How to Determine How Much Topsoil to Spread on New Lawn

Written by kimberly johnson
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One of the most important steps in re-seeding or re-sodding a lawn is laying the appropriate amount of topsoil. The purpose of topsoil is to spread a layer of nutrient rich soil that provides the proper growth environment for new grass seeds and sod. Topsoil is applied to a depth of approximately three to six inches depending on the grade of the yard. Calculating the amount of topsoil to purchase for a new lawn isn't hard as long as you use accurate yard measurements to start with.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

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  1. 1

    Use a measuring tape to measure the entire length of the yard (in feet). Make note of the length measurement.

  2. 2

    Use a measuring tape to measure the entire width of the yard (in feet). Make note of the width measurement.

  3. 3

    Convert the depth of the topsoil to a fraction of 12. Topsoil should be applied at a minimum depth of three inches, although it can be applied up to six inches deep. To convert this to a fraction of 12, simply place the number over 12. For example, a topsoil depth of three inches would be converted to a fraction as follows: 3/12. Using a calculator, divide 3 by 12 to arrive at a percentage of 0.25.

  4. 4

    Multiply the width of the lawn by the length of the lawn and the depth of the topsoil (width x length x depth). For example, if the lawn is 120 feet by 130 feet and you want to apply three inches of topsoil, use the following calculation: 120 x 130 x 0.25 This calculation tells you how many cubic feet of topsoil is needed for the lawn.

  5. 5

    Since topsoil is sold by the yard, you must convert the cubic feet number into cubic yards. To do this, divide the total cubic feet by 27.

  6. 6

    Add three to five additional yards to the final number to account for spillage and you will have the total amount of topsoil needed to apply to the new lawn.

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