Topsoil is an excellent type of soil that is widely used due to the benefits it gives to our plants. I personally have been using topsoil for years now, and I have to admit that during the first year, I encountered a lot of problems with my topsoil.
At first, I blamed the garden center or the manufacturer of the topsoil that I purchased, which is why I decided to create my own potting mix and topsoil. But still, after a few weeks or months of using my created “masterpiece” – My topsoil had the same complications as well, which led to a lot of problems to both my soil and plants.
This is when I realized that the problem was not actually the topsoil I purchased or created, but rather, it was how I took care of it. I paid no attention to my topsoil whatsoever, which was why it did not last long.
Now that I knew what to do, I experimented with various formulas and methods until I finally came up with 5 ways to improve topsoil, and this is what I am going to share with you below!
But before that, if you are interested in knowing other aspects of how to take care of/or maintain healthy soil, then I highly recommend you check out the following articles below after this one.
What Is Topsoil?
For starters, it is important to know exactly what you are working with. In this case, topsoil may not seem much but it has its complex characteristics and care as well.
To begin with, topsoil is the upper layer of soil, thus having its name “topsoil” and it is usually 2 to 8 inches in depth, which consists of natural ground nutrients and fertility. Poor soil can be recovered with topsoil, and it is a great amendment to ensure a great start for your plants! These are just two of the many things topsoil is capable of. But remember, to have these benefits, you must be consistent in taking care of your topsoil as well.
5 Simple Ways To Improve Topsoil
1) Adding Leaf Mold
You can never go wrong with adding more nutrients to the already nutrient-full topsoil. More nutrients will both benefit your soil and plants since the nutrients will go on a cycle.
There are several ways you can add nutrients to your soil. For instance, leaf mold is an excellent carrier of nutrients that can be added to topsoil. On top of that, this can improve the drainage of your soil as well. So, adding more nutrients is definitely more than just a double win!
You do have the option of buying plant supplements, or picking up natural soil amendments outdoors. If you choose to purchase plant supplements for additional nutrients to your plants, make sure you purchase from reliable suppliers or stores, because low-quality plant supplements will only do more harm than good to your plants.
If you are picking up soil amendments outdoors such as bark, dead plants, or wood chips make sure to thoroughly clean them to avoid plant contamination.
2) Placing Animal Manure
Animal manure is a great way to improve your topsoil’s health. However, there are precautions you must know before applying animal manure to your topsoil. To begin with, make sure that the animal from where it came from is healthy, and not in butcher farms because there is a high chance that the animal from where the manure came from might have complications or diseases due to improper care.
Always get animal manure from the right suppliers or healthy livestock animals. If you choose to pick up animal manure, wait for 3 months first before applying it. Hot animal manure can easily burn your plants and kill the nutrients in your topsoil.
3) Using Compost
Applying compost has a large impact on your topsoil. This is because compost is made to improve both your soil and plant’s welfare, including the microorganisms that live in your topsoil. I use compost on my topsoil to further enhance its quality, sustainability, and productivity.
I have noticed spectacular results in just a few weeks of just using it! This is why I highly recommend taking advantage of this cheap and natural way of enhancing your topsoil.
4) Mulch Toppings
Aside from compost, you can use mulch as well! It is another way of improving your topsoil since the components of mulch are known to help make plants thrive. Mulch also helps with holding more moisture in, which is great for plants that appreciate higher levels of humidity and moisture. Topsoil with mulch does not make water evaporate so easily as well.
I use small amounts of mulch on plants that do not need too much moisture and add more for plants that love high levels of moisture.
5) Avoid Chemicals
I myself would stay away from “promising” chemicals unless they are proven and tested to be great chemicals for topsoil. It’s just that for me, I find natural ways better and safer compared to chemical sprays.
If ever you are interested in using them, just make sure they are 100% safe for your plants and topsoil. I had this experience before with a chemical spray that claimed to improve topsoil but resulted in the other way around. So, be careful with purchasing chemicals for topsoil improvement.
Final Thoughts On Improving Topsoil
A lot of gardeners, especially beginners, think that topsoil can sustain itself while it provides our plants with tons of benefits. This might be true in some circumstances, but for me, I live in a tropical climate where my plants encounter weeks of either dry weather or rainy weather – the damage it can do to my topsoil could either be constant wetness (for rainy weathers) or turning my soil compact (for dry weathers).
This can be drastic for plants because too much water retention can lead to root rot. On the other hand, dry weather or consistent hot temperatures can easily harden your soil. Either way, this can heavily damage your plant’s roots. To prevent this from happening, I highly recommend you apply one or two of the ways above on how to improve topsoil.
Do you have any tips you want to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below! For questions and clarifications, do not hesitate to comment them down as well.