Q:

What is topsoil made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Topsoil is composed of soil containing a high amount of organic material that is rich in nutrients. Most topsoil contains various amounts of clay, sand and silt. Topsoil comes from the topmost layer of the Earth's surface.

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Full Answer

The composition of topsoil varies according to where it is collected. Each type of topsoil has a unique mixture of earth, organic materials and soil nutrients. The texture of quality topsoil tends to be fine compared to general dirt, which can be lumpy. Topsoil consisting of mostly clay retains a high level of moisture, which is suitable for plants in dry heat areas where water is scarce. Clay soil has a low acidity level, but requires heavy watering for saturation.

Sandy topsoil contains a lot of sand, which is more common in coastal areas. The downside of sandy topsoil is that it doesn't hold water for long. Therefore, this type of soil is better suited for growing root vegetables like onions and potatoes, which require water drainage.

Loamy topsoil is a mixture of clay, sand and silt, which creates an ideal growing environment for many species of plants and flowers. Topsoil with a crumbly texture has a good level of organic material. The quality of topsoil is determined by feeling it with the hands.

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