How and why to test the safety and suitability of topsoil

Why should I analyse my topsoil?

If you are investing in a residential or commercial project or have recently moved into a new property then understanding the quality, composition, and nature of the topsoil you will be working with is vital in reducing the risk of poor plant health and low crop yields.

Soil contamination is an issue that isn’t well understood but has the potential to waste a lot of time, money, and labour and in extreme cases, be a risk to human health.  

Knowing that topsoil is less than ideal can be remedied through adding composts, soil improvers, fertiliser or importing fresh premium quality topsoil ahead of planting schemes.  

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How can I check my soil’s safety and fertility?

There is a readily available range of simple testing kits, most of which focus on pH levels; however, they generally provide only limited information about the broader but important health of your soil.

For peace of mind, a more in-depth analyses comes from specialist testing company Soil Check.


Soil Check offers two types of testing kit:

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1) Safe Soil Kit: tests for several of the common contaminants that pose a risk to humans and plants in gardens and vegetable allotments. Show me more.

2) Fertile Soil Kit: summarises the existing fertility of your soil, which helps determine how to potentially add nutrition to your soil and what you can grow. Information on pH, Nitrogen, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Organic Matter are detailed in this test. Show me more.

Or you can look into the Multi Soil Bundle: This bundle combines both tests for a reduced price. Show me more.

The results of a Soil Check test will give you a more detailed report about the quality of topsoil tested which in turn will help you decide whether any remedial action is necessary before you go ahead and complete your planting or landscaping project. 

For more details on the kits and process visit the Soil Check website

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Commercial-scale soil analysis

If you require a more extensive service for commercial purposes, visit the Tim O’Hare Associates website for details of their specialist independent soil testing services for landscapers, contractors, manufacturers and sports amenity sectors. 

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