how deep should the soil be?

listoAugust 19, 2014

Just bought a new house and all the landscaping needs to be done. How deep does the topsoil need to be for a vegetable garden? The landscaper we got a quote from said about 8 inches for the grass, would that be enough in the garden? He sent quote for a garden.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

it depends on the vegetable. for onion and lettuce, 8 inches root depth is fine. beets and toms go four feet. but you do not have to have topsoil all the way down.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

How much topsoil do you have now, and what type is it (sand, silt, clay, high or low organic matter)? What is the subsoil like?

Many gardeners have started with just a few inches. I made my first garden in a place with about 4" of clay topsoil over heavy clay subsoil. You can amend it over time to improve the texture. The point is that you may not need to buy 8" of topsoil for a garden. Or for a lawn, for that matter.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cool, another Saskatoon gardener!!!

If OP is in one of the new developments, I'm guessing some of the topsoil has been excavated out.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Almost my entire "no dig" garden started in rectangles, one at a time, of 2X4 boards, so much stuff has been grown in 3 and a half inches of compost on top of sand that goes down, as far as I know, anywhere from several feet to the iron core.

The beds' "soil" be deeper now, but that just happens over the years.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Topsoil is the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. That is where the majority of organic matter would be and where the majority of the aerobic bacteria would be active.
I have heard from "landscapers" that will tell you that lawns, turfgrass, needs anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of "topsoil" apparently determined by how much they think they can sell you.
Rather than simply accepting what this person is trying to sell you look at it and specify that you want soil that is about 92 percent mineral and about 8 percent organic matter. "Topsoil" can be anything the seller wants it to be since there is no real definition of what "topsoil" is.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:20AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hand crank or battery grinder/ chipper for the garden?
Good morning all. I'm new to these forums and have...
Need advice on watering succulents with new soil
I recently began using soil-less soil, as has been...
Using mushroom spawn or spores
How do I add mushroom spore or spawn to raised bed...
Use of cut straw for weed barrier
Good Evening! I wanted to get a jump on weed suppression...
sistereinstein (Z5a WI)
what say you on on reusing ashes to soil?
We barbecue often and use charcoal (absolutely no lighter...
flyinbtsomypants (WestCent.FL Z9b-10a)
Sponsored Products
Robert Abbey Albert 10 3/4" High Nickel Wall Sconce
Lamps Plus
Eiffel Arm Chair in Aqua
$154.99 | Dot & Bo
Palla Satin Nickel One-Light Halogen Wall Sconce with Magma Glass
$189.00 | Bellacor
Harbour Outdoor | Coast Club Chair
6-drawer Solid Pine Dresser with Mirror
Deep Water Outdoor Loveseat Dining Set
Grandin Road
Utopia 2x2 Recessed Parabolic, 2 x 17W T8, 9 Cell, Single Ballast, 120/277V
LBC Lighting
Convenience Concepts Classic Glass and Wood TV Stand - Black - TV-01BL
$109.00 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™