How to Spread Topsoil

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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Well-spread and properly packed topsoil will give plants the right medium in the right density to establish their initial surface root system. It also will ensure the health and growth of your lawn and garden, surrounding your house with healthy greenery.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hammer
  • 4 wooden pegs (1 inch by 6 inches)
  • Colourful tape
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Topsoil
  • Metal rake
  • Level

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  1. 1

    Hammer four wooden pegs at the corners of the site you intend to layer with topsoil.

  2. 2

    Use colourful tape to put a band around each peg at the final desired topsoil height and another band 2 inches above that.

  3. 3

    Pour topsoil from your wheelbarrow onto the site as evenly as possible up to the highest tape band on the stick.

  4. 4

    Walk lightly over the entire surface of the poured topsoil, compacting it with your body weight as you feel for spots that are sinking unevenly.

  5. 5

    Shake out another layer of topsoil up to your second band, applying extra soil in any dips you found during your investigation.

  6. 6

    Remove your wooden pegs and fill the holes left behind with topsoil.

  7. 7

    Smooth the surface with a metal rake and bend down low to look for any uneven spots you may have missed.

  8. 8

    Walk around your newly covered topsoil site and take measurements with the level to see if an even coating has been achieved.

Tips and warnings

  • Try using the flat (back) side of a metal rake or a flat piece of wood for final smoothing.
  • Consult your local garden centre to find out the right density and mix of ingredients for a topsoil that best suits what you are trying to grow. Create your own balanced blend to customise a topsoil to meet your specific needs.
  • Larger topsoil projects may require that you rent professional landscaping equipment and order truckloads of topsoil delivered to your site. Ask your topsoil supplier about quantity discounts.
  • Topsoil tends to settle quickly when wet. Cover exposed topsoil with plastic sheeting if rain is expected. Also, take steps to make sure a sprinkler system doesn't flood or wash out your topsoiled area.
  • Plant the topsoiled area as soon as possible so the roots will begin to take hold and prevent erosion.

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