Topsoil from an aggregate supplier - what should it feel like? (For a Polytunnel)

Discussion in 'Gardening Discussions' started by Engelbert, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. Engelbert

    Engelbert Gardener

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    Hi all

    I need to get some soil for my polytunnel. There is a local aggregate supplier who is selling it for £50 per tonne bag full (delivered), which seems a great price It is screened and certified.

    We popped over to have a look at it. I've never bought top soil and so had no idea what to expect or what it should be like. The stuff he had was a nice dark colour, but the feel was very gritty and grainy. I mean like even more so that wet sharp sand. What should top soil feel like when bought from places like this?

    I should add that I have a supply of well rotted manure that I can use with it...

    Hoping anyone who has bought it before might be able to pitch in.

    Many thanks
     
  2. scotty333

    scotty333 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi Engelbert

    I specify topsoil almost daily as part of my job as a garden designer.

    Couple of things jump out at me here. £50 is way too cheap for a quality top soil. Sub soil yes, top soil no.

    You also mention they are an aggregate supplier? Possible then this could be a blend of sub standard soil from excavations.

    My advise here is only buy topsoil from a supplier that advertises the British Standard for TOPSOIL 3882:2015.

    Made too many mistakes in my time not to pass that knowledge along.

    Good luck
     
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    • pete

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

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      Surely topsoil is just that.
      Usually scraped off before building starts on a new site, so can vary a lot, but it would still be top soil.:scratch:
       
    • Engelbert

      Engelbert Gardener

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      Thanks for the replies. Well, apparently it is certified, although certified to what I have yet to find out. Like a prat, I didn't take a photo of it while I was there. But I did take a photo of the gravel next to it and with a bit of photo editing I can upload the soil which crept into the corner of the photo. Although not sure if a photo will help...

      IMG_20200623_114423491 Cropped.jpg
       
    • CarolineL

      CarolineL Total Gardener

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      It may be a stupid question, but was anything growing in it? I would expect that for decent soil, you'd see weeds colonising any undisturbed corners. Of course they may have too quick a turnover for that to happen, but if there are bits that looked old, and they're bare, then why?
       
    • southerner

      southerner Apprentice Gardener

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      So how much should a good top soil cost? I see loads of adverts for top soil that is in the £60-£80 bracket and sometimes less.
       
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