Topsoil and Why It’s More Important than You Think


There are quite a number of materials and tools necessary to make sure your garden or lawn is the ideal growing ground for edible and ornamental plants. While most gardeners or homeowners are only concerned about the appearance of their foliage, the topsoil is really important. It is the foundation of everything beautiful and green in your garden.

If you want healthy and growing foliage, you need to know more about topsoil as well as how to care for it.

Topsoil defined

Topsoil is also referred to as “A horizon” — the topmost layer of the Earth’s outermost surface. It is a mix of sand, silt, clay and other elements, which also include air and water. It is enriched with many minerals and nutrients that are vital to a plant’s health and growth.

Because of the high concentration of decaying matter (organic) and microorganisms, topsoil is usually of a darker hue than subsoil, which is the soil found immediately below. Most of the root systems of plants are located within 2–8 inches of the topsoil and require insects, worms as well as other organisms for its nutritional needs.

Uses of topsoil


For gardening and retail purposes, topsoil has earned for itself many names, including native topsoil, manufactured topsoil, sandy loam, organic topsoil and amended topsoil. Gardeners who wish to use bagged or bulk topsoil as a way to improve the performance of their existing soil should keep in mind that topsoil is much too dense to be used on its own and should always be tested before using.

Bulk or bagged topsoil should be mixed into your existing or native soil to enhance water movement as well as drainage, which keeps plants from taking more water than they need. There are tests for soil porosity, nutrition retention and acidity that can help you find out whether or not it is good to use for maximum plant growth.

Interesting topsoil facts

Although a very crucial element in the growth of our planet’s vegetation — and here we talk about crops specifically consumed by both animals and humans — the earth has no more than an average of 3 feet of topsoil. Not only that, topsoil develops very slowly, only forming at a very surprising rate of 1 tiny inch every 200–1,000 years. Also due to environmental factors such as erosion, topsoil disappears much more quickly than it is made.

The disappearance of topsoil

Pollution, weather patterns, development as well as a number of other factors also contribute to the loss of topsoil. It is said that an average of 1% of this very useful soil is lost due to erosion. Construction sites are also known to remove topsoil, while compacting the remaining soil through heavy machinery. The land loses its natural ability to retain water, thereby making it more impervious and unstable.

While there is an alarming threat to topsoil, the good news is that there are reputable companies who can still provide you with quality topsoil delivery in Utah. What sense is there in bulding infrastructure if the soil cannot be relied on, right?

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