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

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

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

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

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.

Improve Your Property: 3 Great Gravel Uses

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

gravel deliveryOutdoor landscaping projects are a wonderful way to improve property value and appearance. Whether it’s a small home landscaping project or a major commercial property improvement, gravel and similar materials are great for these outdoor jobs. 

According to a 2017 Houzz Landscape Trends study, roughly 38% of homeowners are currently using gravel or crushed rock for various outdoor projects. From washed gravel to crushed gravel, this durable material is extremely versatile. 

Make sure you are taking advantage of gravel delivery services so you can have this landscaping matter brought right to you. Here are some of the best and most creative uses for gravel: 

Erosion and Drainage Control
Using gravel at the bottom of flower pots is a great way to prevent erosion and control draining on your home. If there is no gutter on a property, a drainage foundation is likely not present, either, subsequently putting any flowers nearby in jeopardy. Use crushed gravel pieces to keep storm water roof run-off from splashing dirt along the side of your home. Also, placing gravel around or underneath drain pipes will prevent soil erosion throughout the area. 

Driveway Creation
Gravel can also be used to create excellent driveways — no matter how big or small. This material can be cruised and used as a concrete mixer to provide a smooth, traction based driveway. Another benefit of gravel is that it can also be laid as is onto a wide path of property as a loose drive area. It’s best to start with larger size pieces of gravel as the first layer, and then use defending sizes as you continue to layer your driveway.

Garden Accents
Finally, gravel can be great for accentuating beautiful home gardens. Rather than just having a garden stand alone on your property, placing gravel down can provide a nice looking flower garden border. This landscaping material can also be used to create stepping stones throughout a garden space, too. 

Keep in mind, you’ll need to work with a credible gravel delivery company before performing any of these landscaping tasks. If you need gravel delivery, topsoil delivery, or any kind of dirt removal service, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc today.

5 Reasons To Use Gravel For Your Next Landscaping Project

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

gravel deliveryWhen it comes to landscaping design, there are many benefits of having gravel installed around your home or business. You might ask yourself, “What can I use gravel for?”, but the truth is that it is a versatile and practical material. These ubiquitous landscaping rocks are easily maintained, affordable, and readily available from most gravel delivery companies. If you’re in the process of planning your next residential or commercial landscaping project, then here are some of the benefits of crushed gravel:

Very Budget Friendly
Because washed gravel is so easy to install, it doesn’t cost as much as other hardscaping materials. It is especially beneficial for driveways, too, as it can make longer driveways far more affordable. Unlike asphalt or concrete, all that you have to do after a gravel delivery is rake and level the stones along the length of the driveway. In fact, as long as you can provide the elbow grease, there is no real expense to you after it is delivered.

Easy Maintenance
As mentioned above, gravel is very easily maintained. For best results, it’s wise to order a little more gravel than you actually need. That way, as soon as you notice an uneven patch in your landscaping or driveway, you can spread new gravel around and fix the problem with relative ease. There’s no need to invest in expensive coatings or time consuming resurfacing with gravel. Every few years you will need to schedule another gravel delivery, but there is no need to call professionals to seal it or repair cracks.

Weed Control
Not only is gravel affordable and low maintenance, but it also provides year-round weed control. A one-inch layer of rocks can provide effective weed control; however, if any weeds do grow through, it will be easy enough to pull them up by the roots. 

Gravel Comes in a Variety of Styles
Gravel comes in a variety of grades, sizes, colors, and textures. Two of the most popular types of gravel include washed and crushed gravel, but there are many others to choose from. This means that you can find a type that matches the exterior of your property quite easily. No matter what kind of landscaping project or style you have in mind, there is a type of gravel that will fit your property perfectly.

Soaks Up Rainwater
As long as the gravel is installed correctly, you won’t have to worry about drainage. While asphalt and concrete tend to collect puddles of water, gravel patios, driveways, and walkways provide natural drainage. The individual rocks that make up gravel allow for the rainwater to flow right through them, typically to a sand base below, leaving the area free of excess water. Because drainage should be a top priority in any landscaping project, gravel is an ideal choice for a variety of applications.

