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How is Topsoil made?

February 27, 2020

Firstly let's talk about what "soil" is...

Soil is made up of 4 main ingredients; clay, silt, sand and time. Yes time is an ingredient in the creation of soil - it takes around 500 years of erosion to produce 1 inch of soil! The soil type is dependent on these 3 components:

Soil Ingredients

The soil composition is made up of minerals, water, organic matter and air. Here is the typical 'healthy soil' make up:

 Soil Composition

So, what is "Topsoil" then?

Topsoil is the top layer of earth (A-horizon), beneath the humus (living or organic surface) and above the clay subsoil. 

 

Soil Layers - what is Topsoil? Dandy's

 

It is this layer that is removed during excavation of virgin, greenfield sites and where our topsoil stock pile comes from.  This virgin, peat free, topsoil is sourced only from Greenfield sites - NOT recycled from skips like many others online - meaning you only have safe, clean topsoil in your beds, borders, lawns and veg plots.

 

 Dandy's soil processing

Once our topsoil has been brought into our manufacturing and processing yard on the border of North Wales, near Chester, it is left to fallow for a number of years.

Leaving the topsoil to fallow allows the microorganisms and nutrients to return to the soil.

 

Testing and soil analysis

The British Standard specification for Topsoil BS 3882:2015 is a specification for Topsoil and requirements for use.

In order to for plants, turf and veg to grow topsoil must comprise of a certified combination of minerals, nutrients, water, organic matter, air, and living organisms.

As this mix can be hard to achieve naturally the British Standard for Topsoil was introduced to ensure home owners, gardeners, landscapers, contractors and specifiers have a point of reference to enable them to purchase and spread a safe and tested product.

BS 3882: 2015 ensures that each certified topsoil mix contains the correct pH level, to determine the correct acid/alkaline balance; the ideal physical composition to help avoid compaction; the right electrical conductivity value; as well as the maximum level of stones or sharps permitted.

 Soil Testing

Here at Dandy's our stock piles are regularly tested to meet the British Standard for Topsoil. The pH of our topsoil is neutral (7). 

Please email us sales@dandystopsoil.co.uk if you need a copy of these test results.

 

The screening process

At Dandy's we screen to about 14mm so that we leave stones of just under an inch down in there - just to make sure that the soil stays nice and free draining.  

We do not remove the nutrients or organic matter from the topsoil by screening it. 

Why do we screen the topsoil?  As seen in this video clip the topsoil can contain large stone and sometimes debris so this is what we remove using our amazing Maximus screener...

Dandy's Topsoil Mixes

Once our primary topsoil has been left to fallow, tested and screened it is ready for us to create our famous bespoke mixes; a secret blend depending on what you plan to do with it. Check out everything we do here.

Lawnmix® Topsoil

If you’re starting from nothing and making a new lawn, then you’ll be wanting our Lawnmix® Topsoil for turfing or seeding a new lawn.

This sandy loam is just the job for putting underneath turf or for sowing with grass seed, helping you to create the perfect garden lawn, golf course, paddock, or sports pitch.

Dandy's Lawnmix Topsoil

Certified to a BS 3882.

Lawn in a bag®

Do you want a new lawn but don’t want to have to lay turf or sow grass seed?

Check out exclusive to Dandy’s Lawn in a Bag® topsoil.

Dandy's Lawn in a Bag

A blend of Dandy's hardwearing and decorative Grass Seed and our Lawnmix® Topsoil results in a bulk bag of 'ready to go lawn'. Just spread it evenly over your desired lawn space at a depth of 2 to 3 inches and after about six weeks of watering you’ll have a lush, green lawn.  It's also great for lawns that have large areas of bare soil and patches in the lawn - simple rake over and water!

There’s a lot of seed in here to ensure that you get an even spread; Lawn in a Bag® is brill for small spaces and for those of you who want to cut the hassle out of getting some grass in your garden.

Certified to a BS 3882.

Bordermix® Topsoil

Our Bordermix is topsoil and compost blend especially for your borders, beds or pots and baskets. Basically, if you want to grow plants, shrubs, flowers, hedgerows then give our Bordermix® a whirl.

A secret blend of organic manures, composts and soils screened to 14mm makes our Bordermix® a free draining soil which contains exactly the right balance of nutrients and minerals for almost every type of plant or flower. It’s also very good for growing your own organic fruits and veggies… just don’t tell our VegeGrow®!

Certified to a BS 3882 and PAS100.

VegeGrow® Topsoil

Wanting to grow your own tasty organic vegetables and fruit? Check out our awesome Vegegrow® Topsoil. Our soil boffins came up with this one just over 8 years ago, and it’s overtaken our Lawnmix® and Bordermix® blends to become the best-selling topsoil we’ve ever supplied!

Vegegrow is tailor made for those of you wanting to hop on the grow your own train and is chocked full of lovely multi-purpose organic compost resulting in a friable soil that your fruits and veggies will love.

Vegegrow® has been tested and perfected by allotment users and veg plotters up and down the country; including our very own James Dandy who reports the best lettuces, biggest parsnips (real photo below) and brightest carrots in Cheshire!

Dandy's VegeGrow Top soil - Parsnip

Certified to a BS 3882 and PAS100.


Multi-Purpose Topsoil

Our Multi-Purpose Topsoil is perfect blend of screened, spot tested topsoil blended with just the right amount of organic compost to create a multi-use topsoil that's fit for just about any job - at our best ever price too! If you're building a new lawn and you want to top up your beds and borders, then this mix is for you. Take out the tedious job of getting the right ratio or soil to compost and remove the backache of blending topsoil and compost yourself by buying this ready-mix topsoil and compost blend from Dandy's.

We've tested this one as soil for allotments, soil for underneath turf, topsoil for growing grass seed, topsoil for growing vegetables; we've even had a sunflower growing competition in it and we're pleased to report that everything is thriving!

If you're still unsure as to what topsoil you need or if you want a topsoil that will do more than one job in your garden, then go for this one.

Certified to a BS 3882 and PAS100.

TreeMix Soil

Dandy's TreeMix Soil is a brand new mix of topsoil - specifically designed for planting trees. A beautiful blend of 12mm screened loam with coarse sand, composted bark fines and 1 - 6mm horticultural grit.  This blend is perfect for encouraging tree growth and ground drainage, meaning little effect and low maintenance.

 

Urban Tree Planting Soil

Similar mix to our TreeMix Soil our Dandy's Urban Tree Planting Soil is specifically designed for planting trees in built up areas.

12mm screened loam is mixed with coarse grit sand, 1 - 6mm horticultural grit and black organic compost for added nutrients.  This special blend increases ground drainage and encourages tree growth.

 


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