4 Common Myths About Gardening With Topsoil

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

oil uses

It’s important to use the right materials in your gardening whether you’re renovating the entirety of your yard or simply making improvements to your flower beds. Incorrectly using the wrong types of topsoil can harm your plants or, even worse, make them wash away in heavy rain.

That being said, there are a number of myths associated with soil uses when it comes to gardening with topsoil. Here are some of the most common ones to help you use topsoil correctly in your next landscaping or gardening project.

    • Myth #1: All topsoils are the same. As mentioned above, different topsoils have different soil uses. So although topsoil is the uppermost layer of the soil and is typically two to eight inches thick regardless of the type you’re using, it’s still important to choose the right one for your project.
    • Myth #2: Topsoil proportions don’t matter. Different kinds of topsoil will contain different proportions of sand, clay, and silt, so it’s important to know which proportions may work best for your plants. Additionally, it’s essential the topsoil you use for your flower beds and other gardening projects have some form of organic matter because this is where your plants will get their nutrients from. No organic matter means no plant growth.
    • Myth #3: You don’t need to fertilize if your yard is nutrient-rich. Even if your yard has nutrient-rich soil, that soil needs to be replenished with nutrients every year to ensure proper plant growth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to fertilize your plants regardless of your yard’s soil. Your plants will thank you later.
    • Myth #4: You don’t need to till if you use topsoil. It’s still very important to till your garden when you’re getting ready to plant new flowers or vegetables. This is because soil can very easily become compacted, even with topsoil. And the last thing you want to do is choke the roots of your labor. Therefore, till your soil before you plant your flowers and include a good inch of compost for additional nutrients.

It’s important to know the materials you’re working with when you’re working on an outdoor project. For more information on topsoil delivery, utility sand, washed gravel, and rockery rocks for your own landscaping projects contact Builders Sand and Gravel today.

What Homeowners Need To Know About Gravel Driveways

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

how small is driveway gravel

Your driveway is a feature of your home that is often overlooked, but it’s actually very important in terms of both overall curb appeal and functionality. You drive your car up and down it every day. Your kids play in your driveway. Maybe your dog likes to take long naps in the sun on your driveway. But no matter how you use your driveway, it’s important that it is in great shape.

However, if you need to install a new driveway, it’s time to choose what kind of material you want to use. Gravel driveways have many advantages over other common types of driveways, but that doesn’t mean they are the right choice for everyone. So how do you know if a gravel driveway is right for you? Simple, keep reading this brief homeowner’s guide to this economical and durable driveway.

What is gravel?
If that seems like a simple question, then you have a lot to learn about crushed gravel and landscaping rocks. In general, gravel is any type of loose rock or crushed stone, and it comes in a variety of sizes. Small, pea gravel is often used for garden pathways, luxury driveways, and backyard patios, while the grey, crushed gravel most people are familiar with can be used for driveways.

How small is driveway gravel, specifically?
With the copious amounts of sizes that gravel exists in, it can be difficult to know what size to use. Crushed gravel can be as small as 1/10 of an inch, and it can get as big as 2.5 inches around. So even simple questions like, “How small is driveway gravel?” can be surprisingly difficult to answer. For more upscale applications, pea gravel and river rocks are ideal. They have a warm, tan color that can greatly boost curb appeal. However, for longer driveways, larger crushed gravel (1 to 2.5 inches) is ideal.

How many layers does my gravel driveway need?
In general, hardscaping experts will recommend three different sizes of rocks for gravel driveways. The very bottom layer of the structure should be made of four inches of rocks that are the size of a baseball. A middle layer of crushed rock should also be about four inches thick. This layer needs to consist of rocks that are about the size of golf balls. Finally, the top layer should be made of marble-size rocks, and this layer also needs to be four inches thick. These different sized rocks are all available for gravel delivery. 

How long will my driveway last?
A properly installed gravel driveway can last up to 100 years when properly maintained. Unlike other types of driveways, gravel does not to crack or sink. Water passes right through it, so drainage won’t be a problem. However, the topmost layer may need to be replenished every few years as needed. 

