12Whether you are completely renovating the landscaping on your property, building a new home, or simply putting in some new flower beds, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need topsoil.
Many of us are familiar with the steps and measurements that go into more commonly used materials and goods, but topsoil is on a somewhat different level. It comes in different units of measure and amounts than most of us are used to, and the prices can vary depending on the amounts and quality of the soil itself being acquired.
So, how much topsoil do you even need for a project, and how much should you expect to pay? Before we answer those questions, let’s first get up to speed on what topsoil is in the first place.
What is Topsoil?
Like the name implies, the term topsoil refers to the very top layer of dirt on the earth’s surface. This layer can be anywhere from 3 to 12 inches, and contains a high amount of nutrients and organic matter. Rich topsoil often contains a vast amount of carbon, nitrogen, and other helpful nutrients that foster better growth with plants and other vegetation.
Topsoil is the optimal soil to use for anything that involves growing. The large amount of organic matter and nutrients enables more oxygen to reach the plants, while also encouraging healthier roots and growth. Because of the organic matter and nitrates, topsoil does have a certain measure of breakdown over time, along with air pockets, making it only suitable for the very top layer only. This is in contrast to fill dirt, which is used as a supporting layer under structures and landscaping.
Fertilizers and compost are often added to topsoil to increase the amount of nutrients and oxygen inside. Topsoil can eventually be turned into ideal garden soil with enough composting and additions, but the process can take some time. Topsoil will always foster and encourage more growth than fill dirt, so it should always be placed on top of fill dirt once the fill dirt has been set.
What Does Topsoil Cost, and What Amounts Does it Come In?
Topsoil pricing varies depending on the area it’s sourced from, along with where you are located. It is most often sold it cubic yards. (500 square feet of topsoil coverage would require around 4.5 cubic yards.)
You can expect to pay anywhere from the following:
Some areas sell topsoil for about $12-$18 a cubic yard, with a delivery charge of $15-$60 depending on amount and distance.
The delivery may be free if ordered in large amounts. An example would be $75-$150 for cubic five yards, delivered.
Other parts of the county topsoil averages around $20-$30 a yard, plus delivery charges, totaling around $150-$350 for five yards delivered. Lower-quality topsoil is often at the lower end of the price range.
Topsoil is also sold in bags, at around $2-$5 per bag. It takes roughly 18-20 bags to equal the amount of one cubic yard, for a total of anywhere from $36-$100. Covering a large area with bags of topsoil is going to cost you substantially more, so restrict your bag purchases for very small areas.
How Much Topsoil Do I Need?
While all properties and needs vary, there are a few general measurements and topsoil amounts that you can use to help gauge what you’ll need for your project.
Backyard – If you are looking to add a layer of topsoil for an average-sized backyard, 3-5 cubic feet of topsoil should be enough.
Front Yard – Front yards are typically smaller than backyards, so you can expect to use around 1.5-3 cubic yards.
Landscaping/Large Flower Beds – It helps to have an ample amount of topsoil on hand for installing larger flower beds and landscaping around trees, terraces, and planters. 1 cubic foot should be more than enough, and you can always buy a few extra bags to finish the job if need be.
Small Areas/Projects – Putting in a few small flower beds, or looking to even out the soil around some small construction projects? Expect to need anywhere from 1-5 bags.
Contact Dirt Connections For More Information!
For more information on topsoil, contact Dirt Connections by phone or by sending us a message online.