For years developers have been scraping the topsoil (8-12 inches) from properties and selling it to sod farms. It’s another way that land can be monetized and topsoil is a valuable commodity that contains minerals and nutrients from years of plant and animal decomposition.
Nutrient rich topsoil can make or break a lawn or home garden and if you are struggling to keep yours thriving it could be because you are planting in dirt that is deficient of topsoil.
From the developers point of view there is money to be made with topsoil but it is also not the most ideal foundation for a house to be built on. Foundations need to be poured into a solid clay foundation so topsoil needs to be removed but that doesn’t mean it should be sold and carted away. It should be redistributed around the property once a home is built to help landscape and lawns grow.
By adding chemicals and overwatering lawns that will never grow we are wasting resources and burning the land. Make sure you check the PH levels of your soil and if you are considering purchasing a home from a developer ask what has happened to the topsoil.
What do you think about the practice of removing topsoil? Is your lawn or garden suffering because of this?
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Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.