Divide that amount by 46,656 to convert it to cubic yards. Work in fertilizer and lime after you have spread the topsoil in the bed and before planting. “You do not want to simply lay a three-inch layer on the surface of a soil and attempt to plant into that layer,” advises Dr. Murphy. The simpler method, which is perfectly appropriate for 99 percent of established but "tired" gardens, is to add a … Ideally, topsoil should have a pH level of 6 to 7. How to Add Topsoil to an Existing Lawn. Compost supplies nutrients as well as other organic material, and a yearly application of it in spring can eliminate the need for supplemental fertilizers in a perennial garden. Regularly adding compost in this way helps improve the garden's overall quality by stabilizing the soil's pH level and helping the soil maintain nutrients. That kind of overhaul is extreme and only necessary if, one, you love labor, or two, your garden is in such atrocious shape that a complete overhaul is necessary. The health of your garden's topsoil is essential for healthy fruit and vegetables and beautiful blooms. It can be supplied using a water-soluble, all-purpose plant food with an nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 24-8-16. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. If, for example, the diameter of a circular flowerbed is 72 inches, then its radius is 72 divided by 2, which equals 36 inches. You can put it directly on top of existing soil. Unfortunately, for most of us the expense of tearing up the existing lawn, amending the soil and reseeding is out of the … It’s important you prepare correctly and choose the right type of soil for a great-looking lawn. However, adding topsoil over an existing bed is not usually a good idea. Over time, rain, worms and other natural actions will wash the compost into the plant’s roots. If, for instance, the current soil is sandy, then add a sandy topsoil as opposed to one with a lot of clay. Diana K. Williams is a certified Master Gardener, has more than a decade of experience as an environmental scientist, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from the Ohio Northern University. Adding topsoil to a flowerbed can be a way of adding nutrients. If the flowerbed is circular, multiply pi -- 3.142 -- times the square of the garden's radius times the topsoil depth you want to add. Introducing compost while the soil is wet can lead to compacting and uneven dispersion. Her experience covers a variety of topics, including gardening, landscaping and lawn care equipment. Generally, till topsoil into the top 4 to 6 inches of existing soil. National Gardening Association: How Much Topsoil Per Foot for a New Flowerbed? When topdressing your perennial garden with soil or compost, apply a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of the material across the garden's soil surface but between the plants. Compost is decayed organic matter that acts as a fertilizer when applied to soil. When adding soil or compost to your perennial garden, the material you use is just as important as how you apply it to the garden. The other alternative is to amend soil by tilling in generous amounts of compost. By: Laura Reynolds 21 September, 2017. lawn furniture image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com. You can find what’s in topsoil by reading its bag's label, or, if you buy it in bulk instead of a bag, ask the seller. The simplest way to add soil or compost to a perennial garden is through topdressing, which involves spreading a thin layer of the material across the garden bed's surface. Adding a layer of topsoil to your lawn is called “topdressing,” and it’s a technique you can use to improve the look of your grass. If you want to add a 10-inch-deep layer of topsoil, then multiply 3.142 by 36 inches by 36 inches by 10 inches, which, when rounded off, equals 40,720 cubic inches. The test results will reveal how much of a complete fertilizer to add or, if you prefer, the lab will tailor single-element fertilizer amounts for you. How do you spread topsoil over existing grass? I've heard of people who dig up their existing plants and set them off to the side in pots while they add compost and till the entire garden. That translates to between 0.4 and 0.8 cubic yards of topsoil for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. The simplest way to add soil or compost to a perennial garden is through topdressing, which involves spreading a thin layer of the material across the garden bed's surface. If you can’t find that information, eliminate the guesswork by sending a soil sample to a laboratory for analysis. Purchasing topsoil is the quickest way to great garden soil. Adding topsoil that is different from the flowerbed's current soil can change drainage in the flowerbed, leaving plants too dry or waterlogged. Water perennials' soil well after replanting, and continue watering it as needed to keep it moist for the next few weeks. • Spread a 3 inch layer of topsoil over the flowerbed and then dig or rotivate until the two soils are completely combined. Well-aged compost also contains fewer weed seeds. Bagged mixes typically contain high levels of organic matter. ). Fall is the best time for lifting perennials out of their garden to add soil, though it can be done in spring if necessary. You can add topsoil to an existing lawn — and in some cases, you should. Mix 1 tablespoon fertilizer per 1 gallon of water for every 10 square feet of soil surface in the perennial garden, and use the mixture to water the soil of only the perennials that require additional fertilizer. Compost improves water retention in sandy soil and decreases soil compaction in clay soil, enhancing the garden. Finish by adding as much topsoil as needed to create the desired depth; you don’t need to mix this layer of topsoil into the soil below it. A soil test of the topsoil will let you know whether or not lime needs to be added to the soil to grow flowering plants. (Shredded … Soil structure and fertility are among the most important components of a successful garden. A: Ideally, you should till the soil that’s already in your garden (especially if it’s compacted) and add a 3-inch layer of blended topsoil, tilling it all together again to create a 6-inch-deep surface layer; this will best mimic real topsoil. You can calculate how much topsoil you need for a square or rectangular flowerbed by multiplying, in inches, the garden's length by its width by the topsoil depth you want to add. Clear Your Garden Bed. Fill up a bucket and then gently spread the topsoil over the area. Simply adding topsoil does little to improve the soil in a perennial garden, but it is useful for replacing soil lost through erosion and to raise the soil level. : Conversions for Commonly Used Weights and Measures, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center: Get it Growing -- Adding Soil, Make Sure You Get What Your Garden Needs, Michigan State University Extension: The Shocking Truth About Topsoil, University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County: Selected Plant and Soil Laboratories in Northern and Central California.

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