How much do gravel driveways cost?
Gravel driveways are the cheapest option when it comes to driveway materials. A gravel driveway can cost anywhere from under $1 per square foot to over $3 per square foot. Different variables go into the project’s overall cost, like how far the materials have to be shipped and the size of the driveway.

If you are looking into a gravel driveway and are asking yourself questions like, “How small is driveway gravel?” or “How much does gravel cost?”, then this guide should help you out.

Your Property Is Your Canvas: A Guide to DIY Landscaping

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

crushed gravel

Performing complicated landscaping projects gets such a bad reputation. If you look at these outdoor tasks as difficult work, it will feel like difficult work. But if you have a little fun with the planning process, get a little creative with the actual project, and do enough research to ensure that you know what you’re doing, these landscaping projects can actually be a lot of fun. 

According to a survey by Harris Poll for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, three-quarters of Americans, or 75%, believe that it is important to spend time outside in their yards. Not only will DIY landscaping projects give you a sense of accomplishment, they can also improve your property’s resale value and increase the amount of time you and your family spend outside.

Don’t just stop at your front and back yard, however. When it comes to DIY landscaping projects, your entire property is your canvas. Improving the look and feel of your lawn is always a great idea, but don’t forget about hardscapes such as driveways, patios, and terraces. According to a 2017 Houzz Landscape Trends survey, roughly 38% of all homeowners who were upgrading their driveways, pathways, patios, and terraces use crushed gravel or crushed rocks for these improvements. 

Keep in mind, however, if you are going to begin a major DIY landscaping project, you’re going to need the right kind of materials — as well as the necessary information on how to perform these tasks — before you begin. Without the proper knowledge or the right products, you’ll be able to begin these projects, but you likely won’t be able to actually see them through to completion. That’s why you need to contact credible topsoil delivery companies and building sand suppliers. These landscape material providers can deliver high quality crushed gravel, mulch, and other supplies necessary for all kinds of DIY projects directly to your home. 

If you want to learn more about ordering crushed gravel and washed gravel, rockery rocks, and other landscaping materials for various outdoor projects here in the Seattle region, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. today.

How To Improve Your Property With Topsoil and Crushed Gravel

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

topsoil deliveryAs a homeowner, you should never feel content with the look and feel of your property. Even if your home truly does look amazing, and even if you’ve spent years improving both the exterior and interior of your property, you should never feel like it’s complete.

Fresh landscaping can always help to improve the way your property looks and stands out in your neighborhood. Also, many landscaping projects will actually increase your property’s resale value. However, if you’re planning virtually any type of home landscaping project, there are two essential materials that you’re going to need on hand. Two of the best landscaping materials to work with when it comes to property improvements are crushed gravel and topsoil.

Topsoil is evaluated on two basic features: texture and fertility. It’s the uppermost layer of soil found all over the earth, but can be manipulated and used for property improvements as well. To acquire the highest quality topsoil around, contact experienced topsoil delivery companies. These professionals can drop off the exact type and amount of topsoil you need for just about any soil property project.

If your landscaping project is going to include any type of planting, then fresh topsoil is a must. Before you can plant new flowers, shrubs, or even trees, you’ll need a healthy amount of topsoil to work with.

Crushed gravel

Crushed gravel is much stronger than topsoil and is used primarily for hardscape projects and pathways along the yard. While washed gravel often works best for pathways and upscale patios, you will need a layer of rough crushed gravel to lay the foundation. In fact, crushed gravel serves as the base of many popular landscaping features. For water features, pathways, driveways, terraces, and so many other types of outdoor projects, you’ll need gravel to do it right. Fortunately, crushed gravel delivery companies can provide high quality gravel for your landscaping needs.

Together, both gravel and topsoil delivery can make for the perfect first step when it comes to improving your property. You can use the topsoil to create a beautiful area on your lawn and border it with a few layers of crushed gravel. There are countless ways to use these landscaping materials, and it’s all up to you.

