Topsoil: livelihood in the garden


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When the construction vehicles have been removed on a new building plot, an empty desert is often yawning on the doorstep. To create a new garden, you should look for a good topsoil. This brings all the prerequisites for healthy plants. We have summarized the most important information about costs and usage for you.

What is topsoil?

Topsoil is - as the name implies - the basis for all living plants. The nitrogen-rich topsoil, in the agricultural field called Ackerkrume, is characterized by its special fertility. It is the top soil layer that contains minerals, most of the nutrients and living soil organisms such as earthworms, woodlice and fungi, and aerobic bacteria. In our latitudes, the topsoil is usually 20 to 30 centimeters thick, followed by subsoil and substrate. But not only living things and nutrients are part of the topsoil, also rainwater is retained in the topsoil and filtered.

soil layers

The topsoil is the upper soil layer

Remove topsoil and apply

In Germany, the topsoil is particularly protected at one site by the Federal Soil Protection Act (BBodSchG) and the Building Code (BauGB) §202, the treatment of topsoil is determined by DIN standards. If an excavation pit is excavated, the valuable topsoil should not simply be left on the overburden, but stored separately and can be reused later. This is important because the natural formation of topsoil lasts many decades. If you want to liven up and plant a newly created property, you can get topsoil in the building materials trade or on floor exchange stock exchanges. When applying, make sure that the fine crumb of the topsoil is not compressed excessively (for example by driving on construction vehicles or using vibrating machines), as this is a great quality feature of the earth lost.

new

In a new construction, the entire topsoil is removed before construction and must be reapplied later

Topsoil or garden soil?

Topsoil is not the same as potting soil. Although the term is often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between the two. Topsoil is usually used "as grown". It contains everything that makes up a healthy soil - including small stones, animals and plant seeds. Commercially available potting soil, on the other hand, is sieved, germ-reduced and mixed with fertilizer. This soil is suitable as a supplement to new plantings, but can not replace a living soil life. A natural topsoil (at best coarsely screened and freed from large roots and stones) forms the basis for each newly created garden. The mother earth can then be further improved depending on the intended use with potting soil, compost, fertilizer or humus.

What does topsoil cost?

Depending on the source of supply, the prices for topsoil vary considerably. They range from about 10 euros per cubic meter from private sellers to 15 euros from regional traders to 40 euros for specially treated or well traveled soil. For a sufficient thickness of the soil layer, calculate a requirement of about 0.3 cubic meters of topsoil per square meter. The transport over long distances or a special treatment increase the share of costs for the earth significantly. If there is no particular reason to move the earth from far away or to use special soil, it is advisable to purchase local soils from, for example, other construction sites in the area. This is not only cheaper, but also region typical. Some builders who plan no or only a very small garden, give away the worn topsoil. In this case, only the costs of transport are due, the construction companies usually take over for five to ten euros per cubic meter. Offers from private individuals can be found on floor exchanges or in the local newspaper. Often, the demand is also worthwhile for contractors or the building authority.

Topsoil in the garden

Topsoil can be obtained in earthworks or landfills

What should be considered when using topsoil?

Before buying large quantities of topsoil for a new building plot, it is advisable to know the origin of the soil to determine if the soil type and quality match your needs. Optimally, you get the cleared before the house construction back ground, because this is the location best adapted. Details can already be contractually secured with your contractor before the start of construction. Good topsoil should not contain any contaminants such as roots, large stones, debris or rubbish, but should be fine-crumbly, natural and clean. Before applying the new soil, it is important to loosen the soil well on the existing surfaces, as otherwise there will be compacted areas in the substrate, which will later cause difficulties in draining the water.Do not cover any debris deposits with topsoil, because the high drainage effect of the building rubble makes such a location too dry for most plants.

Video Board: Rebuilding soil with livestock: one farmer's story.

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