Anyone with concerns about the overall health and appearance of their lawn and garden should be interested in quality, screened topsoil.
Just as the name implies, this material is comprised of the top 2″-8″ of earth and is frequently used to revive damaged grass or to promote good growing conditions in residential and commercial gardens.
This is because quality topsoil contains organic matter and valuable nutrients and minerals that are necessary for plant life to thrive.
When the right materials are selected, you can enjoy vibrant colors and nutrient-rich vegetation throughout your property on a budget you can afford. The difficult part is knowing how to actually choose your screened topsoil.
Screened Topsoil Prices in 2015
As you shop around for the best screened topsoil in NJ, you’ll find that prices may vary – sometimes drastically. This can be confusing when you don’t understand the items that might impact cost and whether or not you’re getting the most value for the money your spending.
To ensure that you get the best and fairest prices, consider the following throughout the purchasing process:
There are three different types of screened topsoil that are all suited for various gardening needs. The more work that is required to go into achieving a specific soil composition, the more expensive it will be to the buyer.
To make sure that you only pay for what you need, be sure to purchase the correct type of soil for your property.
- Loamy Topsoil – Loamy soil is comprised of a fairly equal balance of clay, sand and silt that is ideal for standard gardening applications. It’s the most commonly selected type of screened topsoil because its organic matter and composition provides healthy growing conditions for most vegetation including flowers, lawns, vegetables, etc.
- Sandy Topsoil – This type of topsoil has more sand than would normally be found in a loamy topsoil. Because sand doesn’t retain moisture very well, sandy soil is best suited for plants that need or benefit from a lot of drainage.
- Clay Topsoil – Clay topsoil contains more clay than other types of topsoil and is known for its ability to hold moisture. This type of soil is usually used in regions where rainfall is infrequent and drought conditions occur frequently.
You should never hand over your money until you’ve examined the topsoil to ensure that it’s of the highest quality. Fortunately, a few simple tests will reveal whether or not the material is worth the investment.
- Color – It’s been said that the darker the topsoil is in appearance, the richer and better it is for plants. While this is a good general rule of thumb to go by, you should also keep in mind that if the soil is too dark, it could mean that there is too much organic matter present. Ultimately, this could create problems with compaction.
- Texture – Ideally, you want your topsoil to be loose and crumbly in texture. Be on the lookout for large clumps as this can indicate a problem. Keep in mind that texture will influence the suitability of the soil for plant life.
- Moisture – While there should be some moisture retained in the blend, you shouldn’t be able to form a ball that will stick in your hand. This could mean that the clay content is actually too high. Unless you are looking for a clay-based topsoil, this is not what you want.
- pH Levels – Plants require specific pH levels in order to grow and thrive. Typically the ideal topsoil pH is between 5.5 and 7.5. Don’t hesitate to ask your soil supplier if this is true of the topsoil you are about to purchase.
- Debris – The whole point of screened topsoil is that it’s actually screened to eliminate any rocks, sticks, large clumps and other debris. You want the vast majority of your topsoil to be good, rich earth that will benefit your plants. Be wary of soil that features any rock fragments larger than 3 inches in diameter.
The amount of screened topsoil that you need for your lawn or garden will largely impact your final cost. Screened topsoil is typically sold by the cubic yard, so you’ll need to know the length and width of your coverage area, as well as your desired topsoil depth. Multiplying these three numbers together will tell you how many cubic yards of topsoil you should purchase.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to achieve 4″-6″ of topsoil depth. As an example, a homeowner has a garden that is 20’x25′ and would like 6″ of topsoil. After entering these numbers into a reliable online landscaping materials calculator, you will see that this homeowner will require 9.26 cubic yards of topsoil for their project.
If you have any doubts or questions about the best topsoil depth for your property, or if you have an irregularly shaped coverage area, it’s in your best interest to work with a local NJ soil professional so that you can accurately calculate your needs and plan your budget.
While there are many NJ suppliers that sell screened topsoil, not all will offer the same quality or the same prices. Understanding your options will help you to make the best decision for your garden and your wallet.
- Online Vender – Some people try to sell topsoil trough online sites like Craigslist, but be wary of individual sellers. Although the price might be cheap, the seller may simply be trying to get rid of unwanted dirt on their property without having any real knowledge about its content.
- Big Box Retailer – Most national chain retailers sell topsoil but do not produce their own. The soil is instead resold at a marked up price so that the store can make a profit. Once again, this means that there’s no guarantee about the soil’s composition.
- Direct Supplier – A direct supplier will have the most knowledge about the specific product that you are considering using for your lawn or garden. You’ll be able to obtain all of the information that you need so that you can make an educated buying decision and get the most from your screened topsoil.
Unless you have your own truck or other means of moving large volumes of screened topsoil back to your location, you’ll probably need to consider a bulk delivery service. If this is the case, you should plan on budgeting a little extra for the cost of loading, transportation and unloading. Before hiring a delivery service, though, you should insist on a few items to ensure that you don’t get ripped off.
- Proper Insurance – Your delivery service and its drivers should carry current auto and liability insurance at all times.
- Reliability – Time is money. Check the service’s track record for making deliveries in a timely fashion.
- Flexibility – Your delivery service should be willing to work with you to ensure that your screened topsoil is dropped off in the location(s) that you need it.
Getting the Best Screened Topsoil Prices in NJ
When you need the highest quality screened topsoil at the most competitive rates, Braen Supply has you covered. All of our topsoil is carefully sifted and processed to ensure the proper soil content ratios and amount of organic matter, and to keep it free from large sticks, rocks, clumps or other debris.
Our experts are qualified to provide you with useful advice on which type of topsoil is right for your lawn or garden, and can help you to accurately calculate how much you’ll need to purchase. In this way, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the best prices for your specific project requirements.
Your materials can be picked up at your leisure, or can be bulk delivered to your location. Although our coverage area largely consists of Bergen County, Passaic County, Morris County, Essex County, Sussex County and Rockland County, we can also work with you to bulk deliver topsoil to areas throughout NJ, NY, NYC, PA and CT.