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With different types available for different purposes, and with varying technical terminology used by suppliers, buying topsoil can become a complicated job. However, with AHD Plant Ltd it doesn’t have to be. We have put together this guide to make buying topsoil easy for you, depending on what your intended use for it is.

AHD Plant Ltd provide high quality recycled aggregate materials, including topsoil, at competitive prices across Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield and Sheffield. Whether it is for a commercial or domestic project, we can promptly supply quality construction aggregates in whatever quantities you may require.


What is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil in the ground, ranging from 10 to 30 cm deep. It differs from the subsoil that lies underneath it, as it contains a much higher concentration of organic matter. Because of this, topsoil is where the majority of earth’s biological soil activity takes place. Organic matter is the crucial ingredient in topsoil, as this is what contains the fundamental nutrients that plants and microorganisms live off, while also locking in moisture. Without organic matter soil is, in essence, infertile.

Screened vs Unscreened Topsoil

Screening is the refining process in which large solid clumps, rocks, stones, roots and other types of matter are removed from the soil. Soil can be screened to various sizes and as a general rule, the finer the soil is refined, the more it will cost. It therefore makes sense to only pay for soil screened to the size that you require. Roughly speaking, soil screened to 20mm is ideal for general landscaping, turf laying etc.

Unscreened topsoil is unrefined soil which is directly recycled (taken as it is) from site excavations. It will contain a mixture of large and small soil particles, potentially along with roots, stones, small rocks and sticks. The main advantage of unscreened topsoil compared to screened, is that it is cheaper since it does not have to go through the refining process.

How To Choose The Right Topsoil

With differing prices, it is important to make the right choice specific to your project. While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, unscreened is an unsuitable option for uses such as flowerbeds or for laying turf. The more carefully refined the soil is, the higher the concentration of organic matter it will have. Thus wherever you want plants or flowers to grow, high quality screened topsoil is the best choice. The additional organic matter will provide ideal growing conditions.

On the other hand, unscreened topsoil is perfect for jobs where optimal growing conditions are not necessary. For example, jobs such as levelling, hole filling, supporting raised beds, supporting walls etc. For these types of construction jobs, there is no point in paying more for highly refined screened topsoil when unscreened will do perfectly well.

Choose AHD Plant Ltd

For screened or unscreened topsoil, or any other construction aggregates you require, give AHD Plant Ltd a call. Experts in plant hire, all aggregates we supply are either recycled or certified quarried aggregates. Areas we cover include Nottingham, Mansfield, Chesterfield, Sheffield and Derby. Visit our website to learn more about our services, or call now on: 01623 272 277