How to Preserve Topsoil


Topsoil is the topmost layer of soil, usually the first 2 to 8 inches of earth. It contains a high amount of organic matter, and will usually determine how fertile your land is. Top soil erosion caused by improper planting and adverse whether is damaging to a land's fertility. When chemicals are used to control pests or weeds, erosion can pollute nearby streams. Erosion can be caused by wind, poor planting practice and badly planned garden design. There are several cultivation practices that will reduce erosion and preserve topsoil.

Step 1

Plant new crops in the stubble of old ones, allowing the surrounding top soil to rest without tilling.

Step 2

Till in the spring as opposed to the fall to protect topsoil during the winter. This will prevent snow and rain fall from washing away top soil.

Step 3

Plant large landscape plants such as trees and hedges to reduce wind speed.

Step 4

Place sod around gardening areas to reduce the amount of topsoil that washes away from the garden. Grass sod will not carry topsoil as far as bare land, acting as a wall against erosion.

Step 5

Change crops every year to reduce nutrient fatigue in the soil.


  • Perdue University Cooperative Extension: Soil Erosion in Indiana
  • Utah State University: Topsoil Quality Guidelines for Landscaping
  • Teacher's Domain: Organic Farming, Conserving Topsoil

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University: Conservation Tillage
Keywords: top soil, top soil preservation, top soil management

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.