Topsoil is basically that 2” to 7” thick top layer of soil on the ground near river banks and similar areas.It contains maximum content of organic matter and microorganisms.
Apart from these, the topsoil comprises other components also which increase the fertility of soil like earthworms and different type of insects.
Its organic materials are usually decomposed roots, stems, and leaves of plants.
The identification of a good topsoil is mostly in its color. Blacker the soil is, more fertile it will be. Also, the fertile topsoil has an earthier fragrance to distinguish it from others.
As its fertile quality suggests, the topsoil generally is very rich in nutrients and elements like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
Uses of Topsoil
Topsoil is used in spreading a soil bed to grow plantation in desired places. Like in areas where natural soil beds are not fertile and poor in nutrients, topsoil is spread as a top layer to encourage plantation.
It is used to prepare turf beds and lawn dressings; and spread on hard surfaces like block pavements, on concrete floors to create terrace gardens, for vertical gardening, etc. to grow plants and vegetables in those sections.
Topsoil is also used as a form of composts and mulches. In rapidly spreading urbanization, where lush green forests are getting converted to concrete jungles, topsoil is a potential resource to maintain the level of greenery and oxygen around humans.
The weight of a Cubic Yard Topsoil
The weight of topsoil per cubic yard depends on the components mixed in the soil, and majorly on the moisture content of the soil.
Moisture content in the soil varies widely with respect to the weather conditions of the region.
A cubic yard of dry topsoil usually will weigh around 750kg to 800kg, whereas one cubic yard of moistened topsoil can weigh even more than 1 Ton.
The weight of topsoil with higher moisture content can go up to 1300kgs to 1400kgs also.
Weight Differences by Variations
The weight of topsoil may also differ as per its intended use. In the market, topsoil comes in categories like premium use, general purpose, and economical use.
For Premium Use:The topsoil for premium use is nutritional and does not contain seeds of seedlings. It is usually taken for decorative plantations or growing vegetables in kitchen gardens.
The weight per cubic yard of a premium grade topsoil will be more.
For General Purpose: Topsoil used for general purposes is generally coarser and not well filtered for unwanted ingredients. It is used to prepare turf beds and raised beds in gardens.
The per cubic yard weight of the general purpose topsoil will be lesser in comparison to premium grade one, and also the quality will not be top notch.
For Economical Use: Economical use of topsoil include the soil fillings in low areas or valley sections of gardens. Basically, economical topsoil is used more for the leveling purposes rather than cultivation activities.
And so, the quality and weight per cubic yard of topsoil used for economical purposes, both are lesser in comparison with the above two types.
Weight Variation with Respect to Ground Coverage
The coverage of topsoil also will determine its weight on the ground it is placed on. For spreading general turf beds or lawn dressings, usually 4” of topsoil thickness is used; whereas for plantation and gardening purposes, 8” thickness of topsoil is used.
Also, the 4” thick topsoil will be general purpose. So it will have less load on the surface on which the soil is spread.
On the other hand, whereas 8” thick topsoil used for growing plants and vegetables will be rich in nutrients and composting ingredients and so will be heavier for the surface on which it is laid.
Topsoil proves to be a great option to enhance the fertility of barren grounds. This mixture of fertile soil and nutrients together augments the process of the plantation to a large extent.
The best part of the topsoil is it can be used at many levels and on all surfaces, and that helps in exercising vertical gardening and developing gardens in our own houses.
Especially in metropolitan cities, where commercialization is dominating all conventional practices to keep the greenery alive, topsoil gives a sense of comfort in restoring people's mental and physical health.