Our topsoil alternative is well loved and used by many landscaping contractors in Dorset and Hampshire. As its popularity continues to grow, increasing numbers of individuals and DIY enthusiasts are enquiring about the material and asking questions about using a topsoil alternative.
To help our current and prospective customers to make the best use of our affordable alternative to topsoil, in this article our team has answered some of the most common FAQs.
What is topsoil?
Quite simply, topsoil is the very top layer of soil. It is the part with the most nutrients and organic matter, and where most of the Earth’s biological soil activity takes place.
Our soil can be collected or delivered in loose loads by the tonne or bulk bags. To find out more visit our online shop.
What is topsoil and its alternatives used for?
Nowadays, most gardens of new-build homes have poor soil quality as the natural top layer has been stripped away during construction. In these cases, topsoil or a topsoil alternative can be used to cover the ground with better quality soil, which can be used for:
- Creating new flower beds and borders
- Providing a base for sowing grass seeds or laying turf.
In paved gardens, a good quality soil can also be used in a raised flower bed.
If you are unsure whether you can use our topsoil alternative on your project, contact our expert team on 01202 579579.
How much soil do I need?
Although it can be a little complicated, it is important to try to calculate exactly how much topsoil or topsoil alternative you need before placing an order. By doing this you reduce the risk of delaying your project or having a lot of excess soil leftover.
To calculate the volume of soil required, start off by measuring the area that you want to cover with soil. If the shape you are filling is a square or rectangle, you simply need to measure the length and width. If measuring a circle then take the diameter, and for a triangle shape measure the height and width. Then multiply this by the depth of soil required.
To make calculations easier make sure you measure everything in meters as this will give you the volume of topsoil you need in cubic metres!
For example: A site has an area of 10m x 15m and needs a coverage of 150mm.
10 x 15 x 0.15 = 22.5m3
Once you know the volume in cubic metres you can work out how many bulk bags or loose load tonnes are needed. As a general rule, a tonne of a standard topsoil equals approximately 0.67m3.
How much is topsoil?
Topsoil can vary in price depending on where you buy it from, the volume required, whether or not it has been enhanced and if you need it in a bulk bag or loose load.
Our topsoil alternative is cheaper than traditional topsoil and has proved to be a popular choice for individuals, tradespeople and businesses in and around Dorset and Hampshire. Visit our new online shop to find out why our topsoil alternative is so popular and how much your project might cost.
Can topsoil go bad?
If you don’t use the topsoil right away and it isn’t stored properly then there is a high chance that it will deteriorate in quality. If you leave it in a bag for a sustained period of time, the soil can dry up and the nutrients inside it will start to break down.
You could use topsoil after it has been in storage, but you cannot guarantee that it will be of the same quality as it was when you first bought it. To ensure that you are using the best quality soil in your projects, it is important to order the perfect amount of topsoil alternative otherwise your excess could be wasted.
Can you use topsoil in pots?
Topsoil can be used in potted plants, but not for the long term. Potted plants need quick drainage, room for root growth, and nutrition and moisture retention which are not things that topsoil can provide on its own. If you want to use topsoil in your potted plants, it is recommended that you start with commercial topsoil or our topsoil alternative, rather than topsoil from your garden as that may bring weeds, fungus and pests.
How to apply topsoil
First, it is advised that you add 2 or 3 inches of topsoil alternative to the existing soil and mix them together. This will create a transitional layer between the two soils, encouraging roots to continue growing down.
Once you have done this, you can add more topsoil alternative.
Topsoil is prone to erosion, where the weather gradually wears away the soil. In this case, just keep an eye on your topsoil levels and top it up as required.
How deep should topsoil be for turf?
Ideally, turf needs around 4 inches (10.16cm) of topsoil or our topsoil alternative to root into. If you are working on existing soil, you may not need to add 4 inches. In this case, just work out the depth of the existing soil and figure out how much you will need to get it to 4 inches.
Where can I buy topsoil locally?
“Brilliant! The two bags of soil arrived within 24 hours rather than the publicised 5-7 days. The driver was friendly and really helpful. The soil is perfect topsoil”AMS Customer, 2020
Getting our soil could not be easier. All you need to do is visit our online store and input how you want the topsoil alternative to arrive (loose or bagged), how much you need and where you want it delivered to. Proceed to the check out where you can pick a delivery time frame that works for you. Alternatively you can call our expert team on 01202 579 579.
We will then do the rest. Our friendly team will drop off your order, ready for you to use. Finally, you can let us know what you think by leaving a review on Facebook.