Our homes lose their curb appeal if the lawn looks bad.  Yet homeowners often don’t do the important things they can do to preserve the topsoil. Here’s what you can do whether it’s a brand new house you are building or one your family has had for generations.

New Construction

A new home doesn’t have to cause the destruction of the existing topsoil. Contractors can put down access mats to preserve the ground underneath. This gives their trucks and equipment a safe place to operate. Trucks can’t get stuck, churning the dirt as their wheels seek traction. 

Crane mats are used in almost every type of construction but are often ignored by homebuilders. If you are building a new home, you should expect your contractor to use these composite mats. The new composites are lighter and easier to bring to individual worksites such as the lot where your new home is built.  Before you sign a contract, you should get a commitment from your builder to use matting to protect your soil.

Renovations and Similar Threats

When renovating, there are a number of reasons that trucks and equipment may be driven on your lawn. Your contractor should be able to put down access mats for protection. They should be able to tell you how they will protect your trees and gardens as well. Homeowners shouldn’t leave these things to chance. It can be very costly to replace the plants and restore the soil.

Anyone who wants to drive on the lawn should be considered a threat to your topsoil. This may be plumbers, electricians, utility workers, tree removal crews, and even some landscaping.  Before they drive, access mats should be laid down to provide a temporary road and protection for the grass and soil.

Water Runoff

Take Care of Your TopsoilSource: meredithcorp.io

To prevent water runoff, a homeowner needs to assess how rainwater flows over the lawn. If it flows freely because the soil is too saturated or too hard to absorb, then it will take nutrients and carry them to the road or driveway.  

After a storm, look at where the water is puddling or flowing. You need to plant along that path to improve water absorption. Perhaps water from your roof is puddling in the lawn. That will mean redirecting the water from your gutters into a pipe that bypasses the lawn.  

Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems should assist you in maintaining your soil. However, this is not always the case.  You should watch for puddles or dry areas.

If you see this, you should have it repaired or redesigned to stop water waste and runoff. The sprinkler heads may be too close together or some may have broken.

Preserve Your Trees and Shrubs

Before you cut down a tree or shrub, think again. You don’t want to cut down the very thing that is helping prevent runoff. Established trees and their root systems are there to absorb the water. Furthermore, these bigger plants are vital to maintaining a diverse ecosystem.  That diversity promotes the general health of your topsoil.

Additionally, shrubs and trees act as a windbreak, reducing the chances that good dirt will get taken away by strong winds. If you remove plants from a hillside, the hillside itself may wash away from erosion.  

Plant Native Plants and Trees

Take Care of Your TopsoilSource: freizeit.at

To protect your topsoil, plant hardy varieties of trees, shrubs, and plants to help with problem areas. Native plants are the best choices. These should be able to handle your soil type and climate. If you have a soggy area, you could replace the grass with a rain garden.

Whatever you do, remember that a variety of plants will improve the soil by providing a variety of nutrients. If planting flowers, perennials are more beneficial than annuals.  

Reduce Chemicals and Use Fertilizer Wisely

To use fertilizer on your lawn, find out the best practice for your climate and only apply it at the suggested times.  Also, you should pick a date where no rain or strong winds are expected for several days.  

The average manicured lawn in the US utilizes ten times the amount of pesticides and chemicals that might be used on the same area of farmland.  This isn’t good for topsoil, and alternatives should be sought.  What you plant, where you plant, and how you control water runoff can all assist in making these interventions less necessary.

Protecting the topsoil is essential maintenance. It should be a top priority for any homeowner who wants to preserve their lawn’s beauty. When your topsoil is healthy, you’ve got the keys to curbing appeal.