Gardening is one of the most therapeutic activities that can be done all over the world. Be it creating kitchen gardens or maintaining beautiful lawns, gardening brings you close to nature and the intimate connection that you can feel when you’re around nature is priceless.
Gardening is practiced all over the world, and the best thing about this activity is that it can be performed by people of all ages. Being in close proximity to nature calms your nerves down and helps you relax, and the sort of peace that you get to experience by engaging in gardening is unparalleled.
People all over the world are actually quite passionate about their gardens and about everything that they grow. Just like people care for their children, those interested in gardening put in a lot of effort to nourish and care for everything that they plant. If you want to nourish your plants with nutrients, one of the best ways to help your plants grow to their best self is topsoil.
To help you out, we’ve curated a list of the leading topsoil brands of 2023!
If you’re someone that is new to the world of growing plants, there’s a lot for you to learn and one of these things includes the use of topsoil. If you want to make sure that you’re getting the best product that is available out there for your plants, you need to make sure that you’re getting that suits your needs.
The Importance of Topsoil
If you’re new to this field, you might not be aware of what topsoil really is. Topsoil, as suggested by the term itself, is the outer layer of soil. Topsoil is usually two to twelve inches deep, measured from the surface to the subsoil layer. The creation of topsoil could take a century of weathering rocks and decomposition of organic matter and it is usually made up of ingredients such as clay, sand, and silt.
Plants also spread their roots into the topsoil layer, particularly because it contains a lot of minerals and nutrients. Apart from that, topsoil can also contain other things such as manure, bacteria, worms, Minco-organisms, and insects that make it very fertile for plants to grow.
Topsoil: What You Need to Know
Topsoil is commonly used for gardening, particularly because of the many benefits that it offers. Typically, new gardens are layered with topsoil to help new plants adapt and grow in a healthy environment. Topsoil can also be added to gardens that inherently have a low quality of soil, improving the fertility of the soil and allowing it to grow plants. Moreover, gardens in areas that are dominated by sand can also be reclaimed using topsoil to make them capable of growing plants.
Improved plant health
Topsoil itself is brimming with a rich mix of nutrients that are healthy for plants. Moreover, topsoil also improves nutrient retention, which means that any additional nutrients that you add to your plants would be retained in a more effective manner.
Improves moisture retention
Topsoil locks in moisture and retains water in a more effective manner and reduces the evaporation that is necessary for the growth of a plant. It also makes your plants more drought-resistant. If you’re in a place that frequently experiences droughts, good-quality topsoil will make it easier for your plants to survive.
The nature of topsoil allows it to drain really well. If your plants suffer due to poor drainage, good-grade topsoil is likely to reduce this problem
Reduction in erosion
Erosion can be really bad for your plants, especially if it strips them away of crucial nutrients and minerals. Generally, root structures grow and spread really well in topsoil, which in turn protects the topsoil itself.
What Are the Different Types of Topsoil?
Topsoil can be classified into a few structure types. Here’s everything that you need to know about them:
Sand soils have a higher proportion of sand and traces of clay, making them characteristically dry and light. Due to the nature of this soil, rain is likely to strip it of a lot of nutrients. On the flip side, this soil drains well and it is very easy to utilize.
For topsoil to be classified as clay soil, it must be made up of over 25% clay, which makes it heavier and more difficult to operate. Since the heavier nature of this soil makes it nutrient-rich, the rain is less likely to wash away the nutrients. As a downside, clay soil usually does not drain well and will remain cold and wet in winter.
As far as the size of particles is concerned, silt soil is somewhere between clay soil and sand soil, allowing it to retain water for a longer period of time. On the other hand, this soil does not drain very well.
The origins of peat soil make it highly fertile and rich in organic matter. Since it formed over 9,000 years ago, it contains the nutrients of the many plants that died in melting glaciers. This soil also retains water really well, making it suitable for places that are prone to droughts.
Loam soil is very common and it is often considered a very safe option to go with, particularly because it’s a mixture of soil, silt, and clay. Characteristically, it combines the benefits of all of the components that it is made up of, making it a suitable option that has a very wide application.
What Are the Different Grades of Topsoil?
The grade of topsoil refers to how fine it is. Generally speaking, you will find it categorized into three grades:
Premium grade topsoil
Premium grade topsoil is the finest quality of topsoil that is available out there. It does not contain any weed seeds, metals, or diseases. This makes it highly fertile and perfectly suited for young lawns and new plants.
