Can My Topsoil Get Too Hot?

hot sunny day

It’s the summer. It’s hot.

You’re sweating (so you take a drink of water).

Your grass is baking (so you water it).

Your plants are frying (so you water them).

And your triple mix soil that you’ve mixed up in your garden is…

That’s the question: as the sun beats down, is it possible that your topsoil becomes too hot, thus compromising its ability to help nurture and grow your plants?

The short answer is, yes, it is possible for your topsoil to overheat and dry out. When that happens, the vital nutrients and minerals contained within it become weakened and less effective.

Now that we’ve established that your black garden soil can become too hot, the next question is how can you tell?

Well, like this:

Look at the colour

When it comes to your soil, black is beautiful.

So you want your topsoil to be a rich, dark black colour.

If it looks lighter than normal, then chances are it’s starting to dry out and lose its effectiveness. You should apply water (or mulch) quickly to revitalize it.

digging soilDig down

Dig down to a depth of about three feet.

Now, how does it look compared to the very top layer of topsoil?

Namely, this is what you should be looking for once you’ve dug down into your topsoil:

  • Does it look the same colour (remember, you want it to be dark black)
  • Has the soil clumped together (making it harder for roots to grow)
  • Is it workable (or do you need to break it apart)

If your topsoil is too hot, then it becomes much more difficult to handle. And if you can’t really work through it, then your plants certainly can’t.

Investigate its structure

Good soil structure (that isn’t burned out) has:

  • Reasonable aggregation of bound-together soil particles (some soil should stick together, but not be completely clumpy)
  • Spaces/holes which enable roots of different sizes to grow through and make enough space for air and water

Triple mix soil that’s too hot closes up. It almost seals itself, actually. As a result, the root system of the plants becomes caught or contained within it.

handful of soilThe texture 

Checking the texture of your topsoil is something you can do yourself at any time. Here’s how:

  • Grab a handful of soil
  • Get it wet, then squeeze it

If it doesn’t take any kind of shape – or can’t be easily manipulated – then it’s too dry (even with the added water).

soil thermometerIdeal soil temperature

A general rule of thumb to follow for ideal soil temperature is about 26˚C to 30˚C.

You can purchase a soil thermometer which can monitor soil temperature for you.

Conversely – on the other end – soil temperatures hovering around 15˚C can severely restrict growth too.

We’ve got your soil

If you’re finding that your topsoil isn’t performing as it should (because it’s too hot and has dried out), then it may be time to replace it with new, fresh soil bags.

Van Beek’s has been producing and delivering topsoil to gardeners throughout Oakville and Mississauga for years.

And we can do the same for you. All it takes is for you to reach out to us with all your topsoil needs.

Rich Dark Soil Delivered to Your Doorstep