If you want your lawn and ornamental plants to look their best, it is important to use good quality topsoil for home landscape projects. The best topsoils will have the right proportions of sand, clay and organic matter, provide nutrients to your landscape and provide good drainage while still retaining moisture for plant roots to absorb. Before you start a landscape project that involves planting and topsoil, it’s worth taking a little time to get the best material for your needs.
1. Start With a Soil Sample
Selecting the best topsoil for your garden or planting beds will partly depend on what your current soil is like. Bring a soil sample to your landscape supplies store to get their recommendation. Based on the composition of your existing soil, they can make a recommendation on the best topsoil blend to use in your yard. For example, soil with a high clay content may need a topsoil mix with extra sand to improve drainage properties and increase aeration.
To collect a soil sample, don’t dig in just one location. Pick three or four spots within your project area and mix those soils together to get an average soil type. A pint or so of soil is enough to bring to your landscape professional.
2. Test the Soil
How do you know if topsoil from a landscape supplier is good quality? A quick test will give you a general idea. Topsoil should look dark and crumbly and smell almost sweet. Look for earthworms in the topsoil pile; they love good dirt! Pick up a handful of topsoil and squeeze it. It should crumble rather than forming hard blocks. If it is wet, it should not feel slippery and slimy. While this won’t tell you everything about the topsoil, it will help you to rule out a bad topsoil source.
Triple Mix Topsoil
Triple Mix is a topsoil blend that has the best of everything. It includes topsoil, peat moss and compost. A good quality topsoil is used as the main ingredient. Peat moss is added to help with water holding capacity, releasing moisture slowly over time. It also improves aeration and keeps soils from becoming too heavy and waterlogged. Peat moss helps to retain nutrients so they don’t leach out of the soil.
Compost also improves soil quality while adding organic matter and additional nutrients to the triple mix blend. Together with peat moss, it gives the soil a lighter feel than regular topsoil. The triple mix topsoil is thoroughly blended and screened so it is easy to work with in your garden or yard.
Uses for Triple Mix
Triple mix and premium topsoil blends are good choices for both ornamental and vegetable garden planting purposes. Triple mix is also excellent to use for topdressing your lawn in the spring. As a nutrient rich material, it reduces the need for synthetic or other fertilizers while keeping plants happy with all they need to grow and thrive. Based on a soil sample, your landscape supplier can recommend how much triple mix to add to the existing soil for your landscape project.
Remember that the most important part of your garden is underground. Invest in good quality topsoil; your plants will love you for it.