General-purpose grade topsoil
General-purpose grade topsoil is the most common type that is used out there, particularly because the quality is just fine enough for most projects and it strikes the right balance between quality and price. It is reasonably rich in nutrients and can be used to lay the base for new beds and young lawns.
Economy-grade topsoil does not go through any screening process. It is supplied in the very form that it is dug out in, and since it is very cheap his grade is perfectly suited for projects where you need quantity over quality.
Because it is not tested, it’s generally not suited for houseplants. Insects like fungus gnats, for example, will lay their eggs in the soil. If the soil dries out, these eggs will remain dormant until they are rehydrated.
Tips for Buying Topsoil
Here are a few things to keep in mind while buying topsoil for your plants:
You should check the credentials of the supplier before completing your purchase. This will ensure that you’re getting what you’re paying for. Also, always screen the topsoil for weeds and other contaminants such as brick, glass, and metals.
The amount of topsoil is usually measured in cubic feet, allowing you to effectively gauge the amount that would be required. If you want a higher quantity, you can purchase it in bulk.
The topsoil that you get should be 100% organic and filtered for pests. If you purchase topsoil that’s not filtered, you run the risk of your plants being munched away by fungus gnat larvae and other insects that have remained dormant in the soil.
To ensure your plants are receiving the right amount of nutrients, be sure to check out the analysis report of the soil. A deficiency of phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium can lead to stunted growth. Luckily, these things can be easily solved with a nutrient supplement. If you want to create an at-home remedy, you can just mix topsoil with compost to create an effective potting mix.
If you’re looking for a product that checks all the right boxes and that you cannot go wrong with, the organic topsoil by Coast of Maine is the way to go. It is premium-grade topsoil that has been screened for weeds and other contaminants, making it a very safe choice and great for beginners with no experience. Coast of Maine is known for its quality and consistency, and this is why it is our best overall pick for this category.
If ease of spread is something that you need to prioritize, look no further because the Michigan peat garden soil has been rated highly in terms of how easy they found it to spread and use. The package itself promises 40 pounds of topsoil and the contents include reed sedge peat and sand, making it nutrient-rich. This topsoil can be used to fill holes in gardens and lawns, as well as a top dressing. It can help you improve moisture retention in soils, enhancing the drought resistance of plants.
The premium topsoil by Scotts is our best pick for all-purpose topsoil. This product is a mix of organic matter coupled with peat moss, making it rich in nutrients. Moreover, it is a premium-grade product so you need not worry about contaminants such as weed seeds, metals, bricks, and glass. It comes in a slightly smaller packaging that weighs about 20 pounds, allowing you to test it out before you order it in bulk. This topsoil is perfectly suited for multiple purposes including leveling, filling, planting, and seeding.
High-quality and premium grade topsoil
Suited for multiple purposes
Easy to use and spread
The price is on the higher side considering the quantity
If you’re into Bonsai gardening, we’ve got the perfect product for you. The topsoil by the Bonsai Outlet is the perfect blend for multiple bonsai species including cedars, cyprus trees, Japanese black pines, and junipers. You get a two-quart bag that contains a quality blend of natural and organic soil that is ready to use, straight out of the bag. Made up of calcined clay and premium Japanese akadama, this topsoil promises enhanced moisture retention and a supply of many nutrients and minerals. It is a very fine product that promises instant results and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Tailored blend for bonsai species
Topsoil is 100% organic
Rich in vital nutrients
The price is high
People Also Asked
Q: Is topsoil safe for the environment?
A: Absolutely! Since topsoil is made of organic materials and does not contain chemicals, it is perfectly safe for the environment.
Q: How much topsoil should I spread?
A: Generally speaking, you should aim for a layer of topsoil that is anywhere between three to six inches in thickness. Anything thicker than this can lead to excess water retention and promote root rot.
Q: Can topsoil contaminate my bed?
A: Ideally, quality topsoil should not contain any contaminants. If you’re still concerned about this, you can look up that specific topsoil’s list of ingredients online or call the manufacturer.
Q: Does all topsoil contain fungus gnat eggs?
A: Unfortunately, the likelihood of coming across fungus gnat eggs in cheaper soils is high due to their egg’s nature of remaining dormant until rehydration. While harmless to humans and pets, the larvae form of fungus gnats prefers to munch on decaying roots and the fungus that grows on healthy plant roots.
The Garden Gate Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best products for a beautiful and bountiful garden and backyard. The content is created by The Garden Gate Review Team. Garden Gate’s editorial staff is not involved. Garden Gate is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.