A Comprehensive Guide to Buying and Using Top Soil

If you are just getting into gardening, there are a few things that you need to learn about, one of them being soil. There are different types of soil, and they are used for different purposes. In this blog, we will be looking at top soil and answering any questions that you may have.

What is top soil?

As the name suggests, top soil, or topsoil, is the uppermost layer of soil. It is rich in nutrients and organic matter that nourish new beds and newly planted plants and flowers.

Why do I need top soil?

Areas that have been previously paved have poor quality soil that cannot support any plant growth. Top soil is incredibly helpful in replenishing damaged soil, compared to compost, because it retains moisture much better.

Types of topsoil

You can choose from three types of top soil, depending on your project.

Premium grade

Premium grade top soil can be quite expensive, but you are guaranteed to get value for your money. If you want to build flower borders or create new beds for plants and flowers, we highly recommend using this type of top soil. It is extremely fertile and has great structure. It is also great for gardening because it does not bring in weed seeds.

General-purpose grade

This comes in different screen sizes, depending on what you intend to use it for. Fine grades are used for top dressing and sowing new lawns, whereas the coarser grades are used for laying turf. This kind of top soil can also be useful when making borders and new beds.

Economy-grade

As the cheapest top soil on the market, the quality of economy products is not great. It comes unscreened and is mostly used to fill up any areas that require more volume.

What to look out for when buying top soil

If you want to use top soil for gardening, ask to see a sample of the soil before buying. Look out for things such as:

• High stone content
• Weeds
• Thick fibrous roots
• Contaminants, e.g. glass

It is also important to enquire about where the soil is sourced. Some suppliers get their top soil from building sites, in which case, the quality can be variable. To ensure that the quality of the soil is not compromised, always confirm that the soil comes from the same source. Finally, avoid buying imported top soil. You can easily introduce invasive plants such as the Japanese knotweed without knowing.

Application of top soil

Applying top soil is pretty straightforward. You just need a rack to spread it as evenly as possible. Once you are done, water the soil thoroughly to ensure the nutrients penetrate the ground, down to the roots of your plants or grass. If you must use a fertiliser immediately after spreading the soil, proceed with caution, as this might damage the roots of your plants.

How to care for top soil

Top soil is vulnerable to erosion. Also, since your plants absorb nutrients from the soil, it is important to add a new layer at least once a year to replenish it. You can also use manure to add more nutrients to the soil.