what is in-ground soil

Soil is a natural material consisting of organic and inorganic materials essential for plant growth. Soil has many functions: providing plant nutrients, holding water, regulating temperature, storing carbon dioxide, preventing erosion, and supporting biodiversity.

It also helps maintain the structure of the land and protects against floods. However, the most important function of soil is to provide food for plants. In this article, you will get to know all about in-ground soil. You will learn what in-ground soil is, how to check whether your soil is healthy, why you need to care about your soil, etc.

What is in-ground soil?

inground soil

In-ground soil is the part of the ground below the surface where roots can grow. It includes topsoil, subsoil, bedrock, clay, sand, gravel, and other soil types.


In-ground soil typically contains a mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. The proportions of these ingredients vary depending on the type of soil. For example, sandy soils have more sand than other soil types. In contrast, clayey soils contain a high amount of clay.

Sand is the most abundant mineral in the world, making up 70% of all land surfaces. Silt is less common than sand but still accounts for 20%. Clay is the least common, accounting for only 10% of all land surfaces.

How to check whether your soil’s health is good or bad?

If your soil is healthy, there are no visible signs of disease. On the other hand, if you see any sign of disease like yellowing leaves, wilting, or brown patches on the leaves, then it means your soil is unhealthy. Various ways to check whether your soil’s health is good or bad. Some of them are given below:

1) Check the color of your soil. Healthy soil is dark brown or black. Unhealthy soil is light brown or grayish brown.

2) Look at the texture of your soil. Healthy soils are firm and dense, while unhealthy soils are soft and loose.

3) Observe the smell of your soil. Healthy ones have a sweet odor, while unhealthy ones have a foul odor.

4) Observe the presence of insects in your soil. Healthy soils do not have an insect infestation. On the contrary, unhealthy soils have lots of insects.

5) Observe the presence or absence of weeds in your soil. Healthy soil does not have weeds. However, unhealthy soils have weeds growing everywhere.

6) Observe the color of your soil after rain. Healthy soils absorb water quickly and turn darker in color. At the same time, unhealthy soils remain wet for long periods and stay moist even after heavy rains.

7) Observe the appearance of your soil after heavy rainfall. Healthy soils dry out quickly and become friable. On the contrary, unhealthier soils retain water and become compacted.

8) Observe the appearance and condition of your plants. Healthy plants grow vigorously and look healthy. On the contrary, sickly plants appear weak and pale.

9) Observe the presence and abundance of pests in your garden. Healthy gardens do not have pest problems. On the contrary, diseased gardens have many pests.

10) Observe your garden’s presence, size, and number of roots. Healthy roots are thick and strong. On the contrary, thin and weak roots indicate poor soil quality.

What are the benefits of in-ground soil?

1. In-ground soil helps to improve drainage and aeration in your lawn or garden.

2. It also helps to regulate temperature, providing a cooler environment for your plants during hot summer days.

3. Soil in contact with the ground also provides nutrients and minerals to your plants that they would not otherwise receive from a potting mix or other growing mediums.

4. It improves the appearance of your yard by adding color and texture to your landscape.

5. It reduces erosion and runoff, keeping stormwater out of streams and rivers.

6. It is beneficial because it allows us to grow food without pesticides.

7. It prevents weeds from taking over your garden or lawn.

8. It keeps your home safe from flooding and landslides.

9. It protects against pests and disease.

10. It increases the value of your property.

11. It makes gardening easier and more enjoyable.

12. It provides a natural habitat for wildlife.

13. It adds beauty and character to your outdoor living space.

14. It supports healthy ecosystems.

15. It strengthens communities.

16. It creates an attractive and inviting environment for children.

17. It promotes good health.

18. It builds strong families.

19. It brings peace and tranquility to mind.

20. It gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.

How is in-ground soil different from other soil types?

In-ground soil comprises organic matter such as compost, manure, and mulch. It contains air pockets and spaces between particles. This allows oxygen to reach plant roots and water to drain away.​

In-ground soil does not contain clay, sand, or gravel. Instead, these materials can be found in topsoil. Topsoil is usually placed on top of subsoil. The subsoil is usually made up of rocks, stones, and dirt.

Why should I use in-ground soil instead of topsoil?

Topsoil is often expensive and difficult to obtain. In-ground soil can be purchased at most nurseries and landscaping stores.

It is available in various sizes and shapes. You can purchase bags of in-ground soil or buy individual pieces of soil.

What do I need to know about using in-ground soil? How much should I apply?

You will want to add enough in-ground soil to cover all areas where you plan to place plants. The soil needed depends on your area’s size and your plant type.

For example, if you have a small patio, you may only need 1 cubic foot (0.3 m³) of soil. On the other hand, you may need 2 cubic feet (0.6 m³) if you have a larger backyard.

