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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Topsoil grading

Grading should allow for a topsoil layer to be placed in areas which are to be planted (i.e. where topsoil is specified). Finished levels of the subsoil grading should therefore be low of the finished levels by the following amounts:

  • shrub and herbaceous areas: 18 in;
  • grass-seeded areas: 6 in;
  • turfed grass areas: 4 in;
  • tree pits: typically 24 in on most soils (35 in may on be used on well-drained sandy or calcareous soils).

The finished level of the topsoil when laid should be 2 inches above the level of adjacent paving and curbs in order to allow for subsequent settlement. This figure is our recommendation after experience with building and engineering contractors who do not understand the problem of topsoil sinkage. More usual ...

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