If you are not a gardener or landscaper, then you might not know that there is a difference between topsoil, soil and dirt. The former two can support plant growth, but the latter cannot support plant growth. That’s quite useful for people who would like to make their own garden or are trying to landscape around their house or business. But how do you know which you have, and are there different kinds? Moreover, if you realize that you have dirt, is there any way to make it into something that will be useful? Keep reading to find out.
Soil, Topsoil, and Dirt
Healthy topsoil has the high amounts of organic matter and microorganisms. It has compounds in it such as sand, silt, and clay that make it ideal for growing. It has concentrations of nutrients including potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Dirt, on the other hand, is not suitable for growing. Many substances that would be qualified as dirt are too clay-like or too sandy for most types of gardening.
Other Ways to Get Topsoil
A nutrient-rich substance to grow plants in is imperative, but there are other ways that a gardener can get a nutrient-rich substance to grow plants in other than buying. Compost heaps use worms to create material that is rich minerals that many plants need, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Characteristics of Loam, Clay, and Peat
Loam is often used in gardening, and it is a mixture of clay and sand. It is nutrient-rich, and it is good for growing garden plants and trees. The types of plants that can be grown in clay-like conditions are smaller. Clay is smooth and dense, and it does not always drain well. A few plants that do well in clay are some flowers, including roses and bergamots. Peat has a higher acidity, and some plants actually prefer the PH level. Primroses and rhododendrons are two flowers that thrive in peat-like conditions.
Choosing the right material for your garden is vital to creating and maintaining a garden that your plants can grow in. If you have dirt, then your flowers, shrubs, trees, and vegetables will not have the nutrients that they need to thrive. While some plants grow well in clay-like or peaty conditions, others require a loamy condition.
The word Topsoil is one of those keywords that has many interpretations and varies significantly by not only the region but the supplier as well. Our interpretation here at Hilton Landscape Supply is very simple. Sand, Silt, and Clay the three components of true topsoil.
Hilton is fortunate to mine our topsoil from a 100-acre topsoil pit nestled along Bear Creek and the majestic Rogue River in some of Southern Oregon’s prized fertile farmland. We start by scraping the earth clean to prevent contamination of any and all vegetation, and then we dig through the layers of Earth and run it thru a 3/8” screen to create a particle analysis of Sand, Silt and Clay meeting the Oregon Dept of Transportation construction material specification for imported topsoil.
Since we control the ratio of each, we have the ability to manipulate the ingredients to custom fit your spec whether you are looking for a sandy loam or need a clay loam we can make it happen. We use our topsoil as a base for several of our products such as our Topsoil Plus and Forest Loam as well as custom blends to meet the needs of our regions growers.
Hilton only uses recognized laboratories for testing including germination tests to provide you a product free of Noxious Weeds and other contaminants that could be considered harmful to your project. You can rest assured our material is exactly what it is true Topsoil and not screened dirt from an unknown source.
If you are interested in improving the quality of the material that you plant your garden in, Hilton Landscape Supply has you covered from quality soil additives, top soils and compost for all your landscape needs.