There are many reasons to use gravel for your landscaping and home improvement projects, with these five being some of the more common. On top of these practical benefits, remember this: gravel looks good, too! So whether you’re working on a budget or need to achieve a more upscale aesthetic, you can easily find landscaping rocks that will suit your purpose.

Looking for gravel delivery in the Seattle area? Contact us for more details and get started on your landscaping project right away.

3 Common Rocks Used In Landscaping Projects

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uses for river rock

If you’re looking to do some landscaping before the weather turns cold, or planning a landscaping project for next spring or summer, then you need to know what you’re working with. Landscaping rocks are a large part of outdoor projects, with materials ranging from crushed gravel to river rock. However, it can be difficult to know what material is best for your project.

There are a lot of uses for landscaping rocks, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Something like washed gravel won’t be the same as pea gravel, for instance. It’s important to know what you’re getting when you buy, and that’s what this guide is for. Here are three common tips of landscaping rocks and the pros and cons of using them:

Pea Gravel
Pea gravel is a small, rounded rock that’s about the size of a pea, hence the name. It typically comes in shades of tan, brown, and white, but they can also change prices depending on the rocks. They’re often used for patio areas, pathways, and filling between other rocks.

The advantage of pea gravel is that it’s fairly inexpensive and readily available to landscapers. The disadvantage is that it can be hard to push anything with wheels over it. In addition, these tiny rocks tend to slip out of place if you don’t edge them carefully.

River Rock
River rock is a very popular type of smooth gravel, typically one to two inches in diameter. The rocks are a little larger than pea gravel, and also can come in a variety of colors and costs. Uses for river rock are to create dry creek beds or to direct drainage through a property. Major advantages are that it is a readily available product, and there are plenty of uses for river rock in landscaping.

The major disadvantage is that it’s difficult to weed through this type of material. In addition, maintenance needs to be consistent to avoid cleaning issues.

Crushed Granite Gravel
This is a very common rock to be found in landscaping, and it has a very close relation to decomposed granite. This is a bit rougher in texture and size, however, and is not smooth like pea gravel. It’s often found in walkways and patios.

Some advantages to this rock are that it provides great texture in the garden, and it can give a refined or contemporary look. However, it can be harder to find in a more rural area and is often twice the price of a similar decomposed granite.

There are quite a few types of rocks that can be used in landscaping, and there are a lot of uses for river rocks and similar materials. All that has to be done is to find what’s right for your project. Hopefully, this list was able to help.

Important Items You Need for DIY Landscaping Projects

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types of topsoil

Starting a new DIY home improvement project? Unless you’re doing a major overhaul of your home’s interior, you probably won’t need too many different items aside from the household stuff you already have. When it comes to DIY outdoor projects, however, you will need some specific tools and products in order to successfully complete these landscaping tasks. The do-it-yourself community has significantly grown over the last few years, and the most important aspect of perfuming a DIY task is knowing exactly what you need. 

Here are some essentials for just about any DIY landscaping project you have coming up. 

Different types of topsoil
There are three different types of topsoil you should know about before you begin any outdoor landscaping project. You’ll be working with sandloam, and clay. Each type of topsoil has its own strengths and weaknesses, but be sure to at least know where to acquire all three before starting any outdoor project. 

Landscaping rocks
Make sure you pick up some landscaping rocks as they can be used for all kinds of projects. Whether you are planning to construct a rock wall along the exterior of your property or garden outcropping, know that landscaping rocks will be required. 

Driveway gravel, drain rocks, and crushed rocks
Crushed rock and basalt is a must for nearly any hardscaping outdoor project. These rocks can be used as driveway gravel or for any kind of rock pathway throughout your property. This material can be tightly packed into a smooth, firm surface and can craft any kind of walkway or paved area. Be sure to get enough gravel and crushed rocks, however, so you don’t have to make multiple trips.

For major outdoor projects that require a lot of heavy lifting, consider working with a dump truck hauling company. There are helpful dirt removal services and topsoil delivery companies that can lift and deliver extremely heavy loads that would take you a lot of time and effort to get to your property. 

