Topsoil Versus Compost? Garden Hacks

Can you replace compost with topsoil? What are the factors that differentiate topsoil vs. compost? Let’s figure it all out and see how topsoil and compost can be put to good use when gardening.

Which Goes Where?

If you have some simple everyday gardening to do on your front yard, or backyard, then you can go with topsoil. The plus point about topsoil gardening is that your plants, herbs, trees etc. are not confined to a limited space. They have the freedom to stretch their roots to any distance.

​Compost, on the other hand, is best suited for pots. If you prefer to plant on tub or wish to beautify your extra space with colorful blooms in hanging containers then compost is a great choice. There are some plants that need lots of nutrition to survive and compost can feed such hungry plants well.

What Differentiates Topsoil And Compost?

topsoil vs compost

Topsoil is basically the top layer of the soil where usually all types of plants, trees, shrubs, bushes, grass and everything else grows. The best topsoil can be naturally found in woods and farmlands or you can purchase them online or from local nurseries. A great factor about topsoil is that, they can actually aid to get rid of weeds while the drawback is that you need to buy them and the inexpensive topsoil bags are often unscreened.

How To Make Topsoil

​Compost, on the other hand is manually prepared with dumped foods, dried up leaves, skins of fruits and vegetables and also cardboards/ bits and pieces of paper. In a compost bin, everything is combined together and placed outside to decompose naturally. The benefit of compost is that it is very high in nutrients and can save landfills while the downside is that it takes a lot of time to rot and smells pretty bad.

Why Would Anyone Need Topsoil Or Compost?

You would need to buy topsoil if you are in any of these 5 situations- you are planning on changing your existing lawn, you want to create a new lawn, your garden soil is pretty shallow, you have decide to put raised beds or you wish to make all new garden beds.

topsoil vs compost

On the other side, you would have to avail compost for plants that would go in the containers, buckets or window boxes. The reason being that plants in pot need rich nutritious base to grow upon, especially as they develop in a restricted area, and compost can provide everything potted plants need to survive.

Compost is excellent mulch that safeguards base of off kinds of shrubs and trees while also retaining enough moisture between watering intervals. For the reason of protecting the roots, so compost is really necessary for cold winter days.

What Are The Varieties Of Topsoil And Compost Quality Available To Buy?

For topsoil, there are 3 specific quality options to choose from before buying as per your requirement. You can go with the general purpose topsoil, the economy type or premium quality.

General purpose topsoil works for almost all kinds of gardening venture like- laying/ dressing lawns as well as garden beds; Economy is unscreened topsoil, inexpensive and best suited for filling up huge areas; Premium one is completely screened and doesn’t have any weeds, stones or roots making it the best quality to use.

In order to learn about the quality of compost you can check the details of the product. For instance, certain compost have different ingredients such as this bag available online has chicken manure, straw, cornstalks, forest products, clay, hay, and useful microbe inoculants. These elements together were left to rot in suitable conditions for 50-80 days in windrows.

Is Compost Better Than Topsoil?

Compost and topsoil both are different from each other as both serve completely different purposes in gardening or crop cultivation. You can save money on both topsoil and compost as compost can be created all by yourself with unused item and topsoil can also be readily available nearby for free. While compost rots and topsoil would need a lab test done before being used.

​Compost is very good for the environment as instead of burning and creating pollution you are decomposing leftover food and fallen leaves to grow more plants. Composting is easy and here’s how you can do it all by yourself.


​Gardening is a mood refreshing activity which not only looks splendid, feels fabulous, smells wonderful and, also bears fruit literally. It’s always inspiring to see the seed develop and blossom to show the result of your regular efforts. Topsoil and compost both are diverse yet can be blended together as per necessity.

​You can choose to purchase both top soil and compost online or save some bucks by making your own compost. Go ahead and nurture your potted plants with compost and utilize topsoil in your lawn creation. If you wish to ask anything, please write it on the comments section.

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Can you replace compost with topsoil? What are the factors that differentiate topsoil vs. compost? Let’s figure it all out and see how topsoil and compost can be put to good use when gardening. #topsoil #compost #topsoilvscompost #agreenhand