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  • Mark Luck

The Difference Between Topsoil & Subsoil and the Domestic Uses of Each


To most people, soil is simply soil. However, that’s not strictly the case. Not only are there different types of soil with varying compositions and properties, but there are actually different layers of soil, also - the uppermost layers being known as topsoil and subsoil.

But, what’s the difference between the two, and what can each of these be used for? Keep reading as we discuss just that.


What is Topsoil?


As we mentioned, there are different layers to soil - these layers are split into what’s known as horizons. The uppermost horizon is known as the topsoil. This tends to be a mixture of sand, silt and clay, along with broken down organic matter, making it highly nutrient-rich. In fact, although this is the thinnest layer of soil, it contains the most nutrients.


Topsoil is also the layer of soil where various organisms live, such as earthworms, insects and various microorganisms - all of which play an important role in helping plants to grow.


Domestic Uses of Topsoil


There are a number of uses for topsoil in your garden. The first is in areas where the existing soil is poor or where the natural topsoil has been stripped away. Topsoil can be used in these areas to cover the ground, providing a suitable base for laying turf or growing grass from seed.


As for paved gardens, you may choose to use topsoil in raised beds, allowing you to grow your own plants and/or produce.


What is Subsoil?


The subsoil is the second horizon in the soil, sitting just below the topsoil. This layer still contains some broken down organic matter, however is mostly composed of small, weathered rocks and clay minerals, the latter of which accumulate as they’ve worked their way down from the surface of the soil.


Due to its thicker composition, subsoil often stores more moisture than topsoil. As such, plants will often send their roots into this layer of soil to find the water that’s been stored in it, as well as find some of the necessary macro and micronutrients that they need for photosynthesis, allowing them to grow and survive.


Domestic Uses of Subsoil


Subsoil is more commonly used in commercial settings, although you could still use it in your own garden if you require the benefits it has to offer.


You’ll most like find yourself looking for and using subsoil if you plan any landscaping work in your garden that involves changing the groundworks, such as establishing new garden borders or dedicating an area to plant trees, as laying a base layer of subsoil underneath a layer of topsoil will help to support the plant growth in your garden.

Quality Topsoil from Mark Luck Ltd


If you live in the South-East and require affordable, high-quality topsoil, then look to us here at Mark Luck.


With a fleet of over 45 vehicles, we can deliver our high-grade soil in a range of different quantities depending on your needs.


Get in touch with us today to arrange your topsoil delivery.


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