Comparing Top Soil And Loam Soil
Topsoil vs Loamsoil is a well searched phrase and if you are new to gardening, then you may be hearing terms like “topsoil” or “loam soil” and aren’t quite sure what they mean. These two are often used interchangeably, which can make things confusing for the newcomer. Technically speaking, loam is a special type of topsoil. But you always want to differentiate between the two phrases when possible. Before considering top soil vs loam soil let’s cover the basics.
Soil is one of the most important components in the gardening formula. If your plants aren’t surviving in good weather, then it is very likely that the soil is the problem. For this reason, gardeners often take extra steps to use the best possible soil.
A gardener who wants to greatly boost the chances of their plants surviving will use as much topsoil as possible when gardening. Of course, a certain percentage of the soil is always going to be topsoil naturally. You can increase that percentage by purchasing commercial topsoil and replacing the existing soil with it.
What Is Top Soil?
As the name implies, topsoil is the top layer of soil that you see outside. It usually includes the first 12 inches of soil. The closer to the top, the better the soil is. topsoil is often much darker than the regular layers of soil directly beneath it.
topsoil is beneficial for gardening because it contains some degree of organic material. This organic material might be food, bugs, and other plants that have decayed over the years. The soil is usually between 2 and 10 percent organic material.
This organic soil is far superior to your average rocky soil composition when it comes to gardening. It is usually free from harmful chemicals and is packed with the organic matter that plants love. It is also fairly decent at retaining moisture for the plants.
Many new gardeners believe that there is only one type of topsoil worth their time. In reality, there are some variations available. The standard organic topsoil may not be the best selection for your garden. That’s where loam soil comes into play.
What Is Loam Soil?
Loam soil is a special type of soil that contains a very specific mixture of ingredients. Unlike topsoil, which is a broad categorization and can include any variety of ingredients, the mixture of loam is always the same. Loam is composed of sand, clay, and silt.
There are some variations among loam soils. These variations come from varying percentages of silt, clay, and sand. Most loam contains 50 percent sand with 25 percent clay and 25 percent silt. When there is more than 50 percent sand content, it is referred to as “sandy loam”. Likewise, if the silt or clay is above 30 percent, then it is known as “silt loam” or “clay loam” respectively.
Unlike topsoil, there is no organic material mixed into the loam. It is only ever the three ingredients listed above. This might not sound beneficial at first because that organic material provides nutrients, but there are benefits that come from the silt, sand, and clay.
The primary benefit of the loam is how water reacts in the mixture. The clay absorbs a great deal of moisture. This causes the plants to grow strong and tall. The sand allows air to circulate throughout the soil and dry away excess moisture. The silt acts a mixture of the two and retains some moisture while still allowing adequate airflow.
The loose consistency of loam helps water to quickly reach the root system of the plants when watering. Some water is absorbed by the clay and the rest is washed away so that it does not build up and cause the plants to drown.
Why Use Loam soil In Your Garden.
Loam is a great soil choice if you’re having trouble with your new garden. It doesn’t have the nutrient value of standard top soil, but its moisture benefits actually surpass the benefits provided by the nutrients. Plants successfully grown in loam always grow to be strong and tall. Your garden will impress everyone who sees it.
You are advised to do a bit of research before settling for a single type of loam. Remember, there are some differences between loam mixtures. Choose a mixture that is best for your particular plant and climate. I hope you are a little more informed on the term topsoil vs loamsoil.