good topsoil

...angels dust!

...angels dust!

If you are buying topsoil – buyer beware – this really is a case of cheaper can often be more tearful than cheerful. Buy from a reputable source and before it is tipped in you’re driveway… jump in and have a rumage around.

The [generally speaking] golden rule for good topsoil is the darker the colour [ie. on a scale of concrete block to peat briquette – the closer it is to brown/ black the better]. The second rule is that it should not be overly clumpy and stick in lumps [too much] to the soles of your shoes when you walk on it [ie. it should be akin to walking on a sandy/ yet soily beach-ish], but colour generally tells so much.

Whilst I admit I do have a funny way of describing things, you can *see* what I’m saying…?

notice the difference in colour?

notice the difference in colour?

Poor soil, means longer labour hours and when the 20 tonne load – approximately 800 wheelbarrows – has to be moved by wheelbarrow and loaded by hand, believe me paying €50-100 euro more for you’re product, is [when you know what you’re getting] well worth it. As a rule of thumb, good soil should cost about €350-400 per load.

That said one can go a stage further and buy a graded mix topsoil or compost which comes in large bags. Expect to pay €150 per tonne approximately. This is a lot more expensive but – depending on the task at hand – it might just be the one for you. Sometimes 20 tonne is just too much and a load delivered – no matter the size – is a load delivered. That said, the pre bagged mix also allows you to calculate exactly where you want it placed and calculate.

In all things soil, remember it can often cost more to get it removed!

5 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    Funny, we were just talking about this the other day, when a neighbour brought in topsoil for his polytunnel and it was crap hidden under a sprinkle of lovely dark composty soil. I think topsoil is terribly expensive, but I know it’s too vital too skimp.

    When we bought our house, its two acres had been occasionally wandered over with sheep, but otherwise left alone; the soil is dark and crumbly as far down as we’ve ever dug, and it’s beautiful. That was worth a LOT toward buying the house, because we depend on a vegetable garden.

    Rock-free too!

  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    Luck was only part of it: good ground was high on our list at viewings. There were dozens of lovely new builds to see, but all of their gardens were laid on top of building rubble of course, with a thin layer of soil that was just enough to (possibly) support a grass lawn. Not what we wanted, so we moved on.

    Homesellers are told over and over that gardens and first impressions do make a difference to buyers, but very often they don’t seem to bother making the investment in the most basic areas of the garden and in what it needs.

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