Storing Topsoil, To Tarp or Not To Tarp?

   #1  

snymat68

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I spent the long weekend stripping the topsoil next to my driveway and putting in a gravel parking area. I plan to use the topsoil to level out my back yard and back-fill behind some retaining walls I'm going to build back there (in addition to the proper gravel, etc. for drainage purposes). The thing is, I won't have the time or money to tackle that specific project until next summer (I have several other projects already planned for this summer). For now, I just piled the topsoil in the back yard, where I plan to leave it for the next ~12mo until I'm ready to use it.

My question is, should I cover it with a large tarp, leave it uncovered, or something else entirely? :confused3:
The pile is roughly 4ft tall and 10ft x 25ft at the base, give or take.
 
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   #2  

bigtiller

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Throw 2 lbs of grass seed on the top of the pile and let it be. Between the old sod and new seed, the pile will be covered before the end of summer.
I think a tarp will just fall apart and get blown away.
 
   #3  

Industrial Toys

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I had a big pile and tried covering it with several heavy 40 foot trailer tarps. It was a disaster. For some reason stuff still grew underneith, and rodents loved it. I had a big excavator turn over the pile the last time I hired one, but myself, don't know what to do. Roundup?
 
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Tractor Seabee

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I have been there also. I pile it, spread it, rototill it, pile it back up. Repeat several times before using. Good loamy soil under the to top layer. During the composting process most of the weeds and seeds get killed off. The large 21 AC tree farm we had before, generated several big piles each year. Kept rotating them. Always had good planting soil was available. When it got too much just spread the oldest over the garden plot. I seven years the garden top elevation grew 4".

Ron
 
   #5  

Oldoak

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I wouldn't use tarps, I would use black plastic, held down with blocks, rocks or even dirt piled on top of the edges. A heavy grade (thicker mill) plastic will last for the length of time you are looking at. And nothing will grow underneath the plastic.
 
   #6  

Industrial Toys

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It was fun, cleaning and folding up those 40 foot tractor trailer tarps. Plastic would have been easier, or ended up in the burn pile.
 
   #8  

thepumpguysc

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Bingo.. Black thick mil plastic..
I got mine from Lowes or H. Depot on a roll.. works great & the sun hits that black plastic & burns the weeds & whatever else lives in the soil.
I use it in my garden in the spaces that I haven't planted in YET.. & when I AM READY, so isn't the soil..
It doesn't break down like a tarp & I can use it season after season.
 
   #9  

big bubba

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Throw 2 lbs of grass seed on the top of the pile and let it be. Between the old sod and new seed, the pile will be covered before the end of summer.
I think a tarp will just fall apart and get blown away.

think this is the most practical idea so far, would not have thought of it. tarps have their place, having lost a section of my cabin roof recently. but the grass idea for the op question would be my choice. good luck w/your project
 
  
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snymat68

snymat68

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I think I'll go with the black plastic idea. Thanks for the ideas guys. The grass was something I hadn't thought of. I like the idea except for having to keep the grass trimmed with a weed whacker and then having to deal with it when I'm ready to use the topsoil.
 
 
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