Gardening has seen a significant increase over the past year as people have turned to their gardens and outdoor spaces during the lockdown.
Whether you’re simply starting out on a small lasagna garden, or developing a vegetable plot in your allotment, we have a look at some tips to get the best out of your topsoil and how to use it correctly.
To begin with, you should clear the existing area before laying down your new soil. Lightly turn over the top five inches of the existing soil, as this will loosen the ground and help make sure you get the best from your new topsoil.
Get rid of as many weeds as you can from the area, as you don’t want them growing up through your topsoil.
Avoid handling your topsoil when it is wet, as this will ultimately compact it together, reducing its capacity for aeration through the topsoil if it is raining. Once it has been laid down, try to minimise the amount of foot traffic over the area to avoid compacting it further. The more your soil can breathe, the better it will be.
When it comes to spreading the soil, it is best to work backwards 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.
You can also add a layer of topsoil to your beds and borders to help keep your plants healthy. This needs to be at least five inches deep, or even more for maximum benefit. However, 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 five inches and up to 12 inches deep.
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