How to Blend Topsoil

Overview

The expense and effort of maintaining landscape plants also requires careful attention to the topsoil on your property. Soil forms the home for the roots of every flower, tree and shrub placed in your yard. Homeowners often add topsoil to the landscape to improve garden soils. Blending topsoil involves the incorporation of organic material to create a higher quality blend than plain topsoil.

Step 1

Place the wheelbarrow in your work area. If you're blending a large amount of topsoil, lay a plastic tarp out to protect the grass or clear an area in the driveway.

Step 2

Dump the topsoil onto the work surface and break up clumps with a pitchfork or shovel. Sift through the topsoil to check the quality of the product. Good topsoil contains no weeds or rocks and is a rich brown color with a fresh smell.

Step 3

Add 25 percent volume compost to the topsoil pile. Mix this additive completely through the pile of topsoil for even distribution. Compost improves the soil quality by reducing soil compaction and increases nutrient content. Don't exceed 40 percent compost in the topsoil blend.

Step 4

Prepare garden sites by rototilling or turning over the top 12 to 18 inches of the planting site. Break up clumps, separate rocks and remove weeds from the garden plot. Stir up the soil to eliminate the barrier formed by compacted soil and allow the topsoil to blend with lower soil levels. Cultivation also encourages distribution of organic material into deep soil layers.

Step 5

Apply a 6-inch layer of topsoil to garden beds for best planting results. Mix the topsoil/compost blend into the planting bed using a rototiller or manual methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Topsoil
  • Tarp
  • Shovel
  • Pitch fork
  • Compost
  • Rototiller

References

  • Fairfield Compost: Applications: Topsoil Blending
  • Louisiana State University: Get It Growing: Adding Soil? Make sure You Get What Your Garden Needs
  • Penn State University: Improving the Success of Roadside Tree and Shrub Plantings
Keywords: blending topsoil, creating topsoil blend, topsoil blend

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.