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Creating a topsoil specification

Topsoil Specification - Shovel in Soil

For larger projects creating a Topsoil Specification will help to ensure the quality and suitability of any imported topsoil. It details what should and should not be in the topsoil. The topsoil specification therefore needs to include the technical elements that will ensure an effective growing medium is provided.

The most functional specifications are those that list which properties the topsoil should possess prior to turfing, planting or seeding. These normally include:

  • Visual examination - soil structure, consistency, foreign matter, etc.
  • Particle size analysis (texture) and stone content
  • pH and salinity values
  • Major plant nutrients
  • Organic matter content
  • Potential contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, hydrocarbons, cyanide, phenols)

The values set against each property will depend on the required performance of the topsoil. Don't be tempted to use the same specification for every landscape project. Usually some modification to a 'template specification' is required and it may be necessary to have more than one specification if a variety of different landscaped areas are to be created e.g. tree pits and wildflower grassland. The specification also needs to take site considerations into account, such as the local climate, drainage, aspect of the site and construction constraints.

Once you have issued a specification, stick to it and do not be persuaded to change it on price alone.

For further information on Rolawn topsoils click here or contact us.