If you’re lucky enough to have come across a real organic topsoil, one that is sourced from an organic farm or a spot of undisturbed, or unpolluted soil, then you’ve got something really valuable for your garden. The problem with most topsoils that are sold in bags at the nursery or the big boxes, or at the bulk soil yard is that they are not from real organic or clean sources. In the case of bagged topsoils, many of them even have wood by-products in them. Since when are wood by-products topsoil? Since never is the answer! Many of them are also mostly sand or come from highly polluted land.
Once we have a good organic topsoil in hand, we can go about using it in a variety of ways that can really pay big dividends in the garden, landscape, or even on an urban farm or homestead. Below are the 5 best ways to use a good, real organic topsoil in your garden:
1. Raised Beds — Fill the bottom third of your raised beds with your real organic topsoil when creating a new bed or changing out old spent potting soil that has lost its nutrient value and structure. You fill the bottom of the bed with the topsoil and then cover that with a really good organic potting soil. Don’t buy cheap potting soil, the ones that you see at every nursery and big box. Those come from the multi hundred billion dollar municipal and Big AG waste stream and all of those products are really just recycled garbage. Get the best potting soil that you can, to cover your real organic topsoil for your fruits, vegetables, herbs, annuals and perennials.
Doing this tip will save you a lot of money when filling up your raised beds. Once you’ve filled the bed with potting soil, water the potting soil in with a good watering wand to get the biology, the microbes in the soil active. If you can, let it sit for a couple of days and water it again, then in a day or two you’ll be ready to plant.
2. Pots & Containers — Fill the bottom third of your pots and containers with your real organic topsoil when filling new pots or changing out old spent potting soil that has lost its nutrient value and structure. Fill the bottom of the pot or container with the topsoil and then cover that with a really good organic potting soil. There is no need to mix it. Again, don’t buy cheap potting soil, the ones that you see at every nursery and big box.
Again, doing this tip will save you a lot of money when filling up your pots and containers. Once you’ve filled them with potting soil, lightly water the potting soil in with a good watering wand to get the biology, the microbes in the soil active. If you can, let it sit for a couple of days and water it again, then in a day or two you’ll be ready to plant.
3. Seed Cover — Using real organic topsoil that has actual organic matter in it is the best thing that you could use as a seed cover for lawn seed, wildflower seed, cover crop seed and flower seed mixes for landscape applications. Spread your seed and then cover with 1/8”-1/4” of organic topsoil. The depth of the topsoil will be determined by the seed size and density of the seeding. Once you have seeded and covered the area, lightly water the area in with your irrigation system until damp. Do this everyday as the topsoil dries out and until you see sprouts. Sometimes you will need to water twice a day. Once germination has occurred and spouting has begun, start to transition your watering schedule to a few times per week.
4. Sod Underlay — For sod to really take off, it needs a good foundation beneath it. Putting down 1/16”-1/8” of organic topsoil under you sod rollouts is the perfect thing to give the roots of your new lawn a place to grow through to the earth below. Real, clean, organic topsoil, not woody topping that has no resemblance to soil, will give your new sod the best option for healthy and natural growth. Follow your sod planting with a compost tea within the first two weeks of installation.
5. Surface and Feeder Root Cover — A couple of times per year look over your trees, shrubs, plants and roses to see if the feeder roots have broken through the surface or have become uncovered from erosion due to irrigation or a strong rainy season. You will want to cover your feeder roots with your real organic topsoil as soon as possible to protect those small, but crucial roots from being harmed due to exposure.
Cover the roots with enough topsoil so that they disappear and stay out of sight after you have watered the topsoil in. You may have to do this a couple of times before your feeder roots stay safely beneath the surface of your real organic topsoil
There you have it gardeners, landscapers and farmers — topsoil, especially real organic topsoil, is highly underrated in the garden, landscape or urban farm. Source a fantastic real organic topsoil like Premium Organic Topsoil from Number 2 Organics. Pick up some bags from your local nursery or hardware store, or Contact Us for a quote or a store near you. Premium Organic Topsoil is the perfect fit for these 5 best uses for organic topsoil in your garden today.
© Randy Ritchie 2023