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HOW MUCH DO I NEED?

It can be tricky - trying to figure out "how much". We get many phone calls asking this very question about compost, mulch, and topsoil.

Here are some quick "rule of thumb" methods for compost, mulch and topsoil.

Compost


SOIL AMENDMENT
  • Reason:  Compost is used to amend soil before planting sod or seed, and for general purposes where the soil requires additional organic material to stimulate plant growth and enhance water retention.
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of compost)
  • Example:  The area to be amended is 10,000 sq ft.  
    10,000 ÷ 1000 = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of compost
TOP DRESSING
  • Reason:  Compost applied in spring or fall as a top dressing to an existing lawn will greatly enhance the organic properties of the soil, as well as increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
  • Rate:  1 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1/4" of compost)
  • Example:  The area to be top dressed is 10,000 sq. ft.
    10,000 ÷ 1000 = 10 x 1 = 10 CY of compost

Mulch


One cubic yard of mulch will cover a 324 sq ft area with 1" of mulch.

Here's how to calculate how much mulch you need:

  • Figure out the square footage of your bed (width x length for square or rectangular shapes)
  • Multiply your square footage by the depth desired (in inches)
  • Divide by 324. This will tell you how many cubic yards you will need.

Example calculation for a rectangular area 6' x 90' to be covered with 2" of mulch:

  1. 6' x 90' = 540 sq ft
  2. 540' x 2 = 1080 sq ft.
  3. 1080 324 = 3-1/2 cubic yards

Mulch tips:

  • New planting beds require 2-3" of mulch to retard weeds and retain moisture.
  • It's a good idea to top dress existing beds with 1-2" of mulch in the spring.
  • You can protect perennials in the winter with 2" of mulch.

Prepared Topsoil

A1 Organics Prepared Topsoil is manufactured by mixing 70% screened soil and 30% compost together. This blend produces a quality soil product which can be used as a soil amendment or top dressing/fill dirt when amending existing soil with straight compost is not an option or not desirable. 


SOIL AMENDMENT
  • Reason: Use a prepared topsoil before planting sod or seed, and for general purposes where the soil requires additional organic material to stimulate plant growth and enhance water retention. The topsoil can be incorporated into the existing soil if desired, but is not necessary.
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of soil)
  • Example:  The area to be amended is 10,000 sq ft.  
    10,000 ÷ 1000 = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of prepared topsoil.
TOP DRESSING/FILL DIRT
  • Reason:  Prepared topsoil applied as a top dressing or fill in low spots will greatly enhance the organic properties of the soil, as well as increase water holding capacity. Prepared topsoil can be spread over existing soil and immediately used as the medium for any type of planting, including bushes, trees, sod, seed, flowers, etc. 
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of soil)
  • Example:  The area for top dress or fill is 10,000 sq ft.  
    10,000 ÷ 1000 = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of prepared topsoil.