If you’ve got a green thumb, chances are that you’re itching for all the snow to melt so that you can start your next gardening or landscaping project. In order to make sure that your grass is green and your plants are vibrant, you’re going to need topsoil – and lots of it.
Making sure that you get the highest quality topsoil is the key to ensuring that your garden and lawn are vibrant and beautiful, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend an arm and a leg. In order to help you prepare your gardening and landscaping budget for 2017, we’ve put together this handy guide for assessing the quality of soil and finding the best price.
What Does Premium Topsoil Look Like?
It’s impossible to get the most bang for your buck if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Buying a cheap bag of topsoil won’t do you much good, after all, if it’s of poor quality.
Premium topsoil is comprised of several different ingredients, all of which are key to the soil’s ability to produce healthy vegetation. When looking for quality topsoil, you should take the time to learn about the soil’s composition. Be sure to ask your supplier about:
Healthy topsoil will contain three key minerals: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You may notice that these minerals all come from bedrock.
That’s because natural topsoil comes from bedrock that has broken down and decomposed over time. It’s important that the soil contain these three minerals, as all are essential to supporting plant life.
Good topsoil won’t be excessively dry, but will be moist to the touch. This is important because minerals are only able to decompose in water, and they need that moisture in order for plants to be able to access nutrients via their root systems.
In addition, water is the sustaining force behind bacterial activity in the soil, another important ingredient in topsoil. Water must be present in topsoil at the time of purchase, and the topsoil should be regularly wetted for ideal growing conditions.
If the topsoil is packed too tightly, look somewhere else for your materials. Quality topsoil will have a loose, airy texture. This is because it contains plenty of oxygen.
Oxygen is an absolute must in supporting the microorganisms that are present in topsoil. This also helps to trap and store water, making it easier for the soil to maintain proper moisture levels.
As mentioned in the previous two points, bacterial activity and the life of microorganisms is extremely important in maintaining topsoil health.
The activity of these bacteria actually work to convert organic material into valuable nutrients, and make the soil’s nitrogen more digestible by plants. Typically, you want your topsoil to contain a composition of 2%-4% microorganisms.
Finally, silt is needed in order to help topsoil trap water while also preventing it from becoming too saturated and compromising plant health. You’ll usually find silt combined with materials like clay, loam or sand.
What Factors Can Impact Topsoil Prices in 2017?
As you begin your quest for the perfect topsoil for your project, you may notice that there are variations in pricing from one bag of topsoil to the next. There are several factors which can influence the cost of topsoil, and understanding these factors will help you get the fairest prices:
We’ve already covered the importance of selecting a premium topsoil for your garden or landscape. Without the proper nutrients and conditions in the topsoil, plants will fail to grow and thrive as you desire them to.
If you come across topsoil that is especially cheap, it’s probably because it is of a substandard quality. It may be overly dry or lacking the right quantity of microorganisms.
Whatever the case may be, don’t waste your money. Remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!
If you’ve got quite a bit of work that needs to be done throughout your property, it’s a good idea to carefully calculate how much topsoil you need in order to determine if it would be smarter for you to buy your materials in bulk.
Bulk prices tend to come much cheaper, and can save you a fair bit of money in the long run. You might even consider going in on an order with one or more of your neighbors in order to take advantage of bulk pricing.
Depending on where you buy your topsoil, you could end up paying a different rate. Some retailers charge more for their topsoil than others, and some may sneak in hidden costs by charging you for a bulk delivery to your location.
Be sure to shop around and compare prices. If one supplier is asking a price that’s much higher or much lower than its competitors, be wary of the integrity of the company and its topsoil. Take the time to ask about delivery services and make sure that they are free prior to scheduling a drop off.
The Best Topsoil Prices in NJ in 2017
Braen Supply is the leading supplier of high quality topsoil in northern NJ and its surrounding areas. As the most trusted name in landscaping supplies, we employ a team of skilled professionals who are more than qualified to answer any questions you may have about topsoil.
Our topsoil contains all of the top ingredients to ensure that your plants will grow to be healthy and happy. You’ll find that we always offer the lowest and most competitive rates around.