.  When planting tomatoes, the deeper you can amend the soil the more beneficial it will be. Tomatoes for example have a deeper root system than bell peppers and they will benefit from the composted soil worked deeper into the ground.


Rick_HD_OC

Posted 2015-04-21T18:15:07+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
Hi Skyman,

I found a neat website that calculates various landscaping supplies. The Black Dirt Co. offers a calculator tool that estimates 1 cubic yard of screened topsoil to weigh just over 2,000 pounds.

Click on this tool to calculate:

http://www.blackdirtcompany.com/weightcalc.aspx

Consider the amount in coverage as well, because you probably only need to add compost to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil and the ratio of compost to native soil should be 25% compost and 75% native soil.

Another way to consider that coverage is to mix in 3'' compost to a foot's depth. For your 200 square foot garden, mix in 1.85 cubic yards of material.

As with most subjects that involve mathematics, I'm sure that more questions will arise...
 

-Travis


Posted 2015-04-21T20:21:42+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
 
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