If you want to work with high quality landscaping supply products, make sure you’re staying in contact with a quality topsoil delivery company. To learn more about the various types of topsoil and to gather the necessary rockery rocks and other materials for landscaping jobs, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. today.

3 Aspects of Construction Work Civilians Just Don’t Understand

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

removing dirt from construction sites

When it comes to major construction jobs, there are so many important aspects involved that often go unnoticed by the general public. In fact, most laypeople are completely ignorant of how their homes and workplaces were actually built. The truth is that construction work is much more complex than most people realize, and there are many necessary aspects of the job that we take for granted.

Thanks to the popularity of the DIY movement, more and more regular people are trying to take on construction work themselves. And while we commend the DIY spirit, ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to construction. Here are some essential parts of any construction job that you need to keep in mind:

Safety, safety, and safety
If you aren’t focusing on the safety of everyone at your construction site, you’re in the wrong industry. These jobs, no matter how small, can be life-threatening if proper safety measures aren’t in place. Be sure to remove any dangerous hazards before any work is performed, check and double check all safety equipment (and then check again), and be sure to only have competent workers performing jobs they know how to do. Be sure you’re abiding by construction laws and local safety regulations as well. 

Removing dirt from construction sites
Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil on the ground. It is usually between two and eight inches thick and can leave a gigantic and heavy mess when a construction site has come to completion. That’s why it’s essential that the displaced dirt and debris removal process is not forgotten. Removing dirt from construction sites can be virtually impossible if you’re not working with the right tools or the right company. Luckily, there are professional concrete removal and dirt removal services that can help you with removing dirt from construction sites (and any types of topsoil) so you can move on to your next job right away. 

Delivery of materials
You’ll also need plenty of materials for various construction jobs, and it’s up to you to make sure you have the right materials and tools for each project. A lot more coordination and logistics goes into even the simplest construction job than most people realize. For instance, you can work with a gravel delivery service if you need large quantities of gravel. Additionally, it’s extremely important that you have all the necessary tools and equipment for major construction jobs, which will have to be delivered to the job site, too. 

If you want to learn more about these important matters or need further help removing dirt from construction sites in Seattle, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. 

Flood Control and Prevention: What Is a French Drain?

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when to use drainage gravelDuring a flood, you must act quickly to preserve as much of your property as you possibly can. Major flooding may cause serious and expensive damage to your home, but your landscape is just as susceptible. In order to prevent flooding or provide damage control, a French drain is your best bet. 

What is a French drain?
If you have a soggy and wet yard, a French drain is a great way to rid your property of that unwanted moisture. Simply put, a French drain is just a sloped trench that diverts water away from your property. Henry French, a Massachusetts farmer, wrote about the innovative yet simple idea in a book about farm drainage back in 1859. 

French drains with piping
For major flooding jobs, lining your French drain with a sloped pipe is the best option because it expedites the flowing process. Water can travel extremely efficiently through a pipe because there isn’t any material blocking its path. The pipe is then emptied a safe distance away from your home and your land will once again be dry — or at least at manageable moisture levels. 

When to use drainage gravel
Using crushed gravel for your French drain is also a very practical and feasible idea for flood control. Don’t be worried about all that gravel negatively affecting your property’s image, either. Using a lawyer of river rock or pea gravel atop your drainage gravel will give it a more upscale look that blends in with the surrounding landscape. A one-inch layer of small rocks can also provide great weed control for your property. Knowing when to use drainage gravel is important for ridding your property of all that moisture, especially when you don’t have the time or resources to install a French pipe drain. 

Knowing how to properly use washed gravel for landscaping projects is an excellent skill that will certainly come in handy if you’re ever planning to construct a French drain on your property to prevent a soggy yard. If you want to learn more about when to use drainage gravel or other rockery rocks, or find a high quality topsoil delivery service, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. 

