A guide to applying topsoil to your lawn and garden
The health of your garden's topsoil is essential for healthy fruit and vegetables and beautiful blooms. However, if your gardening on what was once a construction site or your soil has become compacted, it might be time to order some quality topsoil and start creating a lovely and productive garden. Applying topsoil to your lawn or garden beds is straightforward, but these simple tips will help you to achieve optimum results. First you'll need to order the right product for the job: that means turf topsoil for your lawn and either beds and borders topsoil or vegetable and fruit topsoil for the rest of your garden. Choosing the right topsoil with the right balance of pH and nutrients is half the job done. Topsoil for your lawn • If you're laying lawn turf you'll need around three inches if topsoil. Spread the topsoil with the aid of a rake and get it as level and evenly spread as possible for best results, although some imperfection is fine unless you're creating a bowling green! Otherwise, rake a thin layer of topsoil over your existing lawn as a nutrient rich top dressing. • Now water thoroughly - about two inches of water is ideal - to allow the nutrients to penetrate down into the subsoil and the roots of your existing grass. • If you now choose to add a fertiliser, be sparing. You may feel the more the better but you can actually damage the roots of the turf and leave it weak and unable to thrive. • Follow up with a proper lawn maintenance programme. Topsoil for beds and borders • If you're creating a flower border or raised beds for fruit and veg then you'll need at least eight inches of topsoil, so you'll need to order in bulk. • First, prepare your borders or beds by digging over the existing soil and working in around three inches of topsoil before you start planting. For best results, use a mechanical rotivator - or plenty of spadework - to thoroughly mix the topsoil and the subsoil together until the two are thoroughly blended. • If you're creating a raised bed, you now need to add the rest of the topsoil. For a herbaceous border, proceed as for a lawn and make sure you rake the topsoil evenly over the entire length and breadth of the border. • Finally, water thoroughly before you plant so that the nutrients are carried throughout the growing medium. In this way, you'll create the very best environment in which your fruits, vegetable and flowers can thrive for exceptional results.