If you have a gardening project you want to start, or if you want to level a large space across your lawn, then you will likely need some soil to cover the different spaces across your property. Depending on the size of your project, this may mean ordering soil from a contractor. However, once you contact the professional, you will need to choose the type of soil that you desire. There are actually quite a few different types of soil you can order, so keep reading to learn about a few that may be perfect for your yard.
If you want to grade an area of your property that pools with water or forces water to run towards the foundation of your home, then you will need a type of soil that allows water to drain into the earth fairly quickly. Sandy soils are best for this, and they contain a mixture of sands. The sand in the mixture is made up of fine grains of quartz, mica, feldspar, silica, and other hard minerals. These minerals are ones that have been weathered extensively over time by rain, snow, and ice. These hard minerals will not decompose over time, and this means that they make up an airy mixture where water can flow through easily. This is also the case since the sand will not absorb water.
However, sand alone will likely cause water to move too quickly through it. This can cause water to continue to drain towards your foundation. To prevent this, make sure to purchase a sand and soil mixture. The small amount of soil mixed in will hold some of the water during the draining process so the harder and more compacted ground underneath will not become saturated.
Topsoil is the traditional type of bagged soil that you will see at your local home or garden supply store. This type of soil is typically more expensive than other varieties. The various materials in the soil that make it ideal for the planting and growing of vegetables, grass, and flowers are what make it a bit more pricey. Usually, the soil will be comprised of sand, soil, and silt. The best proportions of these materials are around 25% silt, 15% clay, and 60% sand. The soil also should contain organic materials in the form of plant matter that has already decomposed. This material helps to add nitrogen to the soil mix so that plants have all the food they need to grow successfully.
If you do decide to buy topsoil for your property, then do not skimp on the soil due to the price. Vegetable gardens will need around 8 inches of the soil for good growth and a new lawn that will be seeded will need 3 to 6 inches of the material.
If you live on a hillside or if you have a large riverbank on your property, then you may be concerned about erosion issues. Erosion typically occurs as rainwater washes away airy and loose soils down hills and other slopes with great speed. This can cause steep banks to slowly crumble and shift back towards your home, or the soil and water from the hill may make its way towards your house on rainy days. To prevent these erosion issues and to keep serious concerns from arising, like the lack of solid footing underneath and around your home, consider placing some hard clay in the area.
Clay is comprised of extremely small particles of soil and rock that stick together strongly to create a hard, dense, and impenetrable material. This material should be used as a base layer to form a solid structure on the tops of hills and banks. However, to keep the clay from causing a wave of water over the top of the structure, make sure some sand is mixed in so that water can drain downward to some degree. Also, try to add plants over the clay that can grow in the hard material successfully. Columbines, flaxes, blazing stars, yarrows, and coneflowers are a few examples of the plants that can thrive in the dense earth.
For more information, contact your local gardening store or soil supplier.