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Soil and Composting: Need Help!

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 25, Views: 255
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trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 14, 2004
1:32 AM

Post #1048164

I have two new beds that are 45 square feet each and dug out one foot deep. So, I need soil and compost for 90 square feet, one foot deep. Can anyone tell me the measurements for cubic feet I need?
Terrie
sylvi74
East Bethel, MN
(Zone 4a)

September 14, 2004
8:10 PM

Post #1049188

90 square feet x 1 foot deep = 90 cubic feet. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard of soil.
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 15, 2004
1:40 AM

Post #1049616

Thank you!
sylvi74
East Bethel, MN
(Zone 4a)

September 15, 2004
2:11 PM

Post #1050209

You were already better off than I was the first time- I needed to know how much soil to buy in cubic INCHES! My beds were irregularly shaped. The guys at the landscaping place were really nice, but they probably had a good laugh after I left.
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 15, 2004
3:30 PM

Post #1050456

I bet they did! I'm already scheming to get my daughter's suv Saturday morning to load up the bags I will need.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 15, 2004
3:30 PM

Post #1050459

I doubt it. Thats a resaonable question guys. :-)
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2004
8:34 PM

Post #1052651

Sylvi74,
FYI, I called a couple of different experts to check on these measurements and this is what I found out. You are right, there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. However, if 90 square feet, 12 inches deep were 90 cubic feet, that means I would need 3 and 1/3 yards of soil, or 3600 pounds! I think that would cover my entire front and back yard. LOL
I only need 1/3 of a cubic yard, about 9 cubic feet, or 360 pounds. Don't ask my how to figure this, they were talking too fast for me to write it down. :)
Terrie
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2004
8:52 PM

Post #1052685

Terrie, here is a link for your referance.

http://www.onlineconversion.com/volume.htm

John
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2004
9:20 PM

Post #1052733

Thank you, but I couldn't find square foot on there. Am I missing something?
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2004
9:26 PM

Post #1052751

A square foot has to do with area not volume.

For area you multiply length times width. For volume you multply height, too.
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2004
10:23 PM

Post #1052822

I guess I'm just too dumb. It says "Convert what quantity____" (which is 90) "From" to "To." When I look in the From column to convert from sq. ft. to cubic ft., there is no sq. ft.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2004
10:37 PM

Post #1052838

You dug 1 foot out and placed it somewhere else and now want replace the old soil?
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2004
1:36 AM

Post #1053062

I am making two new beds, one on each side of my sidewalk going up to my front door. Each one is in the shape of a piece of pie. I used water hose to lay out the design, sprayed the St. Augustine with Roundup two weeks ago, and then had some guys dig out the grass and dirt for me. They dug down one foot. So, I have two pie piece shaped holes in my front yard, 45 sq. feet each, one foot deep. Does that make sense?
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2004
1:52 AM

Post #1053092

Yes, mam. Do you have or want to buy compost and peat moss? What kind of soil was excavated and where is it now?

John
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2004
2:23 AM

Post #1053139

Yes, John, I will be buying a soil/compost mix from the City of Plano. The excavated dirt and grass was hauled off (don't know where to). It was mostly hard, clay like soil that has never been amended (my house was built 30 years ago).
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2004
2:30 AM

Post #1053149

Ok. Any idea of the ratio of soil to compost?
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2004
2:53 AM

Post #1053173

Don't know for sure but it whatever the ratio, it works. I've used it in all my beds.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2004
3:17 AM

Post #1053198

Why not just fill the beds with that mix then? Make sure you mix 3-4 inches of the soil/compost with 3-4 inches of the subsoil first. Otherwise excess moisture may not drain very well.

sylvi74
East Bethel, MN
(Zone 4a)

September 17, 2004
1:25 PM

Post #1053641

Trunnels, to get the volume of your hole, you want to multiple length x width x depth. If, for example, your bed is nine feet long, ten feet wide, and 1 foot deep then 9x10x1=90. Nine cubic feet really isn't very much soil, and you'd think a yard of the stuff would go farther than it does. I built three raised beds in my yard. They are about (without remeasuring) 4x7, 5x15, and 7x50 (but the big one surrounds my pond, so it is an oval of soil, not a solid block) and I used almost six yards of soil. It was a lot of work but I had a good time and everything looks great now. I hope this helps. I'd be willing to be told I was figuring it wrong, but I really don't think that I am.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2004
2:10 PM

Post #1053712

You are not wrong, sylvi74. That is the formula. Should have referenced this site too:

http://www.math2.org/math/geometry/areasvols.htm

Sorry Terrie!
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2004
2:58 PM

Post #1053781

Oh my gosh! Ya'll are way too smart for me. I'm just giving the measurements to the guy where I am picking up the soil and he is telling me how many bags I need. Thanks for all your help.
Terrie
sylvi74
East Bethel, MN
(Zone 4a)

September 17, 2004
3:23 PM

Post #1053842

Trunnels, that will be a lot of bags. Sometimes it is easier or cheaper to order a dumptruck for large amounts.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2004
3:52 PM

Post #1053883

I agree. Maybe put down some clear or black plastic on the driveway and wheelbarrow it to the beds.
jozeeben
Acton, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 18, 2004
1:40 AM

Post #1054696

It always have to put things in 3-D (Sketch attached). If you can get the big bags of potting soil at 3 cubic feet, you'll need 30 x $8/ bag = $240. If you fill it with peatmoss (not recommended) a big bag is 3.8 cubic feet, you'll need 23 bags @ $8 = $184. A small pick-up will hold about a yard, so you'll need 3 loads or so. It will be much cheaper if you can find it in bulk. Be careful about buying by weight because it might be mostly water or sand which is very heavy. Here's a recipe for a perfect soil mix from "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew:
6 cu. ft. peat moss
4 cu. ft. vermiculite
3 cu. ft. sand
2/3 cu. ft wood ashes & charcoal
3 cu. ft. compost
1 coffee can full of lime
1 coffee can full of organic fertilizers.
Total volume of mixture 16 cu. ft. If you multiply the above by 6 that should be enough to fill your 90 cu. ft.

JOZ

Thumbnail by jozeeben
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 18, 2004
2:04 AM

Post #1054735

Thanks for all your help. It took 60 cubic feet of a very good soil/composte mix.
Signing off now.
Terrie
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 18, 2004
2:25 AM

Post #1054766

Excellent post jozeeben! That is the recipe I use too. Uncle Mel's perfect soil.
It is well worth the cost and work required to mix it. However, one is sometimes required to work with the materials at hand. I substituted the sand part with the the topsoil I allready had. The vermiculite should be a coarse grade. If Terrie's soil/compost mix is loose and friable that might work as well.

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