The Wonderful World of Topsoil

  • By lemaster
  • 11 Aug, 2016

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t give much thought to your topsoil. Dirt is dirt. As long as your plants are growing and the garden looks nice, you probably assume that the topsoil is doing its job just fine.

But the truth is, there are huge differences in kinds of topsoil homeowners have. Too often, we find that the root of our customers’ gardening issues lies within their topsoil. Sometimes homeowners choose the wrong topsoil, but most of the time, they’re fighting against the conditions that already exist on their property.

D.R. Charles Environmental Construction is here to help with your topsoil service. Whether your topsoil is too sandy or too silty, too acidic or too alkaline, we’ll help you figure out what’s going wrong and provide the tools to help you make it right.

Curious? Keep reading to learn more.

What’s in Your Topsoil

Your topsoil is a world unto itself. Consisting of the top 2”-8” of soil, your topsoil is teeming with microorganisms, plant roots, nutrients, and moisture. Most of the moisture and nutrients your plants get come from the topsoil. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your topsoil has the right drainage, the right pH balance, and the right mixture of nutrients for the plants you want to grow.

Biomass aside, your topsoil is composed of 3 main parts: silt, sand, and clay. Clay tends to be made of decayed plants and animals. While clay has a lot of nutrients, it doesn’t drain very well. Sand is the opposite of clay in some ways. Made mostly of broken-down rocks and minerals, sand drains almost too well, and it doesn’t hold onto nutrients. Silt is somewhere in between sand and clay in terms of nutrient content and drainage.

Different Types of Topsoil

Most experts classify the type of topsoil based on its composition. For instance, topsoil with high sand content will be called sandy soil, while soil with high clay content will be called clay soil. There are also other soil types such as peaty soil (soil with a high peat content, which is the remains of plants covered by melting glaciers) or saline soil (highly salty soil often found in dry areas).

The soil that you want in your garden is called loam. Loam has a well-balanced mixture of silt, sand, and clay, as well as plenty of nutrients and the ability to hold onto moisture. It also tends to have a higher pH level, meaning it’s more alkaline. Many plants love this kind of soil and will thrive in it, giving you the garden you’ve always wanted.

Getting the Right Soil

Now that you know the kind of soil you want, how do you go about getting it?

The first thing to do is determine the type of soil you have. You can do this by picking up a soil test kit at your local gardening store. Depending on the test kit you choose, you test the pH level, nitrogen balance, potassium level, and more. You can also start to classify your topsoil by simply feeling around in the dirt. This blog post [kms1]   can help you learn what to look for.

Once you’ve figured out what type of soil you have, the next step is easy – just give us a call! Depending on the types of plants you want to grow, we can help you determine what needs to be added to your soil to get it where it needs to be. We provide a wide variety of soil, sand, screened fill, compost, and mulch. With the right mix of organic and inorganic components, we’ll have your garden growing again sooner than you thought possible!

And Now You Know!

We hope you enjoyed this short lesson about the different types of topsoil and what to look for to help your garden grow. Just remember that if you have any questions, we’re always available to help you out.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start growing!

Contact D.R. Charles Environmental Construction for topsoil service throughout Shelton, CT, Fairfield, CT , Orange, CT, and surrounding areas!


By lemaster 20 Jun, 2017

There is a lot of quality control one should put into their top soil or you can end up with a less than satisfactory product. Buying your soil from the wrong source can stand the chance of it being full of things you do not want to see in your garden such as weeds. Yes, the dreaded plants all of us hate to see can be lurking in your purchase. That is why it is important to be aware of what you are buying and from who. Here is a brief rundown so you can ensure you have the information that you need.

Topsoil

Topsoil and fill dirt are NOT the same.

Topsoil is the rich, dark, pleasantly smelly layer of earth that typically covers the top 6-8 inches of undisturbed ground. The smell comes from a wealth of organic matter containing billions of healthy microbes that plants love.

Fill dirt, on the other hand, has only one use — filling holes. It’s usually sterile, compacted, heavy clay that lies under the topsoil. It’s good for growing nothing.

Manure

Cow, horse, and sheep manure start out as grass and other plants. The digestive systems of these animals allow seeds to pass right through in mint condition. So never use bulk manure that hasn’t been properly composted for a year to kill the weeds.

Mulch

As with topsoil, buy from a local supplier you know. Bulk mulch such as shredded hardwood and ground pine bark should have far fewer weed seeds than soil because it didn’t start out on the ground. So just inspect it to make sure it doesn’t contain any leaves, stems, or vegetative matter. Make sure it’s been composted for a year too because fresh mulch will rob the soil of nitrogen as microbes break it down. DON’T buy mulch made from shredded pallets, pressure-treated lumber, or scrap wood. These could contain harmful chemicals or destructive insects, such as termites and borers.

By lemaster 20 Apr, 2017

Mulch is organic material used to cover the surface of your soil to keep moisture, conceal weeds and provide an overall attractive appearance to your garden and landscape. Mulch can come in the form of wood chips, leaves, bark, and more. Deciding what type of mulch for your landscape and garden does matter.

By lemaster 24 Jan, 2017

When it comes to ice melt products it is sometimes hard to distinguish what kinds to get. Knowing what is in your ice melt product and how it works can help determine what type of product you are looking for.  At D.R. Charles Environmental Construction, we carry a variety of ice melt products, bulk salt and winter supplies products and can help you choose the right product for your driveway.

By lemaster 28 Nov, 2016

Prepare your driveway, sidewalks and walkways with our ice melt products. At D.R. Charles, we carry a vast array of ice melt and winter supplies products to ensure that you are prepared for winter. We carry Ice Melt Products in our store from Central Turf & Irrigation Supply one of the leading ice melt product companies.

These Ice Melt Products Include: 

  • Central Premium Melt Safety Green Crystals
  • Central Commercial Melt Safety Blue Crystals
  • Central Enhanced Melt Safety Purple Crystals
  • Calcium Chloride Pellets 

By lemaster 11 Aug, 2016

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t give much thought to your topsoil. Dirt is dirt. As long as your plants are growing and the garden looks nice, you probably assume that the topsoil is doing its job just fine.

But the truth is, there are huge differences in kinds of topsoil homeowners have. Too often, we find that the root of our customers’ gardening issues lies within their topsoil. Sometimes homeowners choose the wrong topsoil, but most of the time, they’re fighting against the conditions that already exist on their property.

D.R. Charles Environmental Construction is here to help with your topsoil service. Whether your topsoil is too sandy or too silty, too acidic or too alkaline, we’ll help you figure out what’s going wrong and provide the tools to help you make it right.

Curious? Keep reading to learn more.

By lemaster 16 Feb, 2016
At D R Charles we offer a variety of bulk and bagged ice melt products that can help alleviate the damaging effects of snow on the ground and vehicles.

Bulk Products:
Salt/Sand Mixes: The sand improves vehicle traction due to its abrasiveness while the salt helps melt the ice.
Salt Mixes: Salt mixes help to lower the freezing point of water and melt the ice.

Bagged Products
Calcium Chloride Pellets: These pellets can melt ice and snow down to negative temperature conditions

Bagged and Bulked Products:
Magic Salt®: This is a biodegradable & environmentally friendly salt that can be safely used on cement and grassed areas.


By lemaster 13 Jan, 2016

Hiring a professional snow removal company can not only save you money in the long run but also provide the proper equipment & expertise to get the job done.


Share by: