The Three Different Kinds of Topsoil

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Growing a successful garden isn’t always easy. It can take quite a bit of garden landscaping supplies to keep plants healthy, especially when a yard does’t contain ideal growing conditions. One of the most important factors that determines the health of garden plants is topsoil.

What is Topsoil?

Topsoil makes up the first layer of dirt in the ground, and it is where most of the nutrients in soil are contained. Topsoil is created by dead and decaying organic material from plants and animals, as well as rocks that are broken down over time. Not all topsoil is the best topsoil for gardening. There are three different types of topsoil, including sand, loam and clay. Knowing the difference between the three and how to recognize them can help gardeners determine if their yard has the right conditions to help plants thrive.

  1. Sand – Topsoil that is composed of mostly sand is very fine and gritty. It is very porous and can absorb a lot of water, however, it doesn’t hold onto water very well and can’t supply plants with the water they need to grow. Sand also doesn’t contain many nutrients, making it hard for plants to thrive in this kind of topsoil.
  2. Loam – Loam is a mixture of sand and clay. Loam is porous like sand, but there aren’t as many air pockets in between soil particles. This makes it easier for loam to both absorb and retain water. Loam also contains organic matter, which has the nutrients that plants need to survive. Because of its combination of sand, clay and organic matter, loam is the best topsoil for gardening.
  3. Clay – Clay topsoil is a combination of organic material and broken down rock matter. Clay does not contain air pockets like sand and loam do because of its dense texture. Because of this, clay neither absorbs or retains water very well. Its dense texture also makes it hard for clay to absorb the essential organic matter that provides the nutrients plants need to thrive.

These different kinds of topsoil vary depending on location, but knowing the difference between the three helps gardeners to know what type of growing conditions they are dealing with and what types of garden landscaping materials they may need to help their garden along. Read more blogs like this.

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