Topsoil Versus Garden Soil – Which To Use And Why?

Are you in a situation where you are working on a garden but don’t know which kind of soil to use?

All the types of soil might seem the same to some and comparing Topsoil vs Garden soil can be tough but the type of results you get from your garden majorly depends upon the kind of soil you use.

Choosing wrong kind of soil might completely ruin your garden along with negatively affecting the growth of your plants.

​Have you wondered what the difference between topsoil and garden soil is?

That is a major question that might be coming to your mind if you are new to gardening, but it’s not that hard to understand the types of soils and their uses. Choosing the right kind of soil for your garden can be an easy process once you know the difference between these two soil types.​

What Is Topsoil?

topsoil vs garden soil

As the name goes topsoil is the soil present on the top part of land which may go as deep as 12 inches down. Its source may depend upon the product provider.

If the topsoil is taken from an agricultural land it will contain organic stuff like leaves, tree barks, and dead weeds and grass whichever has decomposed on it, it might also contain artificial fertilizers and weed killing chemicals.

Topsoil bought from the market may usually be brought from the land which has been dug a bit deep to settle new houses on that part of land. The color of topsoil changes as per the organic content of the soil, which can range from black to dark brown.

Which Type Of Top Soil Is Good For My Garden?

The best type of topsoil would be the one with loamy texture. For best results, it should have the ingredients as a mixture of 7 % – 27% of clay, 28% – 50% slit and fewer than 52% of sand. These top soils with such mixture have low water retention capacity but are much easier to till. For larger areas of plantation, Topsoils are preferred over garden soils.

What Is Garden Soil?

How To Make Topsoil

Garden soil has its own texture and combination of sand, silt and clay. Basically, it is not a different type of soil but a mixture. Packaged garden soil may have different substances like compost or fertilizer added to it or specially made to target growth of certain types of plant. Certain sellers mix different texture of soil together to prepare garden soil, which provides a good base for your garden.

Which Type Of Garden Soil Is Good For My Garden?

When buying garden soil, you may find specially designed soil which helps to promote growth of certain plants or garden targeting particular crops like flowers and vegetables.

While purchasing garden soil, it should be made sure that the pH of soil is 6 or 7, so as to avoid the soil from being too acidic or too alkaline. Make sure to enquire about the source of the soil while buying so as to make sure that it will blend easily with the existing soil in your garden.

Which One Is Better, Topsoil Or Garden Soil?

Which soil to choose is entirely dependent on the needs of your garden? In such cases, doing a soil test is of the optimal importance, as it will present the needs of your garden and will also tell you what nutrients your garden is lacking. This might help you to look for garden or top soil which includes those nutrients.

topsoil vs garden soil

One more factor to consider before buying any soil is its price. Since high quality garden soils are way much expensive than top soils. Moreover, top soils are used usually for general purpose gardening whereas garden soil is prepared and used for targeting more specific plants.

​Which Soil Is Recommended?

Replacing your soil completely with any one type of soil is not recommended, since both soil types have the necessary ingredients required. Adding topsoil in your garden soil should not be done by dumping topsoil in garden soil, but the garden soil must be tilled deep enough to make it soft.

Once it is done, a several inch high layer of topsoil should be added to it and mixed well until both soil types are indistinguishable. Creating layers of both soils can also help the plants adapt to the soil much faster. It should be made sure that the top most layer should be of topsoil to get the best results out of your garden.


Making a garden with the right type of soil is what makes the garden healthy and helps it to grow faster. Using garden soil and topsoil in a combination, by making layers of each over other can help the plants to adjust both types of soils much faster and grow quickly.

topsoil vs garden soil

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