Have you ever heard the word TOPSOIL and have you wondered what s so special about topsoil? In this video am gonna briefly explain you what is topsoil and how it differs from other types of soil, why topsoil is important and what topsoil is used for!
We will first start with Definition and Composition of Topsoil:
Have you ever been to a river bank and noticed different layers of soil? You might have observed that the top layer of this soil was dark colored and lush. This is topsoil, often referred to as the A or O horizon in soil. In soil classification systems, topsoil is known as the “O Horizon or A Horizon,” therefore, it is the very top layer
Take a closer look at the image on screen. Notice the dark layer of topsoil where the plants root themselves.
Topsoil is defined by the top two to seven inches of soil that has the greatest organic matter content and microorganisms. Organic matter is what is left after plant roots, stems and leaves decompose. Topsoil is made up of carbon and nitrogen, microbes and larger creatures such as worms, beetles and other insects. A fertile topsoil also has concentrations of nutrients including potassium, phosphorus and iron. Topsoil varies depending on geographic location and climate, as well as human activities.
Often, the blacker the topsoil is, the richer it is in nutrients, and the stronger its earthy smell. Rich, nutritive topsoil is able to hold on more water. Consequently, greater nutrients and water availability allow topsoil to be more productive in terms of plant growth. Farmer’s try to manage topsoil to allow for a reduction in dependence of chemical fertilizer and additives to prevent disease.
What Does Topsoil Do?
Most importantly, topsoil provides nutrients to growing plants. This is because this region of soil does the main biological nutrient cycling, providing needed carbon and nitrogen molecules for plants to grow.
Topsoil is the home to a diverse community of microbes that do this cycling. More importantly, the more diverse a microbial population is, the less soil diseases or plant diseases occur, reducing a farmer’s reliance on herbicide or pesticide because the soil community ensures healthy crops.
Topsoil is required to plant lawns and gardens. When building a new home, people search for topsoil to ensure a healthy lawn. Gardeners tend to till in topsoil into their gardens to increase nutrient cycling, organic matter and water holding capacity. This makes sure that their time and effort in gardening is well worth it because the soil is healthy to provide a productive, bountiful garden.
Again Stressing on the Importance of Topsoil in Gardening,
The Plants generally concentrate their roots in and obtain most of their vital nutrients from this layer thatst the topsoil layer. Actual depth of the topsoil layer can be measured as the depth from the surface to the first densely packed soil layer known as subsoil.
So, When starting a gardening project, it is crucial to check whether or not the soil is satisfactory. Different types of plants vary in their nutrient needs and preferred soil conditions, many are strongly adapted to particular conditions.
Topsoil is the primary resource for plants to grow and crops to thrive and the main two parameters for this are Carbon and Nitrogen. The Carbon provides energy and Nitrogen is a tissue builder and plants require them in a range of ratios to enable suitable growth. An optimum figure for Topsoil is a ratio of less than 20:1. This ensures that the soil has a suitable energy reserve as well as tissue building material to enable the plants to thrive.
A variety of soil mixtures are sold commercially as topsoil, usually for use in improving gardens and lawns, e.g. container gardens, potting soil and peat. Another important yet not commonly known use for topsoil is for proper surface grading near residential buildings such as homes. “The ground around the home should slope down six inches for the first ten feet away from the home. This can often be done by adding topsoil (not sand or gravel)
A major environmental concern known as topsoil erosion occurs when the topsoil layer is blown or washed away.
SO, that’s it in brief about a new topic – the TOPSOIL.