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Thread: Top Soil Mathematics

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Top Soil Mathematics

    In honor of Ann's new job, here is a real life application for us to tackle(I really need to know the answer to this one):

    If Dazed_Lily has two garden spots(each on a side of the house) to which she would like to add 6 inches of topsoil how many total tons of topsoil would she need if one area is 23 feet by 8 feet and the other is 25 feet by 4 feet ?

    I suppose the topsoil company can answer this one but I'd like to know how to figure it myself beforehand.

    Thanks !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Wow - Found an answer

    http://www.doubleetrucking.com/measure.htm

    Can't believe I found this right after asking !
    Depth makes all the difference. After coming up with 5.25 tons, I think I'll doublecheck and 'renegotiate' the depths !
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 09-26-2003 at 07:06 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  3. #3
    Join Date
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    WOW!

    A mathematics problem, already?

    How FUN! Here I go....

    Cathy,

    First of all, we must somehow interpret our word problem so that all the units of measurements are the same. That is often where most of us makes a mistake in the computation of real world problems, myself included....

    We are talking about inches, feet and volume, ie., cubic inches or feet and comparing it to weight in tons. We must first convert all measurements to feet or inches. I think in this case, feet would be the easiest.

    Now, we have 6" which is 0.5' or 1/2' of topsoil, right? That conversion would be the first one I would make so that all garden measurements would be in feet.

    Since all of the topsoil is 1/2' deep, that gives us:

    (1/2') X (23' X 8' + 25' X 4') and without having time to explain, I would compute:

    23' X 8' + 25' X 4' which equals 184 + 100 (do the multiplication first via order of operations), then add and I would divide by 2 because multiplying by 0.5 is the same as multiplying by 1/2. (This is what math is all about and what I am teaching.)

    That gives us 284 divided by 2 which is 142 cubic ft.

    So, now all you have to do is find out from your dealer how many square feet are in a 'ton' of topsoil and divide it by 142 cubic ft. so that the topsoil measurements will also be in feet. I would think that would be dependent on the contents of the topsoil which is not regulated so may vary in weight per cubic ft.

    Make sense?

    What a great 'real world' problem to give to my kids. Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
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    Hey, Hey!


    Cathy!

    You answered while I was typing!

    Dirt weighs a whole lot more than what you think, doesn't it?

    Yep, I do believe you have the same answer as me...

    My challenge now is to get unspoiled because I am teaching the mathematics, not computers or calculators! I am good at math, but my arithmetic tends to be rusty!


    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
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    Thanks Ann ! It is a good real world, real life problem isn't it !
    Yes, dirt sure is is heavy but visually doesn't compare to its weight. When you first order a ton of delivered dirt you think, Oh Boy, this is going to look like Mt. Everest in my driveway. Then, when you see it you think there's got to be a mistake. Of course, when you go to move it wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, you think Oh my goodness(or Oh my back) what was I thinking, will this ever end ! I think I'm somewhere between 4 and 5 tons throttling back the one depth to 4 inches.
    The grand fianale to the dirt problem is the second irony which is that the delivery can cost more than the dirt(around $8/ton for the dirt and around $50 for delivery). Dirt isn't dirt cheap !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




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