What Is Washed Gravel? Understanding Washed Gravel, Drainage Gravel, and River Rock

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

what is washed gravel

Most gravel has a rough, textured look. These rocks are used for long driveways, roads, and other heavy duty applications. Washed gravel, on the other hand, has the appearance of smooth river rocks, making it ideal for more upscale properties or when visual appearances are important. However, it also has a lot of other practical benefits.

If you’re trying to decide on the right type of landscaping rocks, you may be looking for more information on washed gravel. Hopefully, these differing types of crushed gravel will help you better understand: 

River rock is a popular type of smooth gravel that is usually between one and two inches in diameter, though sometimes larger. This type of rock is primarily used for landscaping jobs to create the appearance of a dried river bed. It can also be used for bordering a planting strip, flower bed, or property accent. 

1 and a half drain rock is the most common size for drainage gravel. This style of gravel can be used for drainage systems, septic systems, river rock in a dry river bed, French drains, or general landscaping gravel. Since the rocks are much larger than other kinds of gravel or drain rock, this material is much better suited for larger projects and jobs. 

Smaller drain rocks can come in sizes as small as three-fourths or seven-eighths. Though similar to the inch and a half drain rock, this material is obviously a little smaller, making it more useful for smaller landscaping projects or unique household gardening projects. 

Pea gravel is the smallest type of crushed washed gravel. This type of gravel is about three-eighths inches in size and has a more colorful appearance. As the smallest kind of washed gravel, this material is great for smaller custom jobs like layering an aquarium, providing the base to a fire pit, and placing underneath a children’s playground. 

Hopefully, this helped you better understand what is washed gravel and how it’s used. Keep in mind that all of these styles of gravel can be great for various landscaping jobs like pathways, accent features, garden borders, and luxurious driveways. 

Still not sure what type of washed gravel is right for your landscaping project? Contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. to learn more about rockery rocks today.

3 Things to Consider Before Starting a DIY Landscaping Project

Written by Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. on . Posted in Blog

dirt removal services

Landscaping projects are an exciting part of homeownership and can even increase overall resale value by as much as 14%. If you’re planning any major landscaping projects during the next few months, however, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. 

Though these projects can be fun, they can also be quite difficult to accomplish and can be very time consuming. Hopefully, this list of things to consider before starting any major landscaping projects will help you stay out of trouble and see every outdoor project through to completion.

Here are a few important factors of DIY home landscape projects that you should consider: 

What materials and equipment are you going to need?
Knowing what you need for each project is an essential part of landscaping. Before you jump into any outdoor job, sit down and really think about exactly what you’ll need to complete it. The most frustrating part of beginning these projects is starting too soon and having to get materials and tools later on. Look in your garage for any tools you might need and head to the store if you need anything specific, as far as equipment goes. 

How are you going to acquire all those materials?
Find a trusted organization that can provide you with the necessary products like crushed gravel for your specific DIY landscaping projects. Having these materials delivered to you is a great way to take some of the stress off your shoulders. You’re obviously in charge of gathering most of the equipment, but crushed gravel delivery services can help supply you with all the materials you’ll need for most landscaping jobs. 

How are you going to get everything cleaned up?
Depending on how large the landscaping project was, there could be a lot of cleanup necessary. Removing debris from construction sites or property lines can take a lifetime if you try to do it yourself. That’s why dirt removal services are so helpful — because they can successfully cleanup any major outdoor landscape site. Work with professional dirt removal services to get your property looking good in no time. 

Good luck on your DIY landscaping projects, and enjoy your property’s new look! Contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc. today if you need dirt removal services or certain landscaping rocks in the Seattle area.

Topsoil Vs Potting Soil: Which Should I Use For My Outdoor Garden?

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soil uses

Preparing your yard for a new flowerbed or vegetable garden can be challenging if you’ve never started your own garden before. However, by understanding the right types of soil uses and what to include in your garden, you’ll be guaranteed to have the correct growing conditions for the flowers and plants in your garden.

