We have found the popularity of good quality top soil is steadily rising year on year, and do you know why?

The recent trend in weather is becoming more and more unpredictable, making it difficult to know when it's the best time to lay your turf and plant your flowers. This means that getting a sample of soil that can be used all year round, come rain or shine, is increasingly the solution that people are turning to when it comes to their garden.

This top soil produces an excellently stable, moist and well-draining base that is perfect for laying turf on. This can even help you lay turf at any time of year, you don't have to wait for the rain to make the soil moist enough, or for the clouds to go away so it can drain. Just lay on a good layer of top soil and you're good to go. The only time you should avoid laying turf is in frosty weather, when the frost will penetrate the ground and break up the balanced soil composition.

There are a few other pointers you might want to think about when it comes to the spring gardening season too:

Make Your Own Leaf Mulch
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When you get back to gardening in the spring and you start to de-leaf the borders, you don't have to throw them in your green wheelie bin. Stockpile them away in a separate leaf store, bin or bag and let them sit there with plenty of drainage opportunities. For large leaves, such as Oak and Maple, consider shredding them first (a lawn mower is the easiest way to do this). Once you come back next spring the leaves will have started to mulch, making the perfect cover layer for your flower bed or vegetable patch.

Leaf mulch, also known as leaf mold, will keep the sun from drying out your soil too much, and will discourage those pesky weeds from growing. Even better, as they decompose they'll release much needed nutrients back into the soil that your favoured plants can gobble up, helped along by any earthworms, who happen to love munching on leaf mulch and breaking it down even further.

Breaking up the Soil

Soil 100k

Once you've collected up autumn's leaves and set them to one side, it's time to break up the soil, which will help drainage, so that your plants don't drown, and also leaving space for new roots to grow. As long as you're doing this every year, and don't live in an area that's too rich in clay, a trusty old garden fork should do the trick here. Just stick the fork in the ground, twist and pull it out at an angle and you'll break up the soil. It may be hard work, but your plants will thank you for it.

This is where the top soil comes in. Once you've broken up the lower layers, spread some new top soil around to help get more organic matter going, and to keep the right consistency in the ground. We sell a grade one top soil that has been put through a 'screener', a machine which removes stones and debris down to 6mm in size. This is a real advantage when you are adding this to your garden, letting you avoid the problems that many soil-sellers will have of giving you inconsistent or pebbly soil.

Once you're done, it's time to get planting, so away you go!

With thanks to Andrew Foulds.