When it comes to gardening projects, high-quality topsoil is one of the most important determinants of success. Not just any type of dirt can grow a good garden; it is essential to use the right material.
Topsoil is the upper layer of dirt that normally covers the first 4 to 12 inches of the ground and is darker in color. It contains more organic material and nutrients than fill dirt, and this is the place where most microorganism activity occurs. Its nutrients and ability to provide oxygen to plants makes it the ideal type of dirt for gardening.
As a result, many people seek topsoil for gardening projects. Those shopping for topsoil will find that there are two main types: screened and unscreened.
Unscreened topsoil is topsoil in its natural state, which means it may contain rocks, sticks and other debris.
Screened topsoil, in contrast, is soil that has been run through a screen to remove sticks, rocks, clumps and other large pieces of matter. It is available in several different sizes that refer to the size of mesh used for the screening process, enabling you to obtain topsoil that is as fine or coarse as you seek. Topsoil screened to a size of half an inch is the most common variety.
When shopping for a significant amount of screened topsoil, it is necessary to perform some calculations to make sure you order the correct amount. This is particularly important if you will be ordering it by the truckload to ensure you get enough to avoid the need for future trips.
How Is Screened Topsoil Sold?
Topsoil is usually measured using cubic yards, with one cubic yard equaling 27 cubic feet, and a cubic foot equaling 12 by 12 by 12 inches. In order to visualize a cubic yard, imagine a space that measures 10 feet by 10 feet and three inches deep; one cubic yard of any material can fill a space of these dimensions.
To determine how much topsoil you need to fill a flower bed, you will need to first convert the measurements of your flower bed to feet to facilitate the conversion to cubic yards. For example, if your flower bed is 6 inches deep, 12 feet long and 12 feet wide, you will need to convert 6 inches to 0.5 feet so that all of the measurements you are using will have the same unit.
Then, multiply these dimensions to determine the number of cubic feet needed. In this case, it will be 0.5 x 12 x 12 feet, which gives you 72 cubic feet. Finally, to determine the number of cubic yards this represents, divide the number of cubic feet by 27. This means we will need 2.67 cubic yards of topsoil to fill the flower bed in question.
How Much Does a Cubic Yard Weigh?
If you need to order your topsoil by weight or are trying to determine if your vehicle can support the amount you need, you will need to know how much the amount of topsoil you are ordering weighs.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to give a precise answer when it comes to how much a cubic yard of screened topsoil weighs because it will depend on the moisture level of the soil at the time it is being weighed as well as whether or not it contains sand, rocks and other debris, which will depend on the size screen that was used.
However, the weight of a cubic yard of topsoil usually falls within the range of 1400 to 2000 pounds, and 40 pounds of topsoil can generally fill around 0.75 cubic feet. Some suppliers use a more conservative estimate of a cubic yard of topsoil weighing around 1080 pounds for their calculations. This is a very heavy load, so having the soil delivered to your home is often the most convenient approach.
Why Should You Buy Screened Topsoil in Bulk?
Purchasing screened topsoil and other materials such as stones and mulch in bulk is preferable over buying it in bags for several reasons.
First, it is far more convenient to order topsoil in bulk compared to buying bags from a garden center because you will not need to haul the dirt, bag by bag, from your car to your garden. This means you do not have to worry about the physical strain of carrying heavy loads or the potential for the bags of topsoil to break and create a mess in your trunk or driveway. Bulk topsoil providers will leave the soil as close as possible to the place where you intend to use it.
Screened topsoil is the one of the more expensive types of dirt, so the volume discount that you can enjoy when you purchase it in bulk can make a significant difference and may allow you to get more soil than you would have been able to afford if you had purchased it by the bag from a garden center. This may also free up room in your budget for better-quality seeds or other garden-related needs.
Another good reason to purchase screened topsoil in bulk is the environment. When you buy multiple bags of topsoil from a garden center, you will be contributing to the problem of plastic waste because this soil is typically sold in plastic bags. When you purchase your topsoil in bulk. it will normally be hauled to your site in the bed of a dump truck, which means there will be no need to use plastic.
Reach Out to the Screened Topsoil Experts
The topsoil experts at Dirt Connections will be happy to help you perform all of the necessary calculations for determining the amount of topsoil you need for your space and project type. We can also arrange a topsoil delivery at a time that is convenient for you. We provide a broad range of soil, gravel and dirt for projects of all sizes with delivery services throughout the Northern Virginia area.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!