Cheap Bagged Topsoil/Fill??

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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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On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:15:16 AM UTC-4, MICHELLE H. wrote:

A trench 30' long, 3' wide, 2' deep is almost 7 cubic yards. A bag of topso il is usually about 1/2 cubic foot, so it will take 54 to make up just one cubic yard of LOOSE topsoil. It will pack down.
You're looking at 350-400 bags of topsoil to fill this trench by the time a ll is said and done.
It will cost you far less to hire a landscaper to come with a dump truck an d a few strong young men with wheelbarrows and shovels. They will fill in t he bulk of the trench with gravel for drainage, then cover it with topsoil. It will all be over in an hour or two, and you will not even know they wer e there.
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On Apr 9, 11:29 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

e cubic yard of LOOSE topsoil. It will pack down.

the bulk of the trench with gravel for drainage, then cover it with topsoi l. It will all be over in an hour or two, and you will not even know they w ere there.
That's one option. The other is to have a load delivered and dumped in the driveway. Park the cars in the street for a day or two. Regulations and customs will vary, but around here, NJ, lots of people have stuff like this delivered and dumped in the street next to the curb and then wheelbarrow it themselves in a day or two.
The other thing here is I don't think asking for what kind of bagged topsoil is good is going to be productive. I would think almost all of them are local, ie they aren't likely to ship bagged topsoil from IL to CT. And it probably varies from season to season, or even within a season depending on what source is available.
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On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 12:16:48 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

As the OP said, its' mostly just mulch and sticks and garbage anyway... Aft er huffing 400 bags of it into the trench, it will settle and rot and six m onths later she'll have to huff another 200 bags in. Not to mention the sme ll of rotting vegetation and the moisture it will hold up against the found ation.
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BTW, bagged topsoil is meant as a convenience for flower pots and window boxes, not industrial landscaping.
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On 4/9/2013 11:29 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

is usually about 1/2 cubic foot, so it will take 54 to make up just one cubic yard of LOOSE topsoil. It will pack down.

few strong young men with wheelbarrows and shovels. They will fill in the bulk of the trench with gravel for drainage, then cover it with topsoil. It will all be over in an hour or two, and you will not even know they were there. I totally agree. We had a major replacement of concrete here for driveways, patio, walkways, etc. and were faced with a comparable problem filling in topsoil around all the edges to bring everything up to grade.
In the final analysis and with many price comparisons and shopping, my wife and I arranged for a topsoil guy to deliver a truck of topsoil with a couple young kids to carry it around and do the actual fill-in. The cost was extremely low compared to the alternative of buying bags of top soil from either the local Home Depot, Ace, Lowes, etc. or from hiring professional landscape people.
In our case there are local guys who deliver topsoil by the truck and optionally provide labor to carry it and apply it. There are also local kids available through our community and high school who work cheap under supervision to do the heavy lifting. I suggest you consider doing it this way as well.
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On 4/9/2013 11:15 AM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

Put one of the cars someplace else and have them dump a load there.

filling the flower box not for the volume you would need. For that many bags they would need to deliver multiple pallet loads and you would need to put them someplace. And pay probably 15x the cost of just getting a load dumped.
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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 Apr 9, 2:16 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Who knows why people do some of the things they do. But if the intention is to make a flower bed, I don't understand why anyone would remove good topsoil and make a ditch 2 ft deep. Also, you said:
"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. "
Is it possible this swale, if you will, was created to solve some water runoff problem? Like if you fill it in are your sure you're not going to create a problem somewhere else, like in the house or backyard?
If it's just a 30 x 3 x 2 area that has to be filled with topsoil, it's actually not a big deal at all. You just get screened topsoil delivered, preferrably to where it's going, or else in the driveway and move it with a wheelbarrow.
But before I did anything I'd make sure I understood the overall grading and what's going on. Also, if there are other areas that need grading, etc, it may be to your advantage to do it all at once. If it's more extensive, you just get more topsoil and a guy with a bobcat. Doing more at one time is easier and more cost effective.
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Per snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net:

The key might be "Good Topsoil".
Out yard is basically a notch that some developer scooped out of the side of a shale hill.
You want to grow something? Get out the pick axe and start digging. That's what I did when I was young and foolish. In fact, slow learner that I am, I spent two days last year with a pry bar and a trowel carving out a couple of 30" deep holes to put a couple of 2x4's in for a kayak rack: http://tinyurl.com/crwrefo
Maybe the old guy perceived a similar situation, was smarter than I was, and brought in a back hoe. If that were the case, I can easily see how whatever digging was done might have been deeper than technically required.
--
Pete Cresswell

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Yes, but if you did that and created your flower bed, why would it now be a ditch? You'd take out a foot of the bad soil and replace it with topsoil, no?
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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 Wed, 10 Apr 2013 20:32:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

You can buy topsoil by the truckload much cheaper. 1 1/2 yard will probably do you.
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Yeah, if I buy it in bulk from a landscaper, I can see the stuff first before buying it, right? Because buying in bags from the store, you really don't know what you are getting, or 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 yes, that is ALOT of trips to the store in the family car!!! I will have to call around some landscapers and get some prices of having a truck load of soil delivered.
Thanks!
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

You don't want a truck load. A truck load is usually somewhere between 14-19 cubic yards. You only need 1 1/2 or so.
Somone's suggestion of enlisting a friend who has a pickup truck is a good one. They can also be rented if the landscapers have a minimum order much more than you need.
--

dadiOH
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On 4/11/2013 9:25 AM, dadiOH wrote:

A single-axle dump will be 5-7 yds; it takes a long-bed tandem to get even close to 12-14. 19 is large, indeed.
One of the small single axle dumps a retail landscaping outfit would be likely to have is probably only about 3-4 or so but they're probably GVWR to 3 or under for a 3500-series, say, which is what I see quite a few of w/ the landscape folks.
<http://www.gmfleet.com/specialty-vehicles/dump-truck.html?seo=goo_ |_GM+FCO+Corp_|_SGT-Specialty+Vehicles-Phrase_|_Dump+Truck_|_dump%20truck> It was I who (at least one if others did as well) who suggested the 'find a buddy' route and take a shovel... :)
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wrote:

That certainly depends on the size of the truck. I've had deliveries as small as one yards delivered on a 3 yard dump body pickup. I've also had a full load on a 10yd "10 wheeler". Sure, I imagine an "18-wheeler" dump trailer is 20yd, or more.

Often they will deliver as little as a yard, for a premium of course. Beware, a yard doesn't look like a lot of dirt. It isn't a lot but it's around 60-70 40# bags. ;-)
Beware, a yard of topsoil weighs more than a ton. Your friend may not appreciate a broken spring (nor a rental place). They probably won't like it full of dirt, either. Add a good car wash into your day. ;-)
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On 4/11/2013 6:14 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote: ...

I was suggesting a few day trips w/ a shovel, not a frontloader bucketful.
It's a truck; dirt should be its lot...if not, it's time. :)
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I didn't see that suggestion, anywhere.

Nonsense, and you've obviously never rented a truck.
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On 4/12/2013 8:55 AM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Guess you didn't look/read/comprehend...

Nonsense...that's what rental trucks are for..._real_ trucks, anyway.
We're not talkin' U-haul moving box van, here, we're talking a _dump_ bed or a pickup...
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