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Nutritional Gardening Requirements — Calling in the Topsoil Suppliers

An Organic Program, Soil Analysis, and Regular Aeration Leads to Success

© 2012 by Mack Gill; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

Soil layers; Photo courtesy US gov Any gardener knows that his or her soil differs from soil in other parts of the country. For instance, where I live the soil is quite loamy and there’s plenty of clay under the surface.

My parents live in a place where the soil is chalky and free from clay. As a gardener you need to provide the right nutrients for your plants and grasses. And that sometimes means importing topsoil to redress the imbalances caused by the makeup of soil in your area.

Get a Soil Analysis Done

Topsoil suppliers will often ask for a sample of your garden soil, so they can work out the best ratios and concentrations of nutrients and mineral compounds to mix in your topsoil.

It’s also a good idea to get a pH analysis of your soil done with an eye towards what you intend to plant. For example, azaleas and gardenias thrive in a acid environment; many varieties of landscaping grasses, not so much.

The topsoil is placed over what is often called the “root zone” — that’s the place, obviously enough, where the plants you grow put down their root structures.

Take Water Conservation into Account

The composition of the topsoil is key for the proper aeration of your soil, and may also help with the ability of your lawn, garden, or sports field to deal with water. Less irrigation may be required where you are consistently using quality topsoil from local topsoil suppliers.

If less irrigation is part of your landscaping and gardening plan (which it should be), getting on an organic program will help you. This is true for initial soil preparation and your ongoing maintenance program.

It used to be the case that local gardeners and grounds keepers were their own topsoil suppliers. They’d manufacture their own topsoil from a mixture of local sands and soil particles, and spread over the root zone of their turf areas to ensure a good natural growth at the right time of year.

Unfortunately, the modern demands of 352 day-a-year golf courses and other public places, have meant that topsoil is now created to order and imported — to match the soil imported for the root zone.

Commercial sports and recreational facility lawn construction requires the use of soil able to withstand much heavier year round play than before. In most cases, regular maintenance using an aerator is just the right thing.

And this in turn has meant that the topsoil used to dress it needs to be pre-manufactured with sands and soils from the area the root zone mud is coming from.

So modern topsoil suppliers are in the business of designing soil compounds, matching perfectly the profile of the root zones over which they are to be dressed.

As such it is necessary, normally, to provide samples of the root zone before the topsoil is created and delivered. Many topsoil suppliers are able to extract a soil sample from the area to be dressed themselves — further ensuring an exact match between the root zone constituents and the finished lawn or putting green.

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Article © 2012 Mack Gill; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.