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Topsoil vs compost: What works best in May
10th May 2021

Topsoil vs compost: What works best in May

May is one of the best times to start growing plants as the soil is warming up and there is an ideal combination of sunshine and rainfall.

Gardeners will know that both topsoil and compost are good for growing, but which one works best in which situation is less obvious. Here we look at the ideal ways to use both topsoil and compost during May.

 

When to Use Topsoil

Adding extra topsoil to your garden can give it a much needed nutrient boost while adding enough of the uppermost layer of soil to grow plants. It works best in larger areas of the garden such as beds, where plants can really spread their roots out.

You can add topsoil to your garden at any time of year, but it is extra beneficial during May and springtime as gardeners start planting their seeds.

 

When to Use Compost

Compost is even more nutrient-rich than topsoil and thus is also ideal for growing plants. However, its effectiveness is lessened when applied to larger areas. This makes compost perfect for growing plants in pots, although mixing loose compost in with your topsoil also works brilliantly for increasing the nutrient content of larger growing areas.

When growing plants in pots using only topsoil, there is much less space for the roots to spread out to gain enough nutrients. But by using compost you can pack in loads more nutrients into a smaller space, allowing the plants to thrive even when their roots are restricted.

Certain plants such as vegetables require a lot more nutrients than others, so if you are starting to grow these in May then you will probably want to add some loose compost to the growing patch in order to supercharge the nutrient content.


Topsoil or Compost for Lawn Turf?

If you are beginning to grow new lawn turf, then you won’t really need too much compost, although some added to the topsoil certainly won’t do any harm. Lawn turf and grass plants in general thrive perfectly well in quality topsoil so you can grow a decent lawn from scratch using just the top layer of soil.

It is good advice to check what type of soil you have as some types are better for growing than others. Clay soil doesn’t drain very well but is packed with extra nutrients, while sandy soil drains very efficiently but contains less nutrients than either clay or silt soil.

All soil is a mixture of these types, but knowing how much clay, sand or silt you have in your garden can inform you as to how much watering is required. The higher the drainage capability of the soil, the quicker the water drains out and thus the faster it dries in the sun. Adding a layer of mulch like bark chippings can help soil retain moisture better.

 

If you require any gardening products such as bagged compost, loose compost, topsoil or the likes of lawn turf, grass plants or bark chippings, then contact Springbridge via our website or call today on 0845 370 1921 for more information.