What Is Topsoil, Anyway?

When shopping at your local landscape supply store, one of the most common items you will encounter is a wide variety of soils. It can be daunting for the new gardener to determine which soil is best for different gardening applications. Among all the varieties of dirt and fertilizer available, you will undoubtedly see many types of topsoil. You may be wondering what topsoil is, and how it’s used in landscaping design. Here are basics about topsoil, and how to choose the best one for your project. 

Topsoil 101

In a nutshell, topsoil is healthy soil which is free from rocks, sticks and other debris. As the name states, this soil is used to cover the top of gardens and planting areas. It can also be used in planters, for seeding lawns and in a vast array of landscaping projects. However, there are different types and levels of quality which you should look for in topsoil, depending on how you intend for it to be used. 

  • Mix – Topsoil comes in a variety of mixes which are used for different applications. For garden planting, a mixed topsoil can provide the best attributes for fostering growth in large areas. For potting plants or small enclosed flower beds, you may want to go with mixes specifically designed for planters or potting, designed for plants with minor depth.
  • Quality – Picking a good quality topsoil can be difficult if you are new to gardening. For use in planting, you want a dark, rich soil that is heavy in nutrients. Talk to your local landscape supply store experts to find the topsoil with the best ingredients and pH balance for your project. 

Topsoil is one of the most important aspects of new planting, and vital to maintaining the health of your plants. It can add nutrients to old, depleted soil and give new plants or seed the right environment to grow. Before buying topsoil, talk to your landscape expert to ensure you get the right variety for your needs.

Posted on behalf of Clayton Hulen, Green Brothers Earth Works


Choosing Soil For Your Landscaping Project

If you are new to landscaping, deciding what soil you need for different projects can be daunting. There are literally dozens upon dozens of soils you can buy, mix and use. Although advanced gardeners may like to create their own soil mixes, many supply companies have excellent pre-made mixes that will are specially designed for different projects. 

Topsoil is the main ingredient for almost any landscaping project. Simply, topsoil is healthy soil with all the rocks, sticks and other debris removed.This basic building block is what is used to aid in planting and leveling yards and gardens. Although basic topsoil does not contain fertilizer, by adding it to your existing soil that may be depleted in nutrients, it can foster a healthier lawn or garden. 

If you are looking for soil for planting flowers, shrubs or perennial gardens, you want a mix that is blended for these types of plants. Many will have a combination of mulch, sand and topsoil to give the right blend of nutrients and water holding stability to make your flower gardens flourish. Look for soil combinations that specifically say they are flower mixes. 

There are also soil blends that are tailored for specific purposes such as filling retention ponds. This soil needs to act as a filter for contaminants and will be specially mixed bio soils. Make sure you find a landscape supplier that has the correct mix for your retention pond needs. 

Creating a beautiful lawn and garden does not need to take a chemistry or geology degree. Most beginners will find that they only need a few types of soils and soil mixes that are already pre-made for them at their local landscape suppliers.

Topsoil: An Essential Ingredient for Seasonal Landscape Maintenance

This spring, many homeowners will grapple with the challenges of seasonal landscape maintenance. As warmer days arrive, old gardening projects resurface and the task of sprucing up outside spaces begins. Reestablishing the lushness of summertime lawns is a priority around this time of the year. Topsoil is an essential ingredient for restoring your lawn and for healthy springtime beds and vegetable gardens.

Topsoil promotes healthy plant growth and improves soil structure due to its extremely high mineral and plant nutrient content. Natural topsoil is excavated from the upper layer of pristine Greenfield sites or from former agricultural land and is the result of dynamic natural processes that have occurred in the soil over time. Manufactured topsoil is natural topsoil that has been enriched with organic materials like peat moss, composted leaves, aged rice hulls and lime.

Spring is the best time to overseed a lawn and topdressing with topsoil is the best way to prepare a lawn for overseeding. Whether you are overseeding an entire lawn or filling in patchy spots, high quality, fertile topsoil is the answer to your lawn renovation needs. Topsoil helps newly planted trees and shrubs develop a healthy root system and growth pattern, making it a necessary soil conditioner for new sods, for seed starting, or for newly planted trees and shrubs. It is invaluable for starting new lawns, providing an even surface and firm foundation for installing turf or for seeding. Topsoil is also used to revive ‘dead’ garden beds that have been eroded by seasonal changes.

Topsoil truly is the ideal, multi-purpose soil amendment. It improves the tilth and cultivability of soil, aids moisture retention and helps to eliminate weeds and soilborne diseases. Used equally in residential landscaping and commercial turfing projects, such as golf courses and sporting fields, topsoil is essential for safeguarding the long-term health and vibrancy of lawns and plants.