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Choosing the Best Type of Topsoil for your Gardening Needs

Feb 28, 2017

Gardening is not always easy. It involves considerable spending on time and resources. While the effort and creativity in the design of your landscape are important, the beauty of the end results will be determined by the materials used, chief among them being the topsoil. 

All about Topsoil

Found in the uppermost layer of the earth, topsoil is a result of many years of weathering of rocks and decaying of animals and plants. Therefore, it has many organic nutrients and minerals which are necessary for the growth and development of plant life. Due to human and natural causes, however, it is not usually readily available. Gardeners and landscapers have to buy it in bulk from specialist suppliers and garden centres as well as superstores.

Picking Just the Right Kind for your Needs

Before going for any type of topsoil, you should conduct a soil test. You will, therefore, know which nutrients your garden lacks and buy the type of soil that has them. Remember that there is a difference between garden soil and top soil in that the former is meant to provide a good ground for growing of specific plants while the other can be used for any landscaping needs including improvement of drainage. In addition, a quality garden soil is more expensive than topsoil.

Screened Top Soil

The screened topsoil is passed through a certain filtering process involving different sizes of meshes. You, therefore, can choose the fineness of your topsoil. One of the benefits of screened soil is that its uniform size enables even distribution of important nutrients and proper penetration of water. 

Unscreened Topsoil

Otherwise known as ‘dug soil’, the unscreened soil is sold in the exact form it was obtained in. It does not go through any process. Hence, it is usually more uneven and a little coarser compared to the screened type. While it is a cheaper alternative it may come with such impurities as stones, rocks and weeds. It is best used for projects where topsoil quality is not really important, including site preparation and filling of holes.

Using Topsoil for your Garden

To improve your garden using topsoil, spread it in a 2-inch deep layer on the selected area. Then mix it with the existing soil to around a 4-inch depth in order to create a transition layer and avoid drainage problems. Finally, add the topsoil on the top of the layer to come up with the ideal depth. 

Levelling your Yard with Topsoil

In order to fill low areas on your lawn, you just need to add a 2-inch deep layer of topsoil and level it with a shovel and the grass will grow through it. If, however, depth of the low area is more than 2-inches, repeat the process until it levels out. Since you may have to add a lot of topsoils which changes the pH and structure of the soil and make it unfavourable for the growth of the existing grass, you will need to sow grass seeds on the topsoil. Simply add a 1-inch topsoil layer, broadcast the seeds on it and work it with a rake. Within a week or two, new grass should sprout as long as there is adequate watering.


Without the proper type of topsoil, all your gardening efforts will be fruitless. Apart from providing essential nutrients to plants, topsoil improves the drainage. You can easily get quality topsoil in bulk at an affordable price from various suppliers including Wiltshire Grab Hire.

 Choosing the Best Type of Topsoil for your Gardening Needs