Cheap Topsoil/Fill??

Anyone know of any companies that sell GOOD and cheap bagged topsoil/fill?? Almost everyone near me has the "Scotts Premium Topsoil" for around $2 bucks a bag, but the stuff is crap!! I bought some last year, and when I opened the bag, it wasn't even dirt/soil, or was more like all mulch and peat!!! TONS of sticks and mulch in there, even though the bag says "contains no sticks", the stuff is junk!!
Home Depot sells some generic topsoil for about $1.50 a bag, but that stuff sucks as well. The dirt is always wet, and smelly, and loaded with debris like ieces of plastic, rocks, etc, etc. Same with the "Ace Hardware" topsoil which is about $3 bucks a bag, the stuff is wet, smelly, and loaded with debris.
The "Garden Centers" near me have good brands like organic "Fosters", "Fafard", "Moo Moo Dirt" and "Lobster Compost", the problem is they are like $5 - $8 bucks per bag!!
In my yard, the former owners, many years ago had a very long flower bed on the side of the house. When we moved in, there were no flowers there. It is all grass now. The problem is, there is a big long deep rut there now where the flower bed was. The ditch/rut is about 30 feet LONG, 2-3 feet WIDE, and about 1-2 feet DEEP.
We want to fill this in, because when it rains the rut fills with water. When you mow the lawn there, the mower scalps the grass on the sides of the rut/ditch. I know the best way to fill this in, would be to just call a landscaping company and have a truck full of topsoil/loam dumped.
The problem is, I have a small driveway with 3 cars parked in it, and a small front yard with a busy public sidewalk with people and kids walking by all day because of an elementary school down the street. I don't think the city would be happy with a big pile of dirt dumped on the public City sidewalk. So unfortunately, looks like the only way to ever fix this myself ( without paying landscapers to use a wheelbarrow to move the soil from their truck parked in the street to the ditch/rut, is to buy bagged topsoil.
I don't want to use the crappy $2 dollar a bag "Scotts" which is like 85% mulch and peat moss, but also don't want to spend like $7 bucks a bag for the organic stuff at the Garden Center. Should I just use the cheap $1.50 stuff at Home Depot to fill the ditch/rut, and then just spread a few bags of the good organic stuff on the top??
Because this thing being 30 feet long, 2-3 feet wide, and 1-2 feet deep, I probably need like 50 bags of topsoil!?
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I don't know how the topsoil will pack down,but you beter buy 2 or 3 bags of the cheap stuff and put it on one place in that hole. It will probably look like you did not put any in at all. I put 45 bags of ready mix cement in a hole that was only 3 feet each way. I don't recall how much the dirt I took out covered as I filled in a few small places in the yard, but I did this over several weeks.
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

Instead of looking at filling it with dirt, you could just buy some sod to put on top of the rut area. Sod already comes pre-cut with top soil where the roots are. You put it on top of the existing grass and knock the dirt loose as you lay it out and make sure you water it in. The new sod will take root and the grass under it will either die and be useful grass food or it'll grown right through the new sod.
--
Natural Girl



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Thanks for all the great answers. Yeah, this looks to be a BIG job. The old guy who lived in the house before us had hardly any grass at all. From what I understand from neighbors, is that he had a HUGE vegetable garden in the backyard, and flowers all on the side of the house, and in the front yard. Neighbors said that the whole front yard was ALL entirely flowers, no grass!! He hardly had any grass at all. When he passed away, no one cared for the flowers, and grass and weeds grew everywhere.
One of the neighbors said that on the property line with the next door neighbor, instead of putting up a fence like most people, he had a flower bed that ran down about 50 - 60 feet on the side of the house that seperated the 2 yards.
So this is the reason why there is now a long rut there. I guess he filled in about 30 feet of the rut though, because he planted "Rose Of Sharon" bushes on the property line when he was getting older and couldn't take care of so many flowers. The neighbors said he had about 2 or 3 truckloads of "loam" delivered to the yard.
I'm just wondering, why did he make the flower bed so deep!? It's not just 30 feet long, and 1-2 feet wide, but deep as well, about 1-2 feet!! I assume he must have dug out all the soil, and probably used it for his garden in the backyard??
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On 4/9/2013 1:20 PM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

Rough calculation of your worst case measurements is about 20 yards of top soil. That is getting close to a truck load. Would search around and buy it that way from a local vendor. It will be less expensive to buy in bulk and you will have the opportunity to look at it prior to purchase.
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On 4/9/2013 10:18 AM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

How the bagging process works: there's a huge mound of soil piled up on the ground. A bobcat operator scoops up bucketsful of the soil and dumps it into a hopper, from which it eventually ends up in bags. Here's the thing: when the bobcat gets to the last of the soil, it is scraping junk off the ground along with the remaining soil, and it ends up in the bags. So it's the luck of the draw. Most bags will not have the junk in it, but the bags that were filled from the last of the dirt mound probably will. Buy a few bags elsewhere and they'll almost certainly be fine.

