garden spade in soil bed

Ultimate Guide to Topsoil

Topsoil is commonly found in gardens, vegetable patches and allotments, but what is the reasoning behind this? Thanks to its high nutrient and mineral content, topsoil is great for mixing into those garden borders to encourage root growth and health, along with an extensive list of other benefits.

In this ultimate topsoil guide, we explain what topsoil is, the different types of topsoil available, what it can be used for and how much topsoil you would need for a variety of projects in your garden.

What is topsoil?

A frequently asked question by gardeners is ‘what is topsoil’? Topsoil can be defined as the top layer of soil that contains most of the ground’s nutrients and fertility. 

Regularly confused with organic compost, the primary reason for the difference between the two is that topsoil is a more well-rounded soil option because of both the structure and nutrients it offers for plants and turf. Topsoil is usually screened to a much finer size compared to compost – Alsoils+ Premium Topsoil for example is screened to 10mm.

Different types of topsoil

With different varieties and grades of topsoil available for gardeners and landscapers in the UK, you need to be sure that the topsoil you use is the correct type for the job you’re undertaking.

The 6 types of topsoil are:

  • Chalky
  • Clay
  • Peaty
  • Loamy
  • Sandy
  • Silty

If you want to learn more about the different types of topsoil, we’ve created an in-depth gardener’s guide so you know what topsoil you may be dealing with and how to approach it.

What can topsoil be used for?

With topsoil’s diverse nature, it can be used for a variety of jobs for both domestic gardens and larger-scale trade projects. Topsoil is typically used to cover empty patches, create new raised beds and borders, levelling and laying garden lawns.

Topsoils can be used for:

As one of the leading suppliers of topsoil on the South Coast, we’re experts in all things gardening and landscaping which is why we’ve created a definitive guide to what topsoil is normally used for.

Garden Topsoil

How much topsoil do I need?

Calculating how much topsoil you need for a project is one of the most commonly asked questions by gardeners and landscapers looking to buy topsoil. If you make a mistake when measuring the area you need the topsoil for, it can lead to a great amount of waste of both topsoil and money! 

See our calculator below to work out how much topsoil you need or if you want further guidance and workings out, you can visit our in-depth volume guide.

How is topsoil delivered?

Our range of high-quality fertile topsoils come in 0.75m³ bulk bags and are nutrient-rich and organic, meaning they are the perfect choice for whatever you need them for. When you place an order with us, you may be eligible to receive free shipping by an external courier. 

Topsoil deliveries are typically made via a vehicle with a crane offload. To find out more information on how topsoil is delivered in the UK, see our buyer’s guide.

Where can I purchase topsoil from?

Alsoils+ has been servicing domestic and trade customers on the South Coast for over 35 years with the highest quality topsoil, leaving you safe in the knowledge that we can cater for your needs. We supply premium topsoil that is suitable for lawnsgrowing vegetables and other purposes, so you can be sure your garden is given the love it deserves.

About the Author

alsoils tractor landscaping service


The Alsoils Team

For more than three decades, Alsoils has been a trusted name in delivering superior soil, compost products and offering landscaping services. Based in Hampshire, Alsoils caters to a diverse clientele, including both homeowners and businesses. Our team are experts in all things gardening, so you can be sure you get the very best advice for topsoil, compost, manure and so much more!

Based on 14 reviews
Mark Belshaw
Mark Belshaw
Ordered 2 bulk bags of manure on Wednesday, late afternoon and all was delivered by Friday lunch time. Great quality product and excellent delivery turnaround.
Charles Smith
Charles Smith
Excellent, from order to delivery. 10 tonnes of loose load top soil delivered within a few days. Best price and the 10mm screened soil is great quality. Thank you
Lesley Barry
Lesley Barry
Excellent product ordered 4 bags of top soil the driver was so accommodating as we have a very long driveway. The customer sevice was excellent. Thank you.
David Robberts
David Robberts
Excellent product at a sensible price from a local supplier. Staff are friendly and willing to help: I asked if just one bag of topsoil could be delivered quickly and it arrived next day! Great service.
Mark Hibberd
Mark Hibberd
Smooth execution of the transaction and delivery. Very helpful phone call and conversation. Ordered three bags of Border Blend topsoil. Paid by Paypal. They delivered, on the specified date, carefully, exactly where I wanted the bags placed. All in all, a very pleasing purchase. The topsoil was excellent and had been very carefully prepared. No lumps. Would definitely recommend and I will use again. Everyone I spoke to was nice and helpful.
David Stamp
David Stamp
Ordered topsoil on Tuesday came by Friday at the exact time quoted. Was WAY cheaper than anywhere else (by about £15 per bag) and was dropped off via a crane on back of the lorry, not by pallet which most of the other places use. Soil was fine and dry. Brilliant !