I have zero topsoil!!! what do I do?
I live in Philadelphia, which as some of you may know I'd filled with vacant lots (about 40,000 of them). I have plans to turn one of them into a kitchen garden. It's about 1200 sq feet The location is perfect, its only a two blocks from my house, and it's gated.
However, it has no topsoil.
This particular lot was cleaned up about 15 years ago. It was planted with decorative perennials only to be forgotten and weeded over. When I checked it out initially I saw spots of deep humus rich black soil. When I checked again this afternoon to do a simple mason jar soil sample, I found to my surprise the the good stuff was just 3 or 4 inches deep.
Under the compost was black plastic and under that, fill dirt.
So now I'm trying to figure out what to do that won't make this project too costly. I can maybe afford to buy 4 cubic yard of unscreened leaf compost or split it in some ratio with composted manure.
Should just cover the whole thing and make it a giant "raised bed"?
Could I mix in the stuff that already there with the fill dirt to make an artificial topsoil?
I really don't want to make individual raised beds since they are pretty expensive.