How to improve your topsoil condition and grow better plants

You should consider four areas: soil type, pH levels and soil enhancers.

It is normal to think in aesthetic terms when planning your garden. While choosing a high quality topsoil may not be as exciting than selecting your plants, it is essential for your garden’s success. Quality Garden Supplies Ltd. is a family-owned company that provides high-quality landscape and garden products to the public and the trade. We provide fast, national delivery of small amounts to large-scale orders.

Topsoil is very important. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to grow plants. Once you have a good understanding of soil, you can start to improve it for next season.

Tips For Great Topsoil

Check your soil type

It is important to determine the type of soil in your garden before you start your gardening project. The soil is made up different materials particles. The most abundant type determines the soil type.

Topsoil of high quality will contain a balance between clay and silt to ensure that plants thrive.

1. Clay soil is sticky, hard and heavy when it’s wet. Clay soil must contain at least 25% clay. It can be easily rolled into a ball shape using your hands. It is sticky and sticky when wet, and it sets like concrete once dry. It retains water, which can lead to poor drainage. Also, it is slow to heat up in spring, delaying plant growth.

2. Sandy soil is dry, gritty and contains lots of fine sand particles. It won’t form a ball if it sticks together. High concentration of sand, so water drains quickly and vital nutrients are not absorbed by the plants. It is easy to grow and warms quickly in spring.

3. Silty soil is fine grains made up of clay and sand. It can be squeezed into small sausage shapes (not a ball). Poor drainage and easy to compact. A less common soil type. This soil is rich in nutrients and retains more water than sandy soil.

4. Chalky soil – Stony, pale, and full of chalk lumps. Stone content makes it difficult to dig. It is low in nutrients, drains easily, and can dry out in summer. It has a high lime content, which is alkaline.

5. Loamy soil is the best friend of gardeners. It’s not too dry or sticky. Partly smooth, partly gritty and easy to crumble when formed into a ball. A good balance of 40% sand and 40% silt, with 20% clay. It has excellent structure and drainage, while also holding water well. Easy to cultivate and high in nutrients.

Check your soil pH level

Are you alkaline or acidic? This is important because different plants thrive in different soils. pH levels begin at 7. This is neutral and is neither acidic nor alkaline. Your topsoil pH level should be between 7 and 7. If it is lower than 7, it is acidic, and higher than 7 it will be alkaline. Topsoil of high quality will have a pH between 5.0 to 8.2.

A DIY kit is available at most garden centres and can be used to test the soil pH. These kits are inexpensive and simple to use, and can give you a good idea of your soil’s pH. Chalky soils, which have a high calcium content, are more alkaline. More acidic soils are more common in sandy soils.

How to test soil pH

  • Take soil samples from different areas in your garden.
  • Add the soil to the kit, and then add the chemical indicator.
  • Add water according to the instructions, and close the bottle.
  • Allow the color to develop, then check the pH.
  • Add soil improver

Do not despair if your soil isn’t perfect – there are ways to make it better with organic matter.

You can simply select the soil improvement product you want and then add it to your soil. Bark chips do not add nutrients, but you can still dig bark into soils that are heavy every year to improve their structure and drainage. Bark chips can slightly acidify soil.

After you have organized your soil enhancer, start digging it into the soil at half a wheelbarrow’s load per square metre. Then dig your soil to a minimum of a spade’s depth. If you have already planted your garden, don’t worry. You can gently loosen the soil with a trowel. In early spring, add organic matter to the soil. It is also known as mulching. This will improve the soil conditions.

  • Regular application of organic matter is key. The soil will benefit from it.
  • Choose plants that suit your soil type, pH and preferences