Buying Soil Guide
When you are buying soil, you need to understand the type of soil you are looking for and who it will blend into the existing soil in you garden. We are specialists in this area and investigate the following, prior to carrying out work:
- Its pH balance
- Its potential to help grow plants, flowers and shrubs
- Its nutritional contents
- Its consistency: clay, fine, muddy or water-logged
It is important that we have a look at your existing soil mixture and understand a little more about it – this is how Perfect Ground Solutions can help you achieve a healthy, luscious greener garden.
We often want soil delivered in bulk bags - these will often carry in the region of 800kg or 0.5-0.6 m3 - unfortunately, this will often not go as far as we expect, especially if we are filling in holes or levelling.
As a rule of thumb if we want to go by weight, the volume required x 1.6, will give a fair approximation of the tonnage of soil required.
When choosing soil for lawns, we need to be aware that many providers will automatically add “green waste” as compost to the soil, this is holistically nice but not good for lawns. The green waste will instantly begin to compost and break down in the same way that manure-based products do, in flower beds meaning that we very quickly end up with uneven ground.
If we are looking to create lawns or level areas, we should be looking for a mineral-based substrate that will not break down. We also do not want too much sand in it, as this is very free draining and dries out very quickly. If we have any depth of sand, it is rapidly visible in the form patchiness in the lawn, especially if it has been spread unevenly which happens if we use it to fill in holes/divots.
We also do not want a soil that is too “heavy” or one that contains too much clay as this can be difficult to work with. A significant amount of clay is good, as it retains moisture and nutrients, but like most things, we want a blend to make sure we get the best of all options.
One of the biggest problems is the fact that many bulk-bags of soil contain what is known as “crush muck away” which is debris from building sites, that has been put over a crusher to break up any visible large lumps. This is easily recognisable, by little bits of brick or what may look like coat (crushed tarmac) - this substrate should be avoided.
In truth, any competent provider of topsoil should be able to prove its provenance and be able to explain where it came from and its characteristics. If they cannot tell you much about it, perhaps another supplier should be sought.