Gardening: Improving the Quality of Your Garden’s Topsoil
Are you building a new home including landscaping the garden? Or, are you perhaps redoing your existing garden from scratch?
The value of using high-quality topsoil cannot be underestimated and measures must be implemented to continuously improve the soil’s quality
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following points:
What is topsoil?
Wikipedia.com describes topsoil as the “upper, outermost layer of soil, usually the top 5–10 inches (13–25 cm).”This soil has the “highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth’s biological soil activity occurs.”
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services notes that topsoil is one of our most important natural resources. And it takes about 100years for one inch to be naturally created, depending on the climate and the naturally occurring vegetation. Finally, high- quality topsoil is a scarce commodity because of the widespread modern landscaping and gardening practices.
Improving the quality of your garden’s topsoil
Topsoil is made up of “mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air.” This is where plants and trees get their food; thus, there is normally a high concentration of roots that occur naturally in this soil. And, if any of these components in this layer of soil are not replenished, loses its value, and the flora planted in this soil will no longer grow properly.
Therefore, it is critical to implement gardening practices that preserve and increase the organic value of the topsoil that is already in your garden.
Add organic matter and minerals to the soil
This is achieved by adding organic matter such as animal manure, compost like fallen leaves, grass clippings, vegetable peelings, and fallen fruit raked up from underneath fruit trees, mineral phosphorous, and potassium to the soil in fall or autumn. This gives them time to break down into plant-friendly units before the annual spring planting.
It’s important to chop the organic material into small pieces before adding it to the soil. Once all the big pieces of organic material such as tree branches have been chopped up, the next step is to dig it into the first two inches of the soil.
Use earthworms to aerate the soil
Earthworms are nature’s answer to mixing the soil with the compost, manure, and minerals. The worms burrow through the soil, breaking up the soil as they transport food from the top to the bottom of the topsoil layer. They improve the soil’s natural structure, aerate the soil, and leave their castings behind to improve the soil’s quality. It is possible to mix, turn, and aerate the soil using a garden fork. Earthworms do a better job of improving the soil’s quality that a person with a garden fork can.
Read more>: Adding to Your Home
Add green manure
Green manure is created by planting specific crops to improve soil health and mixed into the soil once the growing season is over. These crops act both as a mulch and soil additive. Legumes such as clover and vetch are grown as a green manure to add nitrogen to the soil.
These points are just a few ways to improve the health of the topsoil in your garden. However, the salient point of this article is that high-quality topsoil is scarce; therefore, it is essential to maintain and improve the health of the topsoil in your garden.