Topsoil Tips and Advice

In order to make sure you get the maximum benefit out of your topsoil or compost it is important to use it correctly.

Here are a few topsoil tips to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

  • To start off you will need to clear the existing area before laying down your new soil. Then lightly turn over approximately the top 5 inches of the existing soil, this will loosen the ground and help make sure you get the best from your new topsoil.
  • If you’ve got a lot of weeds in the existing area it may be worth considering killing these off first as old weeds will simply grow through the new soil. (This could be done by using Roundup a couple of weeks in advance or removing the weeds & roots as you go).
  • For bigger jobs a portable rotavator can be hired to quicken up the job however for the domestic garden this will be overkill.

It is best to avoid handling your new topsoil when wet as this increases the risk of compaction. It will also be difficult to get good aeration through the topsoil if it is raining. Then, once is has been laid try to minimise the amount of traffic on the new soil in order to further avoid the risk of compaction. The better your soil breathes, the more it will benefit you! It’s simple.

When it comes to spreading the soil, it is best to work backwards, again to avoid compaction in the areas you have already laid. Distribute the soil in small piles around the area and use a rake to spread it out and a fork to mix it into the top layer of the existing soil, if necessary.

Demonstration of How to Lay Topsoil and Turf

Take a look at this video one of our customers sent in to us, it’s a great example.

You can add a layer of topsoil to your beds and borders to help keep your plants healthy. Ideally this needs to be at least 5 inches deep, or even more for maximum benefit. Don’t add it all at once; create smaller layers that you gradually work into the existing soil.

The key to getting the most out of your topsoil is to make sure you have enough depth. It is not enough to add a couple of inches as this will not provide you with any benefit. If possible all topsoil should be at least 5 inches in depth and anywhere up to 12 inches would be ideal.

Use our Topsoil calculator to help you figure out how much product you need.

For more information, check out our in depth guide on how to lay turf.

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