Does Bagged or Packaged Topsoil Go Bad?

Purchasing several bags topsoil and not using them right away is just something that happens, and the question now is whether or not they will go bad.

Does a bag of topsoil expire? If the bag is not stored properly and used right away, then the chances of it going bad is very high. The soil cannot live in a bag on its own and retain its current form since it will dry up and the nutrients inside it will begin to break down. The microbes it contains will also begin to sour the soil.

Topsoil may last for a long time and can even be usable after a decade or so, but this does not mean that it will be the same topsoil that you purchased.

Taking Full Advantage of Bagged Topsoil

Assuming that you purchased bagged topsoil, it’s only natural that you would want to use it in its best form. Otherwise, you would only be wasting money on something that you could have gotten by just digging in the woods. On that note, what exactly does it mean to take full advantage of bagged topsoil, to begin with?

Well, it should involve:

·         Using it with the nutrients and microbes intact

·         Spreading it while it is still less clumped

·         Preventing the topsoil from getting too dry or too moist

·         Making sure that it the soil does not sit around for too long

·         The soil is stored in the right conditions

You need to remember that topsoil is a living thing and if you do not use it right away, you run the risk of killing it and making it less useful than it should really be. To that end, you simply must make sure that you make use of it while it is still in its best condition. If not, you can at least make sure that you will be able to preserve its quality for as long as possible.

To really take advantage of bagged topsoil, you can take the methods in the table below:

Using the topsoil right awayIt is always best to buy the topsoil right as you are about to use it when your lawn or your landscaping project is ready to receive it on that day
Spreading the topsoil evenlyYou have to make sure that all of the topsoils that you get will be spread out as evenly as possible to avoid dead patches
Storing the topsoil properlyKeep the topsoil away from the natural elements such as the rain and the sun because they can ruin the quality of the topsoil even during short exposures
Combining topsoil with mulchUse mulch to make the topsoil more well-fed either by combining them or by place the topsoil over the mulch
Fertilizing the topsoil minimallyTry not to fertilize the topsoil too much or you risk ruining the grass or plants that you are planning on adding to it

Topsoil is very important for any landscaping project and even just a little delay can cause the quality of the topsoil to deteriorate, so this is something you need to watch out for.

Why Topsoil Goes Bad

So, now that you know that the topsoil that you can buy at the store in bulk can actually go bad, the question now is why it does so and the answer is simple; topsoil is a living organism. Well, it might be more accurate to say that it is a host of living organisms and these are all necessary to make sure that the grass you grow is all healthy.

You see, the longer the topsoil remains in storage, the less it will receive the care that earth would normally get when it is actually spread on the ground. This includes rain, sunlight, the various bugs and worms that crawl beneath it, and the microorganisms that thrive in the soil itself. These are all necessary for keeping the soil in top condition.

These will also be missing for as long as the bag is in storage and even if it is exposed to sunlight and rain, without the right conditions, it the soil will only be ruined. This is why you need to store the topsoil in a clean, dry shed where it will not be exposed to hot temperatures nor will it get wet from the rain or any other source.

Now, topsoil is actually quite hardy. So if you keep around for a few months or so, you should be fine. If it gets on in years, though, the quality of the soil will begin to degrade.

Topsoil Storage Tips

The best way to store soil would undoubtedly be to have a storage shed. This shed will basically protect it from pretty much anything that could harm its quality. However, you do have to make sure of a few things first if you are going to have a shed. First is the matter of flooding where a strong storm might end up drowning anything that is not elevated in your shed.

This is why you need shelves in your shed that are strong enough to support the bagged topsoil that you purchased. It is not really advised that you keep that many of them for too long, though. This is because you will not have enough room in your shed, for starters, and you really ought to use your soil right away if you buy them in bulk.

You should only ever keep topsoil in storage if it is a bag or two, for purposes other than covering your entire lawn. Otherwise, you should either wait for the time when you will actually use the soil to buy it or just halt the project altogether. Besides, you don’t want a dozen or so bags of topsoil cluttering up any part of your property, now, do you?

Related Questions

Can I Reuse Soil from a Dead Plant?

You can, but it would be advised that you make sure that there is no root rot if you are going to do so. If the soil is contaminated with diseases of any kind, this could then affect the next plants that you are going to plant in the pot and this will then lead to wasted efforts on your part.

Can You Mix Top Soil with Potting Soil?

You actually can, but you have to make sure that the composition is actually what you want. Topsoil can be made up of several types of soils in varying degrees, after all, and these could have a huge impact on the kind of growth you see with your plants. You can just go ahead and purchase if you want.

When to Buy Topsoil in Bulk

With the prospect of the topsoil that you purchased in bag form going bad quite quickly, what exactly are you supposed to do about the matter of buying in bulk? How do you know when you should do it so that you don’t waste extra time storing the bags? Well, it would depend on the situation such as if you already know when you are going to use it or if you will use it right away.

Landscaping that is not done by professionals will always have a way of getting away from you. If you don’t have a proper schedule to follow as to when you do what, you will have a difficult time getting the results that you need. This is why you need to know ahead of time when you might be using the topsoil you buy so that you won’t have to keep it for long.

Another method would be simply to buy the topsoil in bulk on the day that you will use it. This does run the risk of you having to start later in the day. However, you don’t really need to worry as long as the lawn is already prepared and you will still need to get the mulch ready anyway.

At the end of the day, this is not really something that you need to worry too much about. These kinds of things have a habit of working themselves out, and if you are not someone who would consider themselves a gardener, you can afford to just let it go. So just try and see to it that you just get this right from the start so you won’t have an issue later on.

If an issue comes up, you will just have to deal with it when that time comes. It’s not worth getting too stressed over the finer details if you aren’t really all that interested, to begin with. You would only be making yourself miserable over something that is supposed to bring you joy.

Why Buy Topsoil for Lawn Grass?

On the question of buying topsoil, why would you need to purchase this particular type of soil for your lawn grass? The answer to that has to do with the type of plant that you will be using, which is grass. Grass has a relatively shallow root system, which means that its source of nutrients can be quite limited.

With that said, it should also be noted that moisture can be a huge problem for grass because if the soil remains too wet for too long, the grass could die. The topsoil is just perfect for balancing these two prospects by allowing the short roots to move through the soil with ease and to allow the water to drain quite easily.

You can’t really do this with garden soil, which is meant to accommodate plants with deeper roots and can be considerably more packed and dense. You don’t want that for your lawn grass because it would only lead to the death of your grass.

Another great reason for this has to do with fertilizer absorption. You don’t really need to use that much of the stuff to get the soil to absorb it, which means that you save money, in the process. More than that, though, you also have to think about the toxicity of fertilizer and how it can affect the environment. The less of it you use, the better. 

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