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Know Your Topsoil

Know Your Topsoil

It can be hard to know which the best topsoil is for you- and if you don’t know your soil you may struggle to get your plants to thrive. The truth is, most people aren’t that interested in the science of soil- but it has a lot of very special qualities you can’t see. Most people are surprised to learn that fertile soil is a finite, non-renewable resource and won’t be around forever. And with 1.2-2 billion tonnes of food intensively farmed each year –around 50% more than is eaten- we may soon be hearing more about the decline of our fertile soil resources. Aside from news of impending doom & gloom, however, why should you take the time to learn about the miracle of natural topsoil?

Topsoil is vital to the growth of plants and, therefore, humans! But it normally only occurs naturally on the top few inches of the ground. It can go down to a few feet at most.

Most importantly, topsoil is teeming with life! This is what gives it its rich, deep, dark colour. Decaying matter and microorganisms also provide its odour and miraculous growing properties. When it occurs naturally, topsoil is home to more organic activity than the rest of the earth! In fact, the next time you’re in the garden, grab a handful- you’ll be holding more living organisms in your hand than there are people on the entire planet! Yet all topsoil is roughly half air and water (its water absorption properties are miraculous- one acre could hold almost ten MILLION litres of water) and 95% non-organic material. Despite being only 5% organic, topsoil is the product- and in many ways the basis for- all biological activity that’s ever taken place on earth. Centuries of plant and animal organisms dying & decomposing goes into producing every centimetre of topsoil. Yet industrial farming and other bad production practices are reducing available topsoil at an unsustainable rate. That’s why increasingly the agriscience has been taking steps to reduce the damage to topsoil, such as more and more advanced composts and soil improvers.

The great advantage of using bought topsoil is that you can tailor your choices to improving the soil fertility profile in your garden. Scientists have identified over ten thousand different types of local topsoil in Europe alone, and each type of soil can favour certain plants. Using bought topsoil, instead of relying on compost and local earth, can allow you to grow a wider variety of the species you choose.

The Topsoil Shop is a leading supplier of high quality bulk & bagged topsoil across the UK. We have depots across the country to ensure fast & hassle-free delivery of fertile, freshly dug topsoil. See our depot locations here.

Tags: topsoil

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