Using topsoil in your garden has a long list of benefits whether that be for your lawn or flower beds and borders, but certain topsoils are best for different jobs. For example, general-purpose topsoil is best for levelling lawns, but it may not be the preferred choice to grow a luscious bed of roses.
In this guide, we help gardeners who are stuck on what topsoil to use in the garden, the different types of soil available to purchase in the UK and whether it matters what topsoil you use.
What are the different types of topsoil?
Each type of topsoil has its advantages and disadvantages, so it could be argued no type of topsoil is best for everything, however, most general-purpose sandy loam topsoils can be used across the garden and you’ll still get a good result.
The 6 types of topsoil are:
If you want to find out more about the different types of topsoil, we’ve created an in-depth guide so you know what soil is best for your project.
What is the best topsoil for vegetables and fruits?
The best topsoil to use when growing vegetables, fruit and other crops is a loam vegetable and fruit topsoil. Loam topsoil has a rich, dark brown appearance that feels moist and can often be clumped into a crumbly ball.
The mixture often consists of 20% clay, 40% silt and 40% sand, meaning your crops have a good soil structure to work with when establishing their roots and holding onto moisture in the summer months.
What is the best topsoil for growing plants and flowers?
Selecting a dark, fine and friable organic-rich blend of topsoil will offer you the best chance of growing healthy flowers in your raised beds and borders. Having premium loam topsoil and organic manure blended into a flower bed and border topsoil will ensure your plants bloom brightly in the spring.
Using this type of topsoil will benefit plants that require large volumes of water and aeration.
What is the best topsoil for lawn turf and grass?
Whether you’re levelling an existing lawn or preparing the ground to lay new turf, the best topsoil to use is a silt-based mixture. Silt soils are similar to sandy soils when they’re dry, except that their particle sizes are much smaller resulting in a feel that is soft to the touch – when you roll silt-based soil between your fingers, dirt is left on your skin with a smooth texture, kind of like flour.
Lawn turf and grass topsoil is notoriously easy to move and work with as well as providing a great solution for drainage issues.
Does it matter what topsoil you use?
If you’re a gardener that has a passion and dedication for creating the