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how to make topsoil?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by "Ground Control", Jan 7, 2008.

  1. "Ground Control"

    "Ground Control" LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I posted this in the nursery and supply yard forum too....but that forum is dead so I thought id post it here....

    I am looking into starting a landscape supply center and I don't really know where to get topsoil or if I can screen it myself. Can I get excavation companies to dump their excavated dirt from foundations on my property and then can I screen it? What all is in topsoil....is compost mixed in with it? Thanks for any info....
  2. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 699

    around here topsoil is at a premium. there is no extra. topsoil cost money.
  3. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    I just paid an excavating company $180 for 10yds delivered, and it had no visible rocks and very few roots.
  4. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    around here this is the recipie

    Field grade topsoil screened leaf compost and sand and ppl poop
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    If you just starting with this I would suggest that you find a good composter in your area to deliver in bulk. They can normally make a good mix from the compost that they make.

    Call your local extention agent, they normally know whos got topsoil or who can make and deliver it. It is a lot of work and big bucks for the equipment for screening soil and compost
  6. sicnj

    sicnj LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    i would get in touch with septic company and get the licence to use their solids
  7. AAXteriors

    AAXteriors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    You can use people poo in soil? Im guessing for fert? i was always told that its not like using manure ( horse/cow) and in some cases it can harm plants. But i could be wrong.

  8. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Im curious as to how this would work as well. Never heard of human waste being used to make topsoil. What wasthe deal with the ecoli in the spinach a few years back?
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I say just get a TON of leaves, make a big pile, dump some lime on it, let it sit.
    In about 6 months turn it with a loader, dump more lime on it, let it sit again.

    So long you get at least 100 cubic yards of leaves you should have some dirt within a year, but get TONS, more is better.
    In terms of tons, at least 5 or 10, 20 wet is good too.

    I've been fiddling with this idea for some time, but I'm still saving for a loader.
    Then just dump the fall leaves in a pile, there's never a shortage of supply for that.
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    We made some up at school. It was small batch stuff. 1/3 part Sand, 1/3 part clay, 1/3 part silt. After it was mixed, add 1/2 organic matter (used wood chips and grass clippings) But you may get different results from other organic matter like poop. Their is a compost company that gets theirs from a egg farm.

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