Soil – Amending

Homeowners often want to amend their existing soil to make it better. Planting grass seed or laying sod on hard, unfertile soil is generally a waste of money. The soil must be made better. For lawns, it makes most sense to cover the area with a good grade of topsoil and till it into the bad soil underneath. Usually, four inches of topsoil is spread over the lawn area. Soil is purchased by the cubic yard. Three cubic yards of topsoil will cover 1000 square feet in a layer 1″ thick. To cover 1000 square feet 4″ thick, you would need 12 cubic yards of topsoil.

GARDENS For most gardens, a soil amendment (Nature’s Helper, Earth Helper) is mixed with the soil to make it looser. Typically, clay soil should have 2″ – 3″ of soil conditioner spread and tilled into the earth 8″ deep. Soil conditioner is sold in 2 cubic foot bags. This amount would cover 8 square feet 3″ thick. For ease of remembering, 1 bag per 10 square feet is a typical recommendation.

CALCULATE THE AREA To know how much to buy, you must calculate how large an area you have to cover. If the area is a square or a rectangle, it’s easy…just multiply the length times the width. The result is the number of square feet. EXAMPLE: An area 12 feet long and 10 feet wide is 120 square feet. A lawn 110 feet wide and 50 feet deep is 5500 square feet. It isn’t necessary to be exact with your calculation…just close!

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