Topsoil, or often misspelled as top soil, is the top layer of soil on the surface of the earth that usually runs about 5 to 6 inches deep. It’s full of organic matter, which makes it richer and darker. The organic matter is where new plants get the bulk of their nutrients from, making topsoil the most valuable layer of dirt. If you require soil with even more organic matter, consider our topsoil mix with 1/3 aged manure.
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Common Misconceptions of Topsoil
You might see other sand & gravel companies advertising their topsoil being free of weed seeds, and think that their products are superior. Unfortunately, there is no way to screen out weed seeds, so what some companies do is to treat their soil with heat. Not only is this a costly process, it also kills the microorganism that is beneficial to plant growth, which means it isn’t good topsoil anymore.
Another common misconception is that fertilization is not required when using top soil. This is simply untrue, even if the soil you acquired is top quality and suitable for plant growth. This is because nutrients in soil deplete overtime, and every batch of topsoil from the same gravel company would still vary in nutrient levels. To ensure successful plant growth, it’s best to do soil test and amend it according to the type of plant you plan on growing.
What Not to Use Topsoil For
Since top soil is rich in organic matter, which decomposes over time, air pockets and weak areas will form even if packed down. This makes the material unsuitable for creating a stable base, and grading or sloping with it will lead to settling of the ground. In a couple of years, new low spots will form and potentially create drainage issues. There are more suitable materials for these types of projects, such as fill dirt.
How Much Does a Yard of Topsoil Weigh
Not all topsoil is created equal. The weight can vary significantly depending on its composition, compaction and moisture content. For the example, according to the Spruce, a dry cubic yard could weigh up to 2,000 lbs, but up to 3,000 lbs when wet. However, bagged topsoil products sold at garden centres may only weight less than 1,000 lbs per yard, because they usually include amendments such as peat moss or composted manure for specific purposes and are often loosely packed.