Manufactured top soil.

Discussion in 'Compost, Fertilisers & Recycling' started by Pifco, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Pifco

    Pifco Apprentice Gardener

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    Many of the local garden centre seemed to be stocking manufactured top soil instead of proper top soil and the reason they give is either that it's all they can get hold of or that it is better than natural top soil because it is always a contant quality.
    Has anyone ever used the manufacture soil? and if so is it any good?
     
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    • pete

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

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      Never heard of it, what do they manufacture it out of?
       
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      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        @pete Found this on a website:
        Manufactured topsoil
        Manufactured topsoil can be produced by mixing appropriate mineral and organic materials to create a rooting medium. Blends can include components such as natural topsoil, sand, overburden, subsoil, green compost and treated biosolids.
        If the correct components have been selected and blended to the appropriate ratios, this can offer an excellent alternative to natural topsoil. But you should beware of manufactured topsoil that uses unsuitable additives or without the necessary quality control measures.
         
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        • pete

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

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          Sounds good in theory, but as it says, can you trust how its made.
           
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          • HarryS

            HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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            I had to view this post, never heard of manufactured topsoil.
             
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            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Total Gardener

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              Er! sounds a bit if'y to me. I am sure that my Hon friend Nigel could spend much time talking over the scientific aspecs here.

              I'd love to attend some meeting to discuss this.
              Questions such as. What is the duration period of this final substance. Can it be reused etc. What is the balance of, what we consider to be. The natural soil borne 'livestock'. After all said and done. So many masses can and will support seed germination, plant growth etc. Yes. I am a bit scepticle about this. Modern multi purpose composts, made up of all sorts. Having made use of them, at the seasons end. You are left with a reusable matter, call it what you like.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                I've been reading reviews of bags of topsoil and definitely wouldn't use it. I suppose it depends on the purpose you intended to put it to. Cheap compost mixed with well rotted horse manure would seem to be a better bet.
                 
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                • noisette47

                  noisette47 Total Gardener

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                  Even that depends what use you're going to put it to, shiney. A couple of years ago, the compost manufacturers here used a mix of chopped wood waste and manure. Every time a pot was watered, it produced an evil-smelling and staining run-off. Not a problem in the garden, as soil conditioner, but definitely not good for pots.
                  The other big drawback to any woodwaste content is that it attracts xylophage insects. When the larvae have finished munching on the wood, they start on roots, corms and tubers!
                   
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                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    True, but I would assume it was going to be used as a soil improver and not for potting. Otherwise I would be inclined to get a good compost for potting. :)
                     
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                    • pete

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

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                      The thing about soil is that it contains much more than organic material. Really it's about what the non organic parts are, as organic material needs to be added to it over the years as it decays.
                      Which is why some of us use JI compost in certain situations.
                       
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                      • noisette47

                        noisette47 Total Gardener

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                        No such thing as JI here, sadly. Most serious gardeners buy sand, acquire WRFYM, use the local clay, sneak under cover of darkness in balaclavas to buy peat, get perlite from the builders merchants, and chuck it all into a cement mixer :biggrin: Oh the luxury of nipping round to the local GC and buying a couple of bags of ready-mixed!
                         
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                        • ARMANDII

                          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                          Natural soil does, I agree, pete. but once somebody starts adding bits of this and that to what might have originally been soil of some sort that comparison seem to go out of the window.
                          It's not something I would buy I'd rather use a mix of general purpose compost, sand, potting grit and any fertiliser that I thought might be useful.:dunno:

                          Sheesh, they certainly sell some "stuff" on your side of the Channel, Noisette:doh:
                           
                        • Mike Allen

                          Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                          I have often said. Put the right man on the rostrum, and he will sell the audience......a dead horse.
                           
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                          • shiney

                            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                            Barbarians! :doh:
                             
                          • Scrungee

                            Scrungee Well known for it

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                            :rolleyespink:
                             
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