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When planting a lawn, the height and amount of topsoil is important. It serves as the basis for classic lawns or rolled turf. For this reason, too little should not be used. Read here how much topsoil should be used under lawns.

In a nutshell

  • Top soil layer for lawns should be 15 to 20 cm thick
  • about 2 cm less for rolled turf
  • However, compaction reduces overall height
  • therefore calculate with more material (approx. 2 to 5 percent surcharge)

Topsoil: how high?

How high the topsoil layer for the lawn has to be is a concern for many gardeners. Regardless of whether it is a seed or rolled lawn, the layer of topsoil must always be high enough. This is the only way to provide the grass with sufficient support for the roots and an easily accessible nutrient base. According to experience, one Height from 15 to 20 centimeters for the topsoil layer established. The pit for the lawn is dug to the appropriate depth.

Notice: Sand must also be incorporated into many topsoils in order to improve the structure. However, this does not affect the overall height of the layer.

Topsoil layer for turf

The height of the topsoil layer for a rolled turf differs a little. The reason for this is the height of the turf. Ready-made lawn is not sown and is already delivered as a grass probe. It is two centimeters thick on average and is laid directly on the ground. The thickness of the rolled turf must be subtracted from the total height of the topsoil layer so that the turf does not end up being higher. This means you only need one layer for the finished lawn 13 to 18 centimeters of topsoil.


Calculate volume and weight

The amount of topsoil required can easily be determined from the volume of the layer. This example assumes a lawn with the following dimensions:

  • Depth: 15cm
  • Length: 5m
  • Width: 2m

The volume can be easily determined using the following formula:

  • Length in m x width in m x depth in m = volume in m³
  • 5m x 2m x 0.15m = 1.5m³

Now you know the volume of the topsoil layer. In order to determine the required amount of soil from this value, you must first know the weight per ton. Topsoil weighs an average of 1.3 tons per cubic metre. Depending on the provider, this value may vary slightly. The total amount then calculate as follows:

  • Volume in m³ x 1.3 t/m³ = amount in t
  • 1.5 m³ x 1.3 t/m³ = 1.95 t topsoil

Tip: As a precaution, add 2 to 5 percent to the total amount. This leaves enough soil for later compaction as it reduces the actual height of the layer.

frequently asked Questions

Can topsoil simply be filled onto existing lawns?

No, this method is not recommended. Although this enables a straight surface, the disadvantages outweigh the disadvantages. The biggest problem is weeds. Weeds multiply rapidly due to the nutrients in the topsoil, which makes lawn care significantly more difficult. You must scarify the old lawn beforehand to reduce the amount of weeds.

What is the best way to apply topsoil?

Depending on the area, different utensils are available: shovel, rake or mini excavator. The mini excavator is mainly used for larger lawns. If you don't want to put a lot of muscle power into the project yourself, you should hire a company. This is much faster, but is associated with higher costs.

What must be considered when spreading the topsoil?

Since the ground is used as the basis for the lawn, the subsurface must be as level as possible. Unevenness or holes create a crooked surface that is difficult to repair afterwards. For this reason, the subsoil should be leveled and compacted. Just fill in the holes.

Does the earth need to be prepared?

The nutrient-rich soil should be freed from components such as stones, roots and the like before use. This makes it easier to straighten the earth. At the same time, the root growth of the lawn is not inhibited by the components, which ensures lush greenery in the garden.

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