So you’ve decided that you’re finally ready to tackle your next garden project. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to be physically demanding, but the end result will make it all worthwhile. The question is, what supplies do you need and in what quantities. One of the main components of a garden project is soil, or dirt. Here is some information about dirt for you so that you will be able to assess the specifics with regards to your garden project:
Types of Dirt
There are lots of types of dirt, but when it comes to garden projects you really only need to be aware of two: topsoil, and fill dirt. Topsoil is a rich, moist soil that has lots of nutrients in it. Its composition makes it perfect for any garden project that involves growing any type of plant.
Then you have fill dirt. Fill dirt is the very opposite of topsoil. A good quality fill dirt will not contain any organic material. Its texture is a lot more clay like than topsoil: it is almost clumpy. Sometimes fill dirt also contains small stones, but it should never have the organic composition of topsoil.
As such, fill dirt is essentially used for filling things. It’s so resilient you can use it as a base for your house foundation, or to level uneven land. It’s the worst thing to choose for flowerbeds or anything like that, however.
So: topsoil for flowers and plants, fill dirt for construction and stability. Fill dirt does have its uses in landscaping. Any time you want to create a shape or level that stays the same and doesn’t end up imploding you use fill dirt.
Garden Project Ideas
Now that you have the information you need about choosing dirt for your project, here are some inspiring ideas:
Berms are also known as landscaped mounds or manmade hills. They can add interest to a garden by creating a hill that wasn’t previously there. They are made using a thick layer of fill soil, then covered with some clay to keep the shape moulded. Finally, a thin layer of topsoil completes the berm.
Terraced landscaping is when you create layers, like steps. For example, when you see a garden that has a steep slope that is softened by a stone wall, this is a form of terraced landscaping. It isn’t essential to have a steeply sloped yard in order to create a terrace feature, but it sure makes the starting point easier. If your yard is pretty much level or only has a gentle slope, you will need to use dirt piled up in layers to create the different levels.
Terraced landscaping is about much more than plain old curb appeal. A steep slope is detrimental to the condition and stability of the soil in your yard because when it rains it causes the soil to shift. Steep slopes can also speed up soil erosion. Thus, a terraced yard will improve the drainage and soil stability. Soil erosion is not something you want to encounter, as it can severely damage the foundations of your home.
It should be noted that the skeleton of the terrace structure should be created using fill dirt for stability, and then if you plan to make flowerbeds on each level of the terrace you need to put topsoil a few inches on top of the fill dirt. Fill dirt is terrible for plant growth because it lacks nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive.
Raised beds are another inspiring garden project idea. You see them most often in the yards of people who like to grow their own vegetables. They’re when plants or flowers are literally raised above the grass and are usually sectioned off using some sort of wooden crate. Alternatively, they might be sectioned off using masonry of some kind. The shape is usually square or rectangular.
You don’t need to grow your own vegetables to benefit from a raised bed, however. Raised beds are a really special feature that makes any garden stand out. They are a great way of livening up a yard that is covered all over with grass. They are also perfect for any plot of land that has soil which isn’t great for gardening in general.
The soil used in raised beds is topsoil. Raised beds aren’t something where you worry about the stability of the soil much. Instead, the nutritional composition of the soil is prioritized. Topsoil is nutrient rich, so it will provide your newly planted flowers, herbs, or vegetables with everything they need to grow properly.