Gathering the contents of your soil

In terms of soil uses, topsoil is the uppermost layer of a plant’s soil and is approximately two to eight inches thick. What is topsoil made of? There are different types of topsoil, but it can best be described as a mixture of soil and materials such as sand, manure, and wood fines.

Potting soil is mostly made up of perlite, aged compost, peat, and vermiculite. It’s typically described as the soil used in gardening that helps plants and flowers to retain nutrients and water. Potting soil is also used to help prevent compaction, which can prevent plants from filtering out carbon dioxide and other toxic gasses that can kill the roots.

Different plants thrive in different types of soil uses and so it’s important to know the differences between topsoil and potting soil before you begin using random soils, drainage gravel, and rockery rocks in your landscaping.

Topsoil vs Potting Soil

The ingredients in potting soil are more specific to your intended growing environment because its contents are more consistent than topsoil. Topsoil has a wider range of materials because its contents are taken from the top of a field, meaning it isn’t as sterile as potting soil.

However, while potting soil may not contain weed seeds like topsoil might, it often doesn’t contain any real soil either. This is often why potting soil is referred to as soil-less.

Potting soil is best used for when your plants are still in containers. When combined with soil outdoors it can cause the soil in your garden to dry out because it can often drain too well.

Topsoil on the other hand is best combined with outdoor soil that already exists in your garden or flowerbed. However, if your plants are in containers it may be a better idea to use potting soil. This is because topsoil can sometimes be too moist for container gardens, which can cause root rot.

Getting the best results

In order to encourage growth in your outdoor garden, add anywhere between 2 to 3 inches of topsoil to your garden and mix the topsoil with the existing soil without covering the plants. Mixing the topsoil gives your plants time to adapt and also helps to create a transitional soil layer. However, it should be noted that topsoil isn’t fertilizer and can’t give your plants all the necessary nutrients they need.

There are different soil uses for every garden, which is really what makes gardening for the first time feel difficult. However, with the right soil and the right questions, you can encourage the best growth possible in your outdoor garden.

Understanding DIY Gravel Projects: Rock Size, Maintenance, and Cleanup

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removing debris from construction sites

Landscaping rocks can be used for all sorts of wonderful property designs. Though you have to consider every aspect of these DIY projects before ordering a gravel delivery, once completed, your home’s landscape will likely look much better. 

Make sure that you consider everything when it comes to using landscaping rocks and crushed gravel for outdoor property projects. What does that mean exactly? 

Use the right kind of gravel for hardscape pathways on your lawn or for larger driveway projects. Using five-eighths minus crushed rock is a great way to create a high quality walking pathway. This type of rock is commonly used for driveway gravel, but can also make a terrific pathway from your driveway, through your yard, to the front porch, or even as backyard patio. Five-eighths minus rocks contain rock particles that are actually much smaller than most types of gravel. The fine gravel particles allow the pathway to compact well, resulting in a smooth, firm, and well drained pathway. 

Also, 1 and one-fourth minus can be used for these hardscape pathways, but you should be aware that this material is larger and will result in a different look and feel. If you’re using these crushed rocks for driveway gravel, you’re going to need a higher quantity, but the material should be strong enough to achieve a great looking driveway. Properly installed gravel driveways can actually last up to 10 years or longer as long as you are keeping up with regular maintenance and upkeep. 

However, while it’s important to choose the right types of crushed gravel for your DIY project, that doesn’t mean you should take a one size fits all approach. When the time comes to install your gravel driveway, make sure that you’re varying the size of gravel you’re actually using. It’s recommended to use at least three sizes of gravel for a quality and durable driveway. The bottom layer should consist of four inches of much larger rocks (roughly the size of a baseball). The middle layer should be a little smaller (roughly the size of a golfball), and the top lawyer should be the smallest layer (roughly the size of a marble). 

Don’t forget about properly cleaning up after these projects, too. If you don’t have an excavator of your own, you can always consult a professional team who focuses on removing debris from construction sites

If you need help removing debris from construction sites, ordering crushed gravel sites, or want to learn more about what rockery rocks can be used for, contact Builders Sand and Gravel today.