Topsoil purchase

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by JamesGS, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. JamesGS

    JamesGS Apprentice Gardener

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    First post! IaI ended up on the site for great gardening tips and finally had a question that I can't find the answer to.

    I've bought some topsoil from a local garden centre (Norfolk topsoil from Woodcote Green 1 tonne) and wanted to know how paranoid I need to be about checking for knotweed/bamboo? So far I've looked at the soil and it's nice and loose with some small bits of wood like tiny old twigs but nothing that looks like waste.

    I think the supplier carries out visual inspection but I can't imagine that is much use when it's 100s of tons in their yard. They don't seem to have any specific checks for knotweed testing or surveys of the land from what I can see.

    Thanks everyone!
     
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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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      Welcome James.

      'Topsoil' basically is just that. Sadly so much soil is sold, even given away free, under that heading. So one needs to be cautious.

      From what you say. It sounds like you have a reputable supplier.

      Concerning the existence of nasties such as Jap. Knotweed. These will quickly show themselves, so keep a look out. Much depends upon what if any treatment the supplier has gone to. I tend to think your soil has been 'Screened' Meaning that its been seived on a large scale. So rubbish etc has been taken out.
      'Sterelized top soil' Means the soil has undergone very high temperature treatment. In a small way, the gardener can sterelise small amounts of soil, in a dish/tray and basically baking it in the kitchen oven. Sterelised soil is rarely used now, as chemical drenches tend to serve the purpose. The problem with sterelised soil is. The soil has been cremated, and thus is dead, to use it calls for treating it with chemicals that befit the demands of what plants etc it is to be used for.

      Complicated James. For now trust your supplier, but keep an eye on what sprouts up. Any problems. Members are here to help.
       
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      • JamesGS

        JamesGS Apprentice Gardener

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        Hi Mike

        Thank you so much that gives me a lot more confidence in actually using the soil. Ive been looking at many many suppliers and I'm amazed at how few even mention knotweed. Where I'm based in North Surrey there is quite a bit of knotweed already :(.

        Have you ever heard of it or bamboo come from a reputable supplier?

        I've bought bark and small topsoil bags over the years and never even thought of it coming from there (which I believe can happen too?)

        Thanks again for the advice!
         
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        • JamesGS

          JamesGS Apprentice Gardener

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          Well I shovelled two tons of it today and it's lovely soil. I could count on one hand the amount of waste in there a few bits of pottery. The soil is sandy and I pulled out any weed shoots I saw. Only one sprouting piece of wood but it didn't look anything like knotweed just a white shoot growing from a twig (which I binned anyway). Looking forward to getting all the plants moved and planting the new ones!
           
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          • JamesGS

            JamesGS Apprentice Gardener

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            Moved to plant id
             
            Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
          • Lou55

            Lou55 Apprentice Gardener

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            Hi, Sorry post removed - wrong forum!
             
            Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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