Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
how deep should the soil be?

Posted by listo saskatoon area (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 13:53

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: how deep should the soil be?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 17:30

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.


 o
RE: how deep should the soil be?

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.


 o
RE: how deep should the soil be?

Cool, another Saskatoon gardener!!!

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


 o
RE: how deep should the soil be?

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.


 o
RE: how deep should the soil be?

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.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here