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Does My Greenhouse Need Organic Topsoil?

Introduction

A functional and productive greenhouse needs plenty of things to work properly. You need to be careful about environment control, the seeds, fertilizer, and primarily the topsoil. If you need topsoil for your garden or greenhouse you can search for “topsoil near me” and get it from a nearby shop. Let’s check out why your greenhouse needs organic topsoil:

The Details

  1. Topsoil – Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil that is formed over thousands of years due to the forces of nature eroding away rocks, minerals, and other parts of the terrain. Most plant life grows on this layer. It is mostly made of silt, clay, loam, and a lot of organic matter. It also contains worms and microorganisms that have a symbiotic relationship with the plants and improve the soil’s fertility.

As mentioned above, topsoil is formed over thousands of years and that’s why it’s in limited supply. That’s why the topsoil you find in stores is usually sourced from all kinds of places, from construction to excavation sites and more. There’s another type of topsoil that is artificially made and mixed with natural topsoil. These include both organic and non-organic topsoil.

  1. Organic vs Non-organic Topsoil Composition – Organic topsoil is made of microorganisms and all kinds of decaying plant materials. It consists of carbon-based material that was living at some point or is alive when you buy it. They are usually opted by organic homeowners who like to grow their veggies in an organic way.

On the other hand, non-organic topsoil is made up of manufactured materials like vermiculite, perlite, bark, peat, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. While they get the job done, they also contain chemicals that aren’t good for plants and may enter your system indirectly.

  1. Rich in organic matter – As mentioned above, organic topsoil is made from animal and plant residues that have decomposed into mush. These ingredients make the soil rich in all kinds of nutrients that help the plant grow healthy without any contaminants. This organic content consists of leaves, stems, roots and other plant remains. Organic matter is the key ingredient that sets organic soil apart from non-organic soil.

Organic matter enhances the biological diversity and activity inside the soil. Soil rich in organic matter has increased microbial activity and consists of carbon in combination with other nutrients. These nutrients feed the micro-organisms and they excrete beneficial compounds that increase aggregate stability and also act as a binding agent for soil. They change the soil structure and increase its water retention capacity.

Organic matter also becomes nutrients for growing plants. Microbial activity converts them into inorganic compounds that can be easily absorbed by the plant roots. The decomposed and dead organic matter is converted into nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and other essential nutrients required by plants.

Since organic matter improves soil structure it also makes topsoil resistant to erosion. Even if you grow your plants in the controlled environment of a greenhouse, strong winds may damage the greenhouse. If your soil structure is good enough with high amounts of binding material, it won’t be easily washed away by rain and wind. 

  1. Free from chemicals – Organic soil doesn’t have any chemical agents in it. Non-organic topsoil usually has a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for fertility and pest resistance. However, that comes at the cost of the produce. Those chemicals kill microorganisms and the delicate ecosystem in the topsoil. They aren’t good for the environment either. Those chemicals can get washed away into the water supply.

While they are cheaper than organic topsoil, chemicals in non-organic topsoil cancel out the benefit since you grow veggies and fruits with toxic chemicals. That gets into your system when you cook those vegetables and that’s not good for your health. While there’s more research needed into the subject, current evidence suggests that non-organic topsoil grows vegetables that have a lower nutrient content than those grown on organic topsoil.

  1. Helps plants absorb more nutrients – As mentioned above, organic soil improves soil structure and prevents it from clumping together. That’s why it has better water retention and also allows enough room for steady microbial activity and allows roots to breathe. That’s why plants can absorb nutrients more readily from organic soil. The soil is also naturally resistant to pest infestation and that’s why you don’t need to resort to pesticides.
  1. No need for fertilizers – Since organic soil is rich in organic matter, you don’t need to add chemical fertilizers to increase its fertility. The only disadvantage of organic topsoil is differing pH values. You can easily get around that by choosing the right kind of plants for growing on that soil. This type of soil doesn’t need chemical fertilizers since it’s already rich in decomposed organic matter. You may need to add compost from time to time, but that’s about it.
  1. Laying down organic topsoil – By now it’s clear that organic topsoil is the best choice for your greenhouse. It’s good for the environment and also allows you to grow your plants without chemicals and artificial additives. However, you need to lay down organic topsoil the right way to make it effective.

Begin by laying down around three inches of organic topsoil on your plant bed. Once the organic topsoil is added it’s time to mix it up with the subsoil by tilling it. Till the ground until you get around six inches of the soil layer. This thick layer would hold the roots of the plants in your greenhouse and provide them ample room for spreading and extending deep.

Finally, you can add more organic materials like compost, eggshells, and other organic materials to customize the soil according to your needs. Now plant the seeds or saplings, provide plenty of water and sunlight and your greenhouse would be full of green life in no time.

Conclusion

As you can see organic topsoil has numerous benefits. It’s rich in nutrients and free from harmful chemicals. Your plants would be healthier and won’t have any toxins. You can get high-quality topsoil from a nearby shop by searching for “topsoil near me”.

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