You can purchase bags of in-ground soil or individual pieces of soil and combine them yourself. When purchasing bags of soil, make sure to check the bag carefully before buying.

Some bags are too heavy, and some bags are too light. Also, ensure the bag has been sealed properly so no moisture escapes.

Remember to spread it out even when adding in-ground soil to your yard. Do this by tamping down the soil with your hands or a shovel. First, tamp the soil until it is flat and smooth. Then, let the soil dry slightly before planting.

What do I need to know about soil before I start gardening?

Before you begin your garden, you will want to learn more about soil. You may already have a good idea of what kind of soil you have. However, if you don’t know much about soil, here are some things you should consider:

1. How old is your soil?

2. Is your soil fertile?

3. What does your soil look like?

4. Do you live in an area with lots of rain? Or do you live in an area that gets little rainfall?

5. Are you planning to use fertilizer?

6. Do you plan to add mulch?

7. Do you plan to build raised beds?

8. Do you plan to dig holes for plants?

9. Do you plan to plant vegetables?

10. Do you plan to grow flowers?

How long does it take to grow grass in in-ground soil?

It takes approximately 3 months for the grass to grow in in-ground soil. During this time, you must keep the soil moist but not wet.

Grass needs 6 inches (15 cm) of water per week. Watering more than this can cause the soil to become compacted and harden.

How do I care for my lawn after it grows in in-ground soil?

After your lawn has grown in in-ground soil, you must fertilize it regularly. Fertilizing helps your lawn get stronger and healthier. To fertilize your lawn, follow these steps:

1. Remove any weeds from around the base of your lawn.

2. Spread fertilizer over the entire surface of your lawn.

3. Wait 24 hours before watering again.

4. Water thoroughly.

5. Repeat this process every two weeks.

What are the best uses for in-ground soil?

In-ground soil can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

1. Planting and growing crops

2. Gardening and landscaping

3. Creating and maintaining parks and green spaces

4. Erosion control

5. Soil stabilization

6. Water retention

7. Flood prevention

8. Groundwater recharge

9. Landscaping

How do I care for in-ground soil?

Fertilizing your in-ground soil is important to keeping your plants healthy. You can use either organic or chemical fertilizers. If you choose to use chemical fertilizers, follow the directions on the package carefully.

What are some common problems with in-ground soil?

One of the most common problems with in-ground soil is compaction. Soil compaction occurs when the soil particles are pressed together, making it difficult for roots to penetrate the soil and access essential nutrients.

This can be caused by heavy equipment or machinery being used on the ground or walking on wet soil.

Lack of nutrients:

Another common problem with in-ground soil is a lack of nutrients. This can happen for several reasons, including poor drainage and compaction mentioned above.

Additionally, soils can deplete nutrients over time as they are used to grow crops year after year. Fertilizers can help alleviate this problem by replenishing the lost nutrients.

Poor drainage:

Poor drainage is another frequent issue with in-ground soils. When water does not drain properly from the soil, it can lead to problems such as compaction, nutrient loss, and even plant death.

Improving drainage often requires amending the soil with organic matter such as compost or peat moss.

Soil erosion:

Erosion is the process of losing topsoil through wind and water action. Soils naturally erode over time due to factors like rain and temperature fluctuations.

However, erosion can be accelerated if the soil is exposed to excessive water or wind. Erosion can cause serious damage to your lawn and landscaping.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Where Can I Get In-Ground Soil?

You can purchase in-ground soil at any garden center or home improvement store. Read the labels carefully to know exactly what you’re getting.

2. How Do I Know If My Soil Needs To Be Replaced?

You will know if your soil needs to be replaced if you see signs of disease pests or if your plants look unhealthy. For example, if you have a lot of weeds, you might need to replace your soil.

3. Why Should I Use In-Ground Soil Instead Of Digging Up My Soil?

Digging up your soil takes a lot of work and effort. You’ll need to dig up the soil, remove rocks, and add fertilizer. In-ground soil is much easier to install and maintain than digging up your soil.

4. Can I Buy In-Ground Soil At Home Depot?

Yes. You can find in-ground soil at many home improvement stores. Check the label on the container to ensure it contains the right nutrients for your specific type of grass.

5. Do I Need To Fertilize My In-Ground Soil? How Often Should I Fertilize It?

Fertilizing your in-ground soil helps keep your grass healthy and green. To determine how often you should fertilize, consider what kind of grass you have. Some types of grass require more frequent fertilization than others.


In-ground soil is a great way to improve your lawn’s and landscape’s health. It provides a stable base for your plants, which makes them healthier and stronger. It also prevents erosion and improves drainage. However, before installing in-ground soil, make sure to consider all of its benefits and drawbacks.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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