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What Is Meant By The Term “Clean Soil” And Why It Is So Important For Your Lawn and Garden

Hand showing clean soilThe concept of “soil contamination” implies an understanding of cleanliness, yet there isn’t a clear definition of what constitutes clean soil. Soil contamination, a form of land degradation, arises from the introduction of xenobiotic chemicals or other changes to the natural soil environment. Like clean energy and clean rooms, clean soil is something we all aspire to achieve.

What Is Soil Contamination?

Soil contamination happens when hazardous chemicals are buried, spilled, or have migrated into previously uncontaminated soil. Contamination can take place during improper disposal of hazardous chemicals, during the application of pesticides and fertilizers, or through chemical and industrial processes. Moreover, these substances can be deposited when contaminated water flows through an area, or when particles from industrial smokestacks settle from the air and mix with the soil. Urban soils may contain materials like lead, cadmium, arsenic, and fertilizers, among others.

Good Topsoil Can Help Define Clean Soil

A good quality topsoil will have a good balance of sand, silt, and clay in order for plant life to obtain the required nutrients to thrive. Topsoil plays a crucial role because without it, plants wouldn’t thrive. It forms the foundation of your garden, and once you comprehend its composition and characteristics, you can work towards enhancing it over time. Optimal topsoil should be rich in nutrients and minerals to support healthy plant growth.

Soil pH – What it Means

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with pH 7 as the neutral point. As the amount of hydrogen ions in the soil increases the soil pH decreases thus becoming more acidic. From pH 7 to 0 the soil is increasingly more acidic and from pH 7 to 14 the soil is increasingly more alkaline or basic. It is important to know what the soil level is. Clean soil typically falls between 6-8 on the pH scale; it is considered contaminated, if on either side of the 6-8 range.

Usually soil companies can give you several blends of soil, such as topsoil, lawn soil, garden soil, and a compost/soil blend. Some will even allow you to custom-make your mix, such as 40 percent compost with 60 percent topsoil. Creating quality soil requires time, labor, and expensive equipment. The cost of soil varies by location, quality, and quantity.

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Topsoil and gravel delivered to you by Bray Trucking, a specialized aggregate hauler servicing the Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana region.
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