What Makes a Good Topsoil


You simply cannot buy topsoil without understanding about the various kinds of topsoils that are offered for use. You also have to define the product before you make a buying decision. Topsoil itself composes about the top 20cm of the soil in the ground. This type of soil varies from sub-soil, as it is made up of organic materials. In fact, organic content is the major ingredient in a topsoil product.

A Fertile Plant Soil

Therefore, topsoil contains essential compounds, which are the nutrients that plants require to grow and thrive. The topsoil is used to improve a soil’s structure by enhancing drainage and sealing in the moisture around the roots of plants. If organic matter is not included in any kind of soil, it is basically considered infertile.

Where Plants Take Root

So, the topsoil represents the layer where most plants take root, as it gives them easy access to vital nutrients. Topsoil may also contain worms, insects, microorganisms, fungi, spiders, and bacteria. Rotting plant matter and animal faeces also contribute to the overall composition of topsoil.

Three Top Major Topsoils

The major topsoils differ in content, colour, and texture. They are as follows:

  • Sandy topsoil – This type of topsoil is used for drainage.
  • Clay topsoil – This topsoil is rich in essential plant nutrients. However, the soil is not used for drainage.
  • Silt topsoil – This type of topsoil, which is refined, is made up of quartz.

A Good Topsoil Mix

Typically, the above-listed topsoils are used in combination. Therefore, a good topsoil product will contain equal amounts of sand and silt, totalling about 70% of the mixture, and under 30% clay. Some topsoils may be more acidic or alkaline in nature. However, the acidity or alkalinity can be modified in order to encourage plant growth.

Main Topsoil Ingredients

When topsoil deliveries in Thirsk are made, property owners normally receive soil that is made of four main ingredients. These ingredients include the following:

  • Organic matter, or decaying animals and plants
  • Minerals, or fragments of stones such as sand, silt, or clay
  • Air, which fills in the spaces between the organic matter and minerals
  • Water, which is used to dissolve the organic matter and minerals

Why Aeration Is Important

The root systems of plants absorb the nutrients in the topsoils that have been dissolved in the soil’s water. When a topsoil is used then, it is important that it is aerated. Soils that are aerated provide spaces between the organic matter and minerals so the water can circulate and roots can expand. The spaces also permit insects and microorganisms to live in the dirt.

Improving a Poor Topsoil

If a topsoil needs improvement, it can be enhanced by combining the soil with a compost and aerating it. You can either buy topsoil in small bags or purchase it in bulk. Typically, it is better to make bulk purchases, as you will save more money that way. The product is regularly featured in premium, general purpose, and economy grades.

If you will be using topsoil for a major gardening project, make sure you have the product delivered to your home. A topsoil source can also provide products such as aggregates, gravel, pebbles, cobbles, granite, and concrete.

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