What’s In Your Soil?

Soil is certainly not the most exciting thing in the world, even for a passionate gardener it’s often seen as a dull necessity! From hobby vegetable growers to those making the finishing touches on a construction site, there aren’t many that see a single thing interesting in soil. However, like anything if you look deep enough there is a world of intrigue behind this crucial part of the planet’s ecosystem.

Have you ever considered why soil is needed? At first, that may seem a ridiculous question, isn’t soil just ‘there’? Perhaps there is no reason! But like anything that is part of the organic world, there are plenty of reasons why soil is ever-present where we see life, and why it’s crucial in multiple ways. From growing potatoes to creating a beautiful welcoming area for a new building, the soil is vital.

Consider the brown dirt as a home, and within topsoil, there is a home for billions of bacteria, nutrients and more that helps life grow. But what is actually living in your soil? In this article, we will place a magnifying glass (quite literally!) on the world hidden from our eyes and in every bag of quality soil and compost you’ve ever seen.

The Biology Of Your Soil

In the simplest form there are five elements that make up high-quality soil. The balance and finer details of these elements create multiple types of soil that are designed for different applications. Grass needs a different combination of these five compared to what an orchid would need for example.

The four elements that makeup soil are:


Much like humans, plants require a range of minerals to be ingested to be at their healthiest. While there can be a range of minerals present in a range of soils, the primary four are:


Consider this as the precursor to allow your plants to absorb other minerals and nutrients. You will often find calcium is present at an extremely high rate in good topsoils, acting as the messenger to pass on other essential elements to the plant. Calcium plays another key role in that it makes up cell walls and encourages growth and strength at the micro-level.


As a general rule, an increased amount of phosphorus produces a higher yield from plants such as fruit and vegetables. It’s essentially one of the rawest forms of energy available to them, and the more that plants are able to absorb the higher rate they will grow and the longer their energy cycles will become.


Magnesium assists with increasing the rate of absorption from water within the soil, allowing the plant to take the necessary amount to achieve maximum growth. Oversaturation of magnesium however can hinder the presence of the other key minerals.


Boron helps plants transport sugars, so without its presence, they may struggle to move the essential energy into the correct places to ensure the right areas can develop. Boron deficiency is tricky to rectify as third party means are not easily applied once you’ve used your soil. In this case, you are likely better off starting over with Boron enriched soil instead.

Organic Matter

There are three categories of organic matter that are present in most soils. The fresh matter is that which has been recently added, such as leaves, while this doesn’t add much value to the soil in its present format over time it will move into the second stage of matter. This is dead or decomposing stage, where the nutrients present then start to be passed to the soil.

Finally there are the living or stable organisms. These range from the visible, like earthworms, to those that you can only view with a microscope. Bacteria play a crucial role in breaking down matter and also in the production of essential minerals found in your soil.


Soil may seem fairly packed, but in the pockets of space between the matter sits gases that are crucial to its nutritional value. Primarily this is oxygen, which speeds up the decomposition of organic matter and allows minerals to keep their maximum value.

Within soil there’s also the same gases in our atmosphere that add less to the overall picture, such as nitrogen and hydrogen.


Finally, water is always present in any soil that is packed with nutritional value. Given the amount of rain in the UK, it’s not likely your soil will ever be wanting help in this department! That being said in the height of the summer you will want to ensure there is the correct level of moisture present.

Where possible when watering your soil use rainwater gathered in a watering can or weather butt. Rainwater contains a considerably better nutritional value and less harmful chemicals than tap water so it’s the best option when looking to enrich your soil.

Mini Skip

Mini skips are the smallest skips available on the market for hire and are ideal for small domestic projects like small garden clean-ups or small home renovations. They are compact and can easily fit in tight spaces, making them a popular choice for homeowners with limited space.

Builder’s Skip

Builder’s skips are a common choice for construction and renovation projects. They offer ample space for construction waste, including bricks, concrete, and timber. These skips are larger than mini skips but still manageable for most residential properties.

Large Skip

Large skips are designed for significant waste disposal needs, often found on construction sites. They are suitable for large-scale renovation projects, clearing out an entire house, or handling bulky items. These skips are quite spacious but may require more space for placement. 

Roll-on/Roll-off Skips (Ro-Ro)

Roll-on/roll-off skips, commonly known as Ro-Ro skips, are enormous containers primarily used for industrial and commercial purposes. They are ideal for handling substantial amounts of waste, such as large construction projects, factory cleanouts, and major demolition work. Ro-Ro skips are transported on and off-site using specialized vehicles. If you’re looking for a Ro-Ro skip, get in touch with Penny’s and we can point you in the right direction.

Open Skips

Open skips are the standard type of skips with no covering or lid. They are easy to load and are suitable for a wide range of waste materials. Open skips are commonly used for general household and construction waste and most Mini, Builder’s and Large skips are open.

Enclosed Skips

Enclosed skips are equipped with a cover or lid, which helps keep the waste secure and prevents unauthorized access. They are often used for disposing of confidential documents or when waste containment is crucial, such as in areas prone to wind or wildlife interference.

Mixed Skips

Mixed skips are designed for projects that involve various types of waste, including construction debris, household waste, and garden waste. These skips allow you to mix different waste materials, making them convenient for projects with diverse waste streams.

Hardcore Skip

Hardcore skips are specially designed for disposing of heavy construction materials like concrete, bricks, and hardcore rubble.

They are reinforced to withstand the weight and abrasiveness of such materials, making them the ideal choice for construction sites.

Inert Skip

Inert skips are intended for non-reactive waste materials like soil, sand, and clay. These skips are often used for landscaping and excavation projects, where the waste is not chemically reactive and can be safely reused or disposed of.

Choosing the right type of skip for your project is essential to ensure efficient waste management. Consider the size of the skip, the type of waste you’ll be disposing of, and any specific requirements, such as containment or accessibility.

By selecting the appropriate skip, you can streamline your waste disposal process and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Get in touch with Penny’s Group if you need any more assistance in choosing the right skip for your project.