St. Thomas Aquinas
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Topsoil Now or Spring?

Hello everyone!

I just finished a weekend project of removing grass to make room for my new garden. I am going to add topsoil to the new garden plot, but I am not sure if i should do it now, or wait until the Springtime to add the topsoil. What do you think? Now in the Fall? or Wait till the Spring? Any input is much appreciated!

Thanks! :D

gumbo2176
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Not knowing where you live, I'm assuming you can't garden in the winter due to weather or this is your first attempt at a garden.

What I'd do is after removing the grass, layer the area with cardboard and/or newspaper then add leaves, any yard waste you are still generating and if possible, get to a stable for some stable waste and throw that on top of the garden plot and let all this compost over the winter months. Turn this all under in the spring then add the topsoil.

I'm sure others will be along soon to add to this or even direct you in a better situation. Lots of knowledge on this site.

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soil
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i would suggest two options

add topsoil in the fall, cover well with mulch and let rest until spring

or

add topsoil in fall, plant cover crop to keep weeds down, till in the spring, then mulch and plant.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

St. Thomas Aquinas
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Thanks! I am sorry I didn't give enough background on my situation. I live in the Northeast United States, so the winters aren't very kind to us :(. So planting a crop in the thick of the snow just isn't an option for me haha. What I have done so far is ripped out all of the grass and I've added compost manure to the plot. So i was just wondering if i should purchase & spread the additional topsoil and work it in with the compost manure this fall, or wait until the spring to have some fun ha.

Thanks!

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jal_ut
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I would add the topsoil now and some more organic matter if you can, then till it. Come early spring you can just go plant your early varieties. It is not good to till in early spring because the soil is very damp and may clump up bad if there is much clay in it. If you wait for it to dry out enough for good tilling, you have missed three weeks of growing weather for the early crops.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

vermontkingdom
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I don't till much anymore but did for many years. I agree with Jal. Get as much organic matter as possible in the soil this fall. If the soil is well worked in the fall, you just plant in early spring. You will be eating beet greens, lettuce, spinach, and chard about the same time your neighbors are planting those cool weather seeds.
"Good gardeners do not have green thumbs. They have brown knees, soiled hands and big hearts."

CharlieBear
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Why do you want to add top soil? How much did you remove with the sod and did you compost the sod. If you still have it and can pile it up somewhere and cover it with black plastic in the spring so it heats up real well, it will decompose into some great organic rich soil in a year or two. You added organic matter already, if you didn't end up with a big hole, I would save the money and not add any "top soil". Top soil is an unregulated commodity in all but one or two southern states, I could be subsoil, it could and usually is very weed laden, it could be clay, it could be almost anything, including 1/2 or more composted yard debree. If you must add more, I would suggest either piling all the leaves you can and pine needles, shredded newsprint etc and leaving it until spring, then turn it in as well option 2 look around and see if any of the places in you area that carry bark mulch also have mushroom compost. If they do I would use it instead of top soil, it is a regulated commodity. I am an environmental engineer as well as an advid gardener and amature breeder. I admit to buy a truck load of top soil, but that was to fill a large hole in the ground where a tank had been removed, and once to see what it would be to fill a box, it was junk clay with lots of weed seeds, just like I thought it might be. If I were you I wouldn't waste money on "topsoil".

St. Thomas Aquinas
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I guess that my main premise in purchasing more topsoil was to build up the rows for the plants. So would you suggest purchasing a large load of mushroom compost and using that? The company that I originally planned to purchase the Topsoil from has both dry screened topsoil and mushroom compost available, so it wouldn't be any trouble getting ahold of either of them.

Thanks!

CharlieBear
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I used mushroom compost when I started my new garden and it did great for about 3-4 years, before it needed to be augmented with a lot of organic matter. I would not suggest that you not add any, but I was using the compost to fill boxes for strawberries, etc and just didn't have anything to put back in the early stages. Note, it will decompose some, but it is full of organic matter, and in my experience contains very little weed seed. The first year I had almost no weeds, until the seed blew in from the hood.

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