Topsoil consists of the clay, sand and silt in the top 3 to 10 inches (7 to 25 cm) of soil on the ground. The right topsoil for your outdoor project will depend on the type of landscaping you desire and the varieties of plants you want to grow. Although there are no legal standards for determining the quality of topsoil, there are a few ways to find a good topsoil. Use the tips below to choose the right topsoil for your gardening needs.

1. Examine the topsoil. Look carefully at the topsoil before you buy it, since it may be difficult to return it once you have purchased it. If you’re buying topsoil in bulk, inspect the soil before the truck drops it off.

2. Select a topsoil that is dark in color. A dark brown or black hue is a mark of quality topsoil with a high percentage of organic matter. A grayish or light brown topsoil typically does not contain as many nutrients as darker topsoil.

3. Smell the topsoil. Good topsoil should have a sweet odor.

4. Examine the texture of the topsoil.

– Walk around in the soil you’re considering. It should feel as if you’re walking in sandy loam. The soil should not cling to your shoes in chunks.
– Press the topsoil into a ball with your hands. A good topsoil should crumble apart when you open your hand. When the soil contains too much clay, it will clump together when a little water is added to it, and the water won’t be able to drain out of the soil. When the soil contains too much sand, adding water will make the soil feel grainy.

5. Ensure that there are no weeds or large stones in the topsoil.

6. Ask a professional to analyze your topsoil. This is a good idea if you want to buy a large amount of topsoil. A professional will examine its texture and will measure the amount of nutrients and organic matter the topsoil contains, as well as its pH level.

(Source: wikihow)

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