Three Topsoil Mistakes To Avoid

Whether it's your garden or lawn, soil is the most important ingredient when it comes to green, lush growth. Topsoil is a term that is used often, but it's important to know what it is. Although technically topsoil just refers to the top couple of inches of soil on any plot of land, when it comes to growing healthy plants, the word actually has a more loaded meaning. Topsoil in this case should be a top layer that is rich in organic matter and nutrients. The following are some mistakes to avoid so you can ensure the best topsoil layer possible.

#1: Stripping the native topsoil

Unless your native soil is very bad, such as heavy clay, you will want to preserve as much of it as possible. If you must do any construction work, for example, have the contractors remove the topsoil and place it to the side. Cover it with a tarp so you don't lose it to wind. This way it can be laid back down once the work is complete and before you resume planting. You must preserve it in the garden too, or the topsoil could wash away. Mulching over any bare soil can help conserve the topsoil.

#2: Not feeding your topsoil

Whether you have exceptionally healthy and rich topsoil, or soil that leaves something to desired, proper feeding is vital to keep it or get it into good shape. Compost is the soil amendment of choice, in this case. In garden beds, till an inch or two of compost into the garden soil every year before planting. For lawn, sprinkle ½ to 1 inch of fresh compost over the lawn using a fertilizer spreader at least once a year.

#3: Replacing with the wrong product

Sometimes you won't have decent topsoil, or it may all be stripped during a construction product. In this case, replacement with the right product is necessary. Any one of the several compost products on the market will work well, including several types of compost or bagged humus. Work this into the existing soil to create a nutrient rich topsoil layer. IF you opt to purchase bagged topsoil, though, use caution. Choose a screened topsoil and make sure it is deep brown or black in color. If the mix is light colored, it may contain clay which can ruin your soil.

For more help, contact a landscaper near you.