Do you think that for that price the product is going to be sifted, and dried, and hermetically sealed? No. It won't.

You've been given the best solution on alt.home.repair, you just didn't like what you were told: hire a company to deliver a truckload of soil, and either have them do the labor involved with moving and dumping it into your fill site, or hire another company to do the labor for you, or do it yourself.

If it is that deep, it was constructed that deep for a reason. Most often the reason is drainage. It was probably designed to be a runoff channel for water from your property and adjacent properties to drain into, thus keeping the surrounding land reasonably dry and firm, not marshy and spongy.
It would be a good idea to talk to any long-term residents of the neighborhood to find out what they know about that ditch. You should also contact your city. If it is a mandated runoff channel, odds are you cannot legally fill it in. You might be able to install a culvert and then fill in around the culvert. You really don't know, which is why you should call your city first. If they give you the all clear, you can do whatever you want. But be warned - if it is a runoff channel and you fill it in, you or your neighbors properties may end up turning (back) into swampy or spongy land.
Case in point: a neighbor of mine installed a culvert in a 'drainage ditch' (actually a creek) on his property, then filled it in. Since doing that, he has a major water problem in his basement every time it rains. Formerly, the excess water on his property drained into the creek. But he filled the creek in, and with no place to go, the water sits on his property, makes his yard soggy wet for days after every rain, and winds up in his basement.

A 40 lb bag of topsoil is approximately .5 cubic foot. The area you want to fill will require approximately 5-6 cubic yards of fill. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. So: 2 bags of topsoil per cubic foot, 54 bags of topsoil per cubic yard. You'll need to buy between 270 and 324 bags of topsoil. Multiply that by the price per bag. And think about how you are going to get all those bags home. How many trips in your car will it take? Sure, you can pay for delivery - but it'll cost you a lot more.
Now call your local landscape firm and ask how much they'd charge to deliver 6 cubic feet of fill dirt, and how much extra they'd charge to move it and dump it in your desired location. I can practically guarantee that it won't cost much more than what you'd pay for all those bags of topsoil - and you won't have to do any of the work.

Why do you care, if it's only going to be used for fill? If you aren't going to garden there, it makes little difference.

You've got to be trolling.
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On 4/10/2013 9:13 AM, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

Not feet, YARDS.
Also, it's not a bad idea to order a little extra to account for settling, or to use for other projects around the yard. Companies often will deliver for free with the purchase of a minimum volume of material, so if you only need to increase your order by another yard or two to get free delivery, it might be worth going that route.
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Just to get an accurate measurement, I went out there today with a tape measure, and measured the entire rut in the lawn, and boy was I WAY OFF!!!!!!! The rut is about 40 feet long, not 30 feet long. It is 3 feet wide, not 2 feet wide. And it is roughly about 4 inches deep, not 1-2 feet deep. The depth varies in differnt spots. In one spot it was about 3 inches deeper than the rest of the lawn. In another spot it was 3 and 1/2 inches deeper. In another spot it was 4 inches deeper than the rest of the lawn. So the entire rut is about 3-4 inches deep.
The reason I originally said it was 1-2 feet deep is because that's how deep it feels when your standing in it!!!!
But using a tape measure, the more accurate measurement is actually 40 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3-4 inches deep.
Is this still impossible and too expensive to fill with bags of topsoil bought at retail?
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On Apr 10, 8:36pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Are you totally incapable of some very basic math?
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Okay, thanks! Plus, if I buy a truckload of soil, I can see the soil when it's delievered. Because buying it retail at the store, and in a bag, you don't know whats in there!? The $1.49 stuff at Home Depot is usually all wet, heavy, and smelly, loaded with debris and rocks. The "Scotts: Premium" is mostly all peat moss and mulch, and the organic topsoil at the garden center is usually light and fluffy even though it's in a "40 pound" bag.
Plus, I can probably only get 5 bags at a time in the car, so thats ALOT of trips to the store in the family car!!! I will have to call around to some landscapers and get some prices of having a truck load of soil delivered.
Thanks!
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