Healthy soil – healthy plants, one might think. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. However, the soil in the garden has a great influence on the growth and prosperity of all plants. He is not solely responsible for it, but he is important. An intact soil is the most important prerequisite for successful gardening. So you could also say, earth is good. It’s all OK.

What is topsoil?

Mother earth is humus-rich topsoil, the most fertile soil layer. It is required in every garden and can be purchased. In agriculture, this soil is called arable topsoil. Top soil is used to fill in areas, as a nutrient layer for beds, for modeling or to compensate for uneven terrain, as a lawn sub-layer, for perennial plantings, for vegetable beds and others. It is used in almost every horticultural measure. In addition to mineral components, i.e. gravel, sand and / or clay, topsoil also contains humus and microorganisms, the more the better.

When building a house, topsoil always accumulates as excess excavated soil. This is because topsoil is not stable. You can’t build a house on it, it would sink in. Under no circumstances should this excavated soil simply be disposed of, especially not with other excavation. That is even forbidden, because this earth is far too valuable. So if you don’t have space for interim storage, you hand over the topsoil to self-collectors, quite simply in order to save the costs for collection by a specialist. In the end it can happen that there is no topsoil to fill the property. Often there is generally too little topsoil. Then topsoil is needed. Usually this is not a problem because there are numerous providers.

Where do you buy mother earth?

It always depends on how much soil is needed. Then it is important whether the quantity has to be delivered. Where does the vehicle come from? Is the topsoil still being enriched, for example with compost or fertilizer? Everything is possible.

If you are only looking for a small amount of topsoil, you can first look at classifieds. It is often given away by builders for self-collection at low cost or even for free. You need the space. Maybe you’re lucky. Especially in spring, when many people start building their homes, there are often such offers. So if you have a car trailer and don’t have a long way to go, that’s a good way to go. It is of course a lot of work to first shovel the earth onto the trailer and then back down and distribute it, but the price justifies it. If you have to calculate, you can save a lot through the work.

Horticultural companies and landscapers usually also offer topsoil. Especially if you don’t need too much of it, you can have it delivered by them.
There is also a page on the Internet where you can offer topsoil or look up where it is offered. A soil exchange has been set up at www.utterboden.de/. There, buyers and suppliers are brought together. However, it is a matter of luck to find the right person in your environment at the right time. Most of the time, topsoil is traded through professional interim storage, i.e. through companies in the construction industry or through municipal waste management associations.

Top soil must be specially stored. He can rot if he is piled up too much, especially for long periods of time. This is why the floor swap sites were created to make it easier to reuse this floor.
Landfills often offer topsoil quite cheaply. They only store there temporarily, practically the quantities that arise during house construction. Since they don’t have to pay anything for the soil, and even earn money from it, they also give it back a little cheaper. Of course, you also have to pay the transport costs. The qualities are different, because so are the floors by nature. They are usually not sifted.

The quality of topsoil

There are different types of topsoil. Its classification is based on various criteria. These provide information about which types of plants the soil is suitable for. Therefore, the water permeability, the proportion of organic plants, the pH value of the soil and the nutrient and humus content are important. Unfortunately, as a layperson, you often don’t know how to recognize good topsoil. I cannot give a generally valid tip here either. Good topsoil is crumbly, humic, well ventilated, easily rooted and can absorb sufficient rainwater. It is important that when a house is built and the earth is removed or temporarily stored, the topsoil is not mixed with the subsoil. The topsoil is usually darker because it has a higher proportion of humus and more soil organisms.

Simple, coarse topsoil usually still contains roots or pieces of root. Then weeds, rape or other undesirable plants sprout. This soil is called “topsoil as grown”. I have read several times about poor quality, very dissatisfied customers who would never buy such floors again. The sifted floors are better. This topsoil is a little more expensive, but well worth the expense. All coarse parts are sifted out.

Sieved topsoil is usually available with a grain size of 0 to 20 mm or 0 to 30 mm. Rough stones, roots, rhizomes are out. Weed seeds can of course be included, but they are always brought in anyway.

There are many differences in quality. It depends on what is important to you.

It would be important to me that the mother earth was tested for pollutants and certified. I would have the certificate shown to me. Especially those who want to grow fruit and vegetables should pay attention. Otherwise, the earth must be free of rubble and glass, and must not contain scraps of film from garbage and compost bags. It would be important to me that there are no wood and shredder chips in the soil, because the origin and composition are often unclear. It may contain harmful substances.

Tip:  The average weight of topsoil is 1.5 tons per cubic meter. The mass depends on the composition of the earth. With a high proportion of humus, the cbm only weighs 1.2 tons. With a high proportion of loam or clay (which would be good) the soil is often a little heavier, around 1.7 tons per cubic meter. That says a lot about the quality, but whether you are honestly told the weight is another matter. You have to rely on the information provided by the seller.

Prices for topsoil

Not only the quality is different, but also the prices. It is clear that different companies have different prices. I mean rather the differences between the individual earths offered.
The price is often quite high at first glance. The more topsoil you need, the more tons you remove, the cheaper it will be in most cases. A 10 to 20 percent discount is not uncommon.

  • The price mostly depends on the volume and grain size of the soil.
  • Extremely cheap floors are usually not of much quality.
  • First of all, a distinction is made between topsoil and substrates.
  • In the case of the topsoil, there are machine-processed soils (topsoil) and organically prepared topsoil, with which sand and compost have been mixed.
  • The simple topsoil costs, for example, approx. 5 € per 1 to / cbm
  • The processed one is already around 15 € for 1 to / cbm
  • 1 to / cbm loess, lava pumice, peat, xylitol, NP fertilizer in the mother earth already costs 48 €
  • Special lawn substrate is around 40 €
  • Tree substrate is also in this area

Good soil is usually not cheap. Unfortunately, a high price does not guarantee good soil. If you are only looking for cheap soil, you can usually find it anywhere. Anyone who values ​​quality has to search and decide what is important.

  • A large part of the costs arise from the delivery and distribution of the numerous cubic meters. The mother earth is approached with the truck. The cost of transportation and distribution can be as high as the earth itself.
  • Alternatively, you could borrow an excavator and a plate compactor and take care of the distribution yourself. This variant must be calculated to see whether it is significantly cheaper.
  • As mentioned several times, there are big differences in price. Of course, every company wants to earn something, that’s clear and okay. But some exaggerate with their ideas. A price comparison is worthwhile in most cases. Above all, you don’t just have to look at the price of the earth, but at the overall package with delivery and distribution. So it can make sense to order across the national border if the transport costs are lower there.

Conclusion
If you need topsoil, you have to find out where you can get good soil for a reasonable price. You can find a lot of providers on the Internet. There is usually little to be found about the quality of the earth. The prices fluctuate quite a lot and it is not clear that expensive earth is also of better quality. Anyone who is really dependent on buying topsoil should take the trouble and look at the topsoil in the supplier factories. You can already see there whether it is good for something or not. If necessary, you have to bring a specialist with you. How the garden develops depends on the quality of the mother earth. I always differentiate according to two criteria when building a house. 1. What has to be done correctly and for “eternity” and what can 2. be improved inexpensively and easily later. With topsoil it is difficult and expensive to touch up. The garden is laid out, you can no longer push the soil with the excavator, then everything can be done with a wheelbarrow. In addition, you have to spend money twice. It doesn’t pay off. Better to do it right right away. I would do it that way anyway.

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