Top Soil for New Lawn Install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Markf, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Markf

    Markf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    I was finally able to get the search function to work for lawn install. Thanks guys. However, I did not see the amount of top soil that should be added to 5300 sq. ft. The existing soil is of poor quality. I can get a harley rake in there to break up the soil and remove the rocks. After that is done, is the top soil dropped and spread or do I now use another piece of equipment to mix the top soil with the existing base to ensure a good mix? Please do not say do it by hand, my back cannot take it. The existing grading is fine. Thank you. Also, could you give me a rough idea on what should be charged? I will have to rent skid steer and harley rake or is there a cheaper alternative?
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I like to use our Harley to finish grade topsoil, although my dad likes to argue using the bucket is faster. The truth is, the Harley makes a much smoother, more consistent surface and it does it faster.
  3. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Spread your topsoil first then harly rake. We usually spread topsoil with the bucket and then rockhound to finish grade.
  4. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    why ruin your topsoil by mixing it with teh lower junk???????

    2-4 inches is PLENTY. spread it on top.

    3 inches is .25 of a foot. there are 27 cubic feet in a yard.

    5300*.25 / 27 = 50 yards of dirt.
  5. Markf

    Markf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    I understand what you are saying, but the search I did previously stated that if you put top soil (2-3") on top of sub soil without a break up the sub soil the grass may not take. Do you agree with this statement? Thanks.
  6. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 456

    The problem with not mixing some topsoil and subsoil is that it creates a "barrier" for the grass roots, especially if the subsoil has been compacted by equipment. It can also create drainage problems because water will tend to stop at the subsoil if there is no transition. Neither one of those problems is normally critical, you can still grow grass. But if you're going to do it, why not do it right?
  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    i suppose it depends on the subsoil. Around here the problem is acidity, rocks, sand, and generally crappy lower soil.

    As time goes by Sod will grow soil up. so if you can get it going in a 2 or 3 inches of decent dirt, it will grow that level up.

    OTOH, if you are growing on top of granite, or clay or something, different game I suppose.

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