Home Home and Garden A PA Homeowner’s Guide to Topsoil

A PA Homeowner’s Guide to Topsoil

by Ruhia

Topsoil, as its name implies, is the top layer of soil and refers to the first five to twelve inches of the earth. When you plant seeds, you will work with this layer to ensure your gardening or cultivation efforts are as successful as humanly possible. The subsurface is the soil that exists beneath the topsoil. This is usually composed of clay or hard-packed earth and is not suited for plant growth. For your plants to have drainage and nutrients, you need soil that is rich in organic matter. For this reason, you’ll need to invest in top-grade topsoil to ensure your work pays off!

Significant concentrations of microorganisms and organic materials can be found in topsoil. This is one of the key reasons that topsoil becomes so efficient at supporting plant growth. Plants decompose when they expire, returning nutrients to the soil that can be used to develop new plants. Alongside supporting new and current plant growth, a quality topsoil product can help you fight weed and pest infestations (in a way that’s safer than most pesticides, and which is 100% organic). Discussing your topsoil needs with a trusted gardening professional in your area, or a quality topsoil delivery service will ensure you’re on the right track. 

Topsoil vs. Compost

Compost and topsoil are two distinct materials, even though they both may contain organic materials. This is used to help facilitate strong, healthy gardens around the world. That is made from decomposed plant and animal matter, which is broken down by bacteria and fungi in the air. Meanwhile, topsoil is the top layer of soil that you’re dealing with in your garden. Compost is frequently used to help support and improve topsoil. However, so knowing how to get a solid mixture of both compost and topsoil will help you further the effectiveness of your gardening efforts.

Determining my Garden’s Topsoil Needs

Topsoil needs can differ drastically from garden to garden. The location where you live is extremely important, so picking a topsoil appropriate for PA is key! Rock, sand, manure, wood chips, and many other organic materials are used in creating different forms and products of topsoil. So finding the right combination for your area, and your gardening needs is crucial. If you’re planting a lot of different plants, the combination of topsoils that you might need can get complicated fast. So be sure to remain flexible when selecting the right topsoil for your current job. Three types of topsoil are especially useful in PA:

1. Clay

Clay is one of the absolute best topsoil choices for most PA homes. Although it can be tricky to master the use of clay as topsoil at first, a professional can give you all the initial advice and guidance you need to unlock the many benefits clay topsoil has to offer. It should always be mixed with other organic materials, such as quality compost, to ensure it is not too tough, however. Additionally, you need to add extra drainage capabilities to your garden when using clay, as it can soak up moisture much faster than the other two types of topsoil that we’ll be discussing.

2. Silt

Silt is a fantastic topsoil choice for PA homeowners looking for an easy-to-use, one size fits all type of topsoil. If this is your first time taking your home gardening and cultivation efforts seriously, silt topsoil products are highly recommended. Those looking to make their lawn look extra lush and beautiful will benefit from using silt topsoil as well. That being said, silt can become compacted quickly, which makes it another topsoil that can run into issues with draining tasks.

3. Peat

Peat is a type of topsoil that is rich in organic material and is created when plants and animals decompose in moist climates. Peat soil often has a dark brown or black appearance and is composed primarily of organic matter. It is soft, easily crushed, and has a high water content.  It feels spongy to the touch and may force water out if you squeeze it. If you’re growing flowers or vegetables, peat soil is a fantastic choice. That being said, peat soil needs extra fertilizer support to ensure your plants maintain as many nutrients and natural elements as humanly possible.

Unlock Your Home Gardening Dreams

With the right topsoil and professional advice, you can quickly unlock your home gardening dreams. Even if you’re just looking to make your lawn appear more impressive, the right topsoil products and know-how have a lot of value to offer you. With this handy guide, you’ll up your home improvement efforts in no time!

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