Garden Topsoils: Their Importance And How To Maintain Them
Garden topsoil can have a great impact on the health and overall growth of your plants by adding the necessary nutrients and assisting in proper drainage. You probably have enough space for a garden and have committed to the time. But do you have the tools required to make the garden grow? Well, forget about the garden gloves, rakes and spades; I’m talking about good gardening soil. Topsoil can be an essential tool in getting your lawn or yard into the best shape possible. So how is it important?
Soil Nutrients First
Topsoil is formed when the rocks and other materials below the earth’s surface disintegrate hence allowing organic materials to add to the upper layer of soil. This may also include the breakdown of roots and other parts of plants that once grew in that location. It may take several decades to form this nutrient-rich topsoil and about a century-plus at times. As a result of the continuous addition of organic matter, the topsoil becomes highly rich in nutritional value, which can have a huge impact on new and continued growth alike.
The topsoil is usually darker than other soil types, often because of the increased organic content and can indicate a high nutritional content. When creating your new garden, it can be extremely helpful to add a substantial layer of topsoil in the initial stages of planning to give your plants a healthy start. On the other hand, if you have an already established garden but realize that your plants are not flourishing quite as well as you think they could, you may consider gently adding a thin layer of topsoil around them to give additional nutrients.
Garden topsoil can be obtained with various levels of quality and density, which can have a huge impact on drainage. Once you have performed an evaluation on the current soil in your garden, you can decide whether you require assistance in the garden and go for topsoil to either reduce or increase drainage. For example, if your garden soil has a considerable amount of clay, it can inhibit proper drainage which can result in water stagnation. Stagnant water in a garden can create harmful bacterial growth around plant roots. In such a scenario, you would need topsoil that has a higher sand content so as to improve the drainage around your garden plants and shrubs.
If your garden soil has too much of sand content, you should go for topsoil that has very little sand in it to reduce the rate of drainage. While good drainage is excellent for plant growth, over drainage can result in loss of the very topsoil nutrients you’re trying to retain for your vegetables. And if you are having problems retaining water in your garden even before adding some topsoil, you might need to consider one that has a higher clay content to help reduce the water loss around your plants.
Maintaining Your Topsoil for Longer Use
With Garden topsoil being a crucial aspect of the ecosystem, keeping it healthy and in place is not an option. Failure to maintain the topsoil can mean erosion or reduction of nutrients none of which are good news for a gardener. So how can you keep your topsoil in place for longer use?
1. Ground Covers
One way to maintain your topsoil and ensure it stays in place is by using ground cover. Low growing grass and shrubs aid in protecting the topsoil from being blown away by the wind, let alone being swept away by the rain. Ground covers serve as nets that hold the soil in place. Better yet, low growing plants prevent moisture from evaporating instantly even under extreme heat conditions.
Mulching is also an excellent way to maintain the topsoil. Mulching uses both organic and non-organic materials as covering so the gardener has an array of options to choose from. Organic mulch is composed of dead leaves and wood and serves almost the same purpose as ground covers. Mulch also helps trap moisture which creates an excellent environment for the decomposition of organic matter.
Topsoil is an asset in your garden that you cannot afford to lose. With the willingness to get your hands dirty and a bit of research, you will find the topsoil that will make your garden flourish.