A more relevant question? Why wouldn’t a Florida yard need more dirt. The entire state barely emerges above the high tide. Florida is a gigantic shoal; a barrier island too big for its britches.
More dirt will add a few more inches of soil – a few more inches of dirt to plant in before we hit the mounds of oyster shells left by the previous inhabitants. (The previous inhabitants were presumably too busy shucking oysters to consider gardening.) A few more inches of dirt before we strike salt water. A few more inches of dirt could extend fifty years protection against global warming. A few more inches of dirt could mean surviving the storm surge from a class three hurricane.
Why wouldn’t we want more dirt?
And where do we get more dirt? Well, we could buy it in 50 pound bags at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
But a problem exists. How far will a fifty-pound bag of dirt spread in a typical Florida back yard? It is like peeing in the ocean.
But dirt is available in large quantities.
Everywhere contractors gather dirt and move dirt. They don’t know what to do with dirt. They don’t have anywhere to put it. They are desperate for suggestions.
Humans have been moving to Florida since Ponce de Leon (OK, for political correctness let us say since before the Timucuas). We might assume every home is already constructed, landscaped, and occupied. We might presume every home owner who wanted a pool would already enjoy one. This isn’t so. Somebody nearby has been holding off installing a pool until just this moment when we need a few truckloads of dirt.
We looked around. We found a contractor and asked him to dump a truckload at the end of our drive. We asked him to dump it on our beautiful green lawn. Someone will spread it out! Someone living in our home, impervious to Florida heat and humidity, awaits with a wheelbarrow and a shovel.
How far will a few truckloads of dirt spread in a typical Florida back yard? It will not go far. But it will cover the grass with two or three inches of sandy dirt. It will allow a fresh start; a clean palette.
Bordered by verbena on one side and a house on the other we will have a blank canvass of shade. Or sun.