Where's the cheapest place to get topsoil?

(22 Posts)
WantAnOrange Fri 01-Feb-13 13:22:49

DS and I are making a veg patch in our garden. It's going to be about 3x1m It's currently a lawn so will need to be dug up. Do I need to put some topsoil down, how much and where is the cheapest place to get this? I dont have a car so need to order online.

lolalotta Sat 02-Feb-13 06:06:23

Will be watching with interest! We have had an offer accepted in a house with 100ft garden, so plenty of space for raised beds! grin

WantAnOrange Sat 02-Feb-13 08:16:23

ooo how exciting. We're in a rented house with an average garden. It's going to use up about a quarter of the playing space but it's something the DS will really enjoy so it's worth it. I'm a childminder so it's a great thing to do with the little ones too. Just hope 4 month old DD is happy to sit and watch.

LexyMa Sat 02-Feb-13 08:43:09

If you take up the turf and lay it upside down on the place where your raised bed will be it forms a good water retaining layer to start with.

I bought topsoil for relaying a lawn and soil improver for veg beds from 'thecompostshop' online. It was delivered in a cubic metre bag to the kerb outside my house and was about £80-100 for a ton. That's 17 wheelbarrow loads by the way. grin

JakeBullet Sat 02-Feb-13 08:44:44

Thank you LexyMa.....that's very helpful to have an idea of wheelbarrow loads. Did they deliver in bulk or did it come in bags etc?

CMOTDibbler Sat 02-Feb-13 09:16:20

We got topsoil from a skip company - 8 tonnes of it in a skip for £115 iirc. Compost for the borders etc came from our local tip as in this area the food and green waste is industrially composted and was much cheaper than alternatives

Loughrigg Sat 02-Feb-13 09:22:12

Our local household waste recycling centre sells their own compost. Perhaps worth asking if they deliver if you buy a large enough quantity?

LexyMa Sat 02-Feb-13 10:10:41

Mine was one big bag, you know the kind they deliver bulk building materials in, sort of like a Hippo waste bag?

I have also got local recycled council compost, but not in large quantities. I would avoid soil sold from building sites as 'screened topsoil' because it may be sifted for rubble lumps but you don't know that it's been sterilized or is free of serious nasties like bindweed, JK or horsetail. Whether or not you have a receipt and any recourse to the seller, the damage is done the moment you spread it on your garden. That isn't from experience though, just warnings from garden magazines.

EauRouge Sat 02-Feb-13 10:45:04

I've seen topsoil on freecycle quite a few times, it might be worth a try. You'd have to collect yourself though so might only be worth it if you know someone with a van.

WantAnOrange Sun 03-Feb-13 12:09:41

£80-£100 is such a lot of money. I thought growing your own was supposed to be frugal?! I'll take a look on freecycle.

WantAnOrange Sun 03-Feb-13 12:19:26

ok, cant get my head around Freecycle! I've been asked to sign in and redirected about 100 times.

EauRouge Sun 03-Feb-13 12:28:22

Growing your own can be frugal, or it can be really expensive- it depends what you grow and how you grow it. I like to save seeds from things (pumpkins, squash and tomatoes) and that's a really cheap way to grow things. Also if you get together with some friends and grow one lots of seeds each, and then swap some plants so you don't end up with hundreds of the same thing; that's a good way of doing things too.

You could see if there's a local gardening club or allotment that does plant swaps or try on freecycle. I'm always giving away strawberry plants, they go crazy in my garden.

WantAnOrange Sun 03-Feb-13 14:48:54

My nan has an allotment so we've got plants and seeds sorted. Its just the compost. We have a wormery that was full but wasnt anywhere near enough!

LexyMa Sun 03-Feb-13 15:16:33

gardening and GYO-ing can be cheap but what you're doing with your raised beds is really best described as landscaping, wantanorange. If you dug down somewhere else in the garden (perhaps to create a bog garden or just some different levels) then you could get enough of your own soil to make your raised beds.

You do need to feed the soil or things won't grow well. Wormery products will be good, all your cardboard, egg boxes, shredded paper and kitchen veg waste in your compost bin of course, and tea bags and coffeegrounds.

It's not free though, and you need to be prepared for some things to fail. In my experience that's the expensive specimens!!

WantAnOrange Sun 03-Feb-13 15:49:16

I'm a childminder, and DS is 6 years old so it's just a bit of fun to do with the kids. We've dug down and got a lot of earth but I'm in Torquay, so it's thick, red clay. I cant change the garden to much because it is rented but they are happy for us to have a veggie patch.

DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 17:56:53

We only paid £300 for 30 tonnes of topsoil from a local company when we reseeded our lawn - ring around and offer cash on delivery - there are some good deals to be had!

CuttedUpPear Tue 05-Feb-13 00:43:16

A word of advice - don't accept free topsoil. Most likely it will be poor quality, people are desperate to get rid of clay soil when building and it's free because it's no good for selling.

A client of mine once accepted too-good-to-be-true-cheap topsoil and we have had many, many plants die in it over the years. An expensive mistake.

ironhorse Thu 07-Feb-13 17:29:07

you wont need any topsoil - dig up the turf and lay it upside down/dig it in. the grass wont grow back on that patch. Only buy soil if you need to change the height of the 3x1 patch.

LimeFlower Sun 17-Feb-13 22:54:26

Instead of topsoil get some manure-you'll get much better results with that.

LimeFlower Sun 17-Feb-13 22:54:46

Well rotten one forgot to add.

LimeFlower Sun 17-Feb-13 22:56:15

Check Gumtree for ads or place one yourself.For manure try local stables/farms if you have any nearby,some of them offer it free for uplift but you'd have to organize the transport.

Soditall Fri 22-Feb-13 10:35:33

Look on ebay there's always people giving it away for free!

We got 2 tons before for nothing.

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