Topsoil – The basics

Whether you are new to gardening or an old hand, it is always important to be aware of the basics, so here is a quick guide to topsoil.

The layer of soil that rests on top of your garden is the topsoil and tends to be darker in colour to the subsoil. The topsoil is the soil that is richest in nutrients and it is this that plants use to get the food they need to survive. If you have an old house and garden you may be lucky enough to already have a good quality topsoil, but for those with a newer house, be prepared to put down a layer of imported topsoil over the top of all that builders rubble that lays just beneath the surface.

What is topsoil?

Topsoil is a mixture of sand, clay and silt and although some topsoil may have things like rocks, rubble and roots within it, it is important to get a balance of the first three. It is these three key ingredients in the right balance that make a good quality ‘loam’. This kind of topsoil gives your garden and plants the exact kind of nutrients they need to have a strong and thriving life. If a topsoil has too much clay in it, it can be difficult to work with. In addition to this, clay-like topsoil will retain too much water. If your topsoil is too sandy you will find that water retention is more difficult and your garden may not be able to get the amount of moisture it requires.

Also, contained within your topsoil is an abundance of living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, insects, spiders and the like that all add into the soup that makes for a good quality topsoil.

Is the pH of my topsoil important?

If you take your gardening quite seriously and are intending on spending some money on plants then it is imperative that you find out the pH of your topsoil in order to determine whether you need to buy fresh topsoil to help your plant-life grow. Your soil will be either alkaline, acidic or neutral and different varieties of plants prefer different levels of pH. This becomes another factor in deciding whether to stick with what you have or to buy some fresh in.

Where do I get my topsoil from?

If, when you have checked your topsoil, you decide to buy some fresh soil to put into your garden, it is important to use a reputable dealer like Garden Topsoil Direct. Not only will you be assured of a quality topsoil that has been checked for fertility and contamination, but they will be able to advise on the amount that you may need for your project.

As you can see there are many things to consider when deciding whether you garden requires new topsoil or not, but it will always be worth it in the long run.