Benefits of Topsoil

Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada

Have you ever wondered why the top layer of soil at the riverbank is dark? Why does it look different? Well, thatís because the upper 5 to 10 inches of soil is the special Topsoil.

As it is the top-most layer, ďO Horizon or A HorizonĒ are the names given to it in the soil classification system.

The organic matter is mostly found here because the top layer is where the plant roots, stems and leaves decompose. The main two parameters on which plants thrive are carbon and nitrogen, both present in it. Other than those, there are creatures like worms and beetles living in it which when decompose, enrich the soil.

The optimum pH for plants and crops is between 6.0 to 7.0. Good quality topsoilís pH is between 5.5 to 7.5. This is mildly acidic to slightly alkaline. This makes sure that plants are able to extract the nutrients in the ground.

Its quality depends upon the geographic region it is in. Fertile topsoil also has potassium, phosphorus and iron in it.

The formation of this important top-most layer of soil is a slow process. The organic matter from decaying animals and plants combined with the weathering of rocks results in topsoil. It can take around a 100 years for one inch of topsoil. Itís very slow but worth it.

Topsoil is proven to be the most valuable and fertile part of soil. There are a lot of benefits attached to it.

As it is the upper layer of soil, thatís where the plants grow. It retains water and has nutrients, both are backbones for healthy plant growth. A rich layer of topsoil guarantees healthy gardens.

Soil around a new house is expected to be sandy or clayey. If a thick layer of topsoil is added, it can promote healthy plant growth and result in a beautiful lawn and garden in no time.

A low in nutrients topsoil can be used to play the supporting role in projects like being the base for patios or changing the grade of a property.

Erosion is also prevented by compacted topsoil.

It also provides foundation for lawns and hard surfaces.

Its use allows the farmers to be less independent on chemical fertilizers.

It is also the reason for less soil and plant diseases occurring.

It makes your lawn healthy resulting in added drought-resistance.


The ideal time to put it in your garden is spring. It will give your plants plenty of time to grow and nourish before the harsh cold weather takes over. While choosing topsoil, you should look for the darker soil, as the blacker the soil, the richer it is in nutrients. Hence its earthy smell is the strongest as well.

If you were aware of how beneficial topsoil is, or if you just found out today, continue gardening. You can have a beautiful healthy and low maintenance garden, lawn or farm if you utilize this rich soil.
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