Is Organic Topsoil Worth It??

Hi everyone,
Just want to get everybodys opinion on whether you think "Organic Topsoil" is worth the price for fixing bare spots, and filling in holes in a yard??
In the past we have tried 3 different kinds of topsoil for patching/fixing bare spots in our lawn.
We tried some generic one from Home Depot called "Old Castle Topsoil". It was something like $1.19 for a 40 pound bag. The stuff was absolutely terrible!!! It was wet and all stuck together, and smelly!! It had tons of rocks and sticks in it, pieces of paper and plastic, someones broken metal eyeglasses frame, pieces of black roof shingles, etc, etc.
There was also a new one that came out last year ( 2008 ), at Home Depot called "Scotts Premium Topsoil", which was $1.99 for a 30 pound bag. It is "screened" topsoil with an organic and peat moss mix. This one was much better than the "Old Castle" one, but you got 10 pounds LESS, and is was more money!!
The one that we really like is one we got at Ace Hardware. Its called "Organic TopSoil" and its from a company called "Majestic-Earth". It comes in a 30 pound bag. It is "screened" topsoil, and it's a really soft soil, that is Dark Black in color. It looks to be what gardeners call "Black Gold".
It USE to be $1.99 for a 30 pound bag when we bought it last year ( 2008 ), now all of a sudden it SKYROCKETED in price!!! We went there this weekend to get some, and it is now priced at $3.49 a bag!!!!! A $1.49 increase in one year!!?? What the hell!?
We live in the Northeast, and while we didn't really have a terrible winter with any major storms, the sander trucks really did a number on our treebelt putting down TONS of sand and road salt. Our treebelt is loaded with sand, and has a ton of barespots thanks to the "sanders" putting down sand and salt over the winter.
We now have to patch and reseed the bare spots on the treebelt, and well as other bare spots throughout the yard. So basically my question is, is "Organic TopSoil" at $3.49 a bag worth it?? Is it really that much better for the lawn, and for growing new grass seed??
$3.49 for a 30 pound bag of topsoil seems way too high in price?? I know that we aren't going back to the $1.19 "unscreened" "Old Castle" one, filled up with rocks, sticks, junk, and other debris!! So we may just stick with the "Scotts Premium Organic Mix Topsoil" at $1.99 for 30 pounds??
The only thing is, is that the "Scotts Premium Topsoil" is not a 100% percent organic topsoil, its just regular topsoil with organic topsoil and peat moss mixed in?? It is a "screened" topsoil though, so you don't have to worry about any rocks, sticks, or other debris in there.
Is Ace Hardware way overpriced for the "Majestic-Earth Organic TopSoil" at $3.49 a bag, or is it worth it???
Any info. would greatly be appreciated!!
Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Is your lawn organic? If yes, I'd dig (or just spread on surface) in what ever soil amendments you may need (bone meal, rock phosphate, alfalfa pellets, ect.) cover with black and white newsprint. Cover newsprint with alfalfa (not pellets) and hose down the covered area. After a week, broadcast lawn seed on prepared area and water it into the alfalfa. Keep area damp. Re-seed as needed. you feel neededcover the bald area
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On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 10:46:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

I have all kinds of mulch, garden soil and compost for patching the lawn so I don't ned to buy anything. But I got to buy the straw for protecting the seed and seedlings. Isn't most topsoil organic?
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In the carbon - carbon bond sense, yes. In contemporary discourse, however, it means not polluted with man made toxic chemicals. The fact that Dow Chemical and Monsanto exist, should give grave concern as to the importation of any soil of unknown origin.
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On Apr 14, 7:46 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

First, you need to understand that "topsoil" is a generic term that is used to describe a very wide range materials. By definition, it is the top layer of soil (typically down to around 4") that is removed, generally as the result of construction/development activity. There is no guarantee that this top layer is any better in quality, substance or texture than any other soil obtained anywhere else - it could be devoid of organic matter and therefore soil life, it could be rocky and filled with roots. It could just as well be fill dirt or contaminated with all manner of pollutants. Simply because it is bagged and labeled as "topsoil" is no guarantee that it adds any value to your garden.
I agree with Victoria that a visit to a soil yard or landscape supply company may be in order. Or to any retail nurseries in your area that offer bulk soil products. Look at the material before you buy and evaluate its components - most suppliers will list what is included. Avoid anything labeled as simply "topsoil". 3-way planting mixes would serve your purposes nicely - they are typically some combination of loam, compost and a textural offering: coarse sand, bark fines or sometimes sawdust. Or a screened compost. Much of the commercial compost industry IS highly regulated and you can generally rest assured that the product you are purchasing has been properly processed and aged and is free of possible contaminates. Avoid those small operations that sell from the side of the road or from small farm lots.......they tend be rather unknown quantities :-)
And you do get what you pay for.......the better the product, the more it is has been tested and possibly certified, and the more clearly it is labeled, the greater the cost. Bulk soil will always be far less expensive than bagged material. Bring your own buckets or burlap bags or pick-up . Most places will deliver in quantity as well.
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In article

You may as well make your own, MICHELLE. The best top soil in the world will quickly revert to it's non-dissolvable elements as the organic matter in it breaks down. After the mulch has been seeded (as I have previously outlined), feed on occasion with "organic" fish emulsion, or occasionally broadcast some alfalfa pellets on it and the rest of your lawn, to feed it.
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