If you want to learn more about the different types of topsoil you’ll need or what else you might use for landscaping projects, contact Builders Sand and Gravel Inc today. 

Topsoil: Its Types And Why You Need It

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

types of topsoilWhether you’re a seasoned gardener or you’re still developing your green thumb, it’s no secret that topsoil is one of the most important aspects of your outdoor growing projects. As the uppermost layer of soil, usually between two and eight inches down, it houses some of the most important nutrients and raw material for both landscaping and gardening. But one topsoil certainly doesn’t fit all. There are many types of topsoil, each with their own benefits to your garden and landscaping project.

Ultimately, the types of topsoil you use depend on your project. But before we answer the question “what kind of topsoil do I need for my garden?” We first need to look at what exactly topsoil is.

What Is Topsoil?
Topsoil is a highly valuable gardening material that can be delivered to construction sites and homes through topsoil delivery services. It can be used to supplement or replace difficult soil in gardens, as it’s a very nutrient-dense material. In fact, most topsoil blends contain between 2% and 10% organic material.

Are There Different Types of Topsoil?
Yes! The type of topsoil you should be using is really dependent on its make-up. Topsoil is made up of various combinations and percentages of other soil types, blended with organic matter. The most popular of these soil types is called “sandy loam,” and it’s the one used by most gardeners. It is roughly 40% silt, 40% sand, and 20% clay, which provides for an incredibly fertile soil that holds nutrients and moisture around a plant’s roots. It also doesn’t waterlog or drain too quickly. Other types include clay soils, fertile but very prone to water logging, and sandy soils which are low in nutrients due to the speed at which it drains.

Why You Should Get Topsoil
Topsoil is incredibly fertile, depending on the percentages of nutrients within it. If you get the sandy loam type soil preferred by most gardeners, you’ll experience a highly fertile garden. You might have to experiment depending on the flora that you plan to grow. You should speak to your soil provider to get a better understanding of what type of soil you should get for your project.

If you have any questions about topsoil, the different types of topsoil, or the delivery of this much-needed farming and landscaping tool, don’t hesitate to ask. After all, an educated gardener is a great gardener!

DIY Landscaping: What To Do First And What Tools You Should Be Using

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

drainage gravel

Nothing brings your yard to the next level more than landscaping. Not only does it set your home apart from the others on the block, it also increases its resale value up to 14%. And what’s more: you don’t necessarily have to pay a landscaper to do the job for you. You can easily do it yourself with the right tips and the right supplies.

Begin with hardscaping
Before you even think of touching your plants, it’s important that you first get the hardscaping part of your exterior re-design out of the way. Even if use rockery rocks to border the outside of your garden, your plants and turf can still be impacted by construction work. Therefore, it’s important that you work on the plants and garden only after you’ve finished construction work on the following hardscaping projects:

    • Sidewalks
    • Driveways
    • Porches
    • Fences
    • Patios
    • Decks

Using the right types of topsoil
Once you’ve finished your hardscaping projects, you can now commence with your gardening and making your yard look fresh and colorful. One of the first things to ask yourself before you begin to make a gorgeous landscaping design is: “what kind of topsoil do I need for my garden?”

With topsoil, it’s important that it contains organic matter such as compost or peat moss. This makes it more fertile for your plants. Potting soil can actually make your garden less likely to bloom because the dirt can become compact and won’t be loose enough to encourage growth.

What can I use gravel for in my garden?
It’s important that you do not use drainage gravel at the bottom of your garden or potted plants. What is drainage gravel you ask? Drainage gravel is a type of gravel rock that is used as a base surface to allow for water to filter through. Because of this, many gardeners believe they should use this type of gravel in their potted plants in order to increase drainage. However, this isn’t true. It’s actually better to use organic soil in your potted plants.

Use drainage gravel outside of your potted plants instead for a more effective gardening method. By placing gravel around the drainage tray of the plant, you can help the plant hold the water while simultaneously keeping the roots of the plant out of any additional moisture that may result in root rot or molding.

DIY landscaping can give your yard a wonderful new look without the amount of money you would otherwise spend on a designer. By purchasing your own tools, gravel, soil, and wood, you can turn your yard into a getaway in the span of a single project.