Does this look like topsoil please?

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Lou55, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. Lou55

    Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,
    My gardener tells that what he has put down to lay new turf is topsoil. I said it looked too stony but he says its fine. My neighbour tells me though that this is definitely NOT topsoil and it won't work!

    Who should I believe?!

    Many thanks,
    Lou
     

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  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    What is top soil?
    Its the top foot or so scraped of the ground, I'm guessing there is good topsoil and bad topsoil depending on where it comes from.

    Often its just the top layer scraped off of a new development somewhere and can be any quality.

    I think "screened" topsoil would not contain all those stones.
     
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    • Lou55

      Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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      Thank you Pete.

      Yes, the stones do trouble me. I'm told by the gardener that the stones will be good - I'm just so confused and don't know who to believe!

      To be fair to the gardener it had rained so this probably changes the look - but - when I pick up what's there it's really claggy.
       
    • JR

      JR Chilled Gardener

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      It doesn't look too good as top soil.. Far too many stones.
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        It looks a funny colour, I guess because of the rain. To me it looks more like a building material. Grass will grow in just about anything but I would be worried about all those stones especially when you come to mow it in the future, they can get thrown up by the mower and go anywhere.
         
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        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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          That is not topsoil, Lou, it's a conglomeration of stones and some sort of soil, but it's not something your gardener should have put it in your garden or thought of giving as proper topsoil or that a professional Landscaper or Gardener would have done, and I can't think why he has told you otherwise.:doh::cat-kittyandsmiley::coffee: I would look around for a good, honest, gardener to do your garden in future,
           
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          • Lou55

            Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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            oh blimey - sounds so far as if my neighbour is right! At least the rain stopped this chap covering this up with turf before I had a chance to see it properly. Not sure how I go about telling him it's no good! Would you advise I get rid of this (it's about 15m sq and 2 inches deep) and start again? Need to sleep on this one I think :-)
             
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            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Total Gardener

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              Somewhere on this forum, I did my best to describe topsoil. I can but agree with Armandii. In simple terms, and speaking as a pro. Firstly, I'd get myself a new gardener. All those stones:wallbanging: Fair do's, laying, levelling and rolling, will provide, perhaps, a somewhat level base for a lawn, be it seeded or turved. Having lets say, laid the turves, and standing back to admire. That looks good. Now. Out of sight. Whetherornot the new lawn is walked upon. Down below, out of sight, the soil, irrespective of quality, will gradually settle and mass. The stones and other debris will not settle. These particle will remain in a raised stature. So as and when any pressure is put upon the grass surface, even when mowing. This out of sight layer of stones etc, will form obsticle for the grass layer to settle flat. The result is obvious, before long the stones etc will come to the surface and become proud of the grass. The result is obvious.

              Here we have a typical example of my question. How do you interpret the term/title 'gardener?
               
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              • JR

                JR Chilled Gardener

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                I'd ask him nicely if he would take all that back up and put it in his truck, because you and no one else likes it.
                Then I'd get a quote from a reputable landscaper. You'll thank yourself next year when you are standing on a lush lawn instead of a rough waste land.
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  In the same way you interpret the term "top soil", its variable, depending on who you ask.;):smile:
                   
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                  • john558

                    john558 Super Gardener

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                    I would say it looks more like hardcore, sorry Lou55.
                     
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                    • Liz the pot

                      Liz the pot Super Gardener

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                      Top soil normally comes in grades but I’ve seen some pretty grubby grades and can depend on the loads they have.
                      The trouble here starts if the turf is thin and then along comes a chap who scarifies and cuts in. Yes stones are fine but you want a good quality top soil to place the turf on and that is not what I call a good base for turf.
                      That almost looks like scalping and I would bet it’s pretty compact and would became set so you end up with water on the surface and poor root structure.
                      Yes you can get away with it and spend time feeding the living daylights out of turf on such surfaces but it’s not what I would use on a job.
                       
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                      • Lou55

                        Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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                        Thank you sooooo much everyone - I'm so glad I found this forum. I think this is going to get messy - but with your advice I feel more confident :-)
                         
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                        • Lou55

                          Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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                          Update: A very angry gardener: "This is perfect soil and any advice I've been given here is completely wrong" to quote the comment. Think I've dodged a bullet here - thanks all. Lou
                           
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                          • Snorky85

                            Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                            @Liz the pot knows what he's talking about when it comes to grass!

                            if i were you id ask your gardener to remove that! I have just finished filling in a hole from a patio and this is the screened top soil...
                            995F1EEA-F902-4224-A02E-6CDDFF54156E.jpeg

                            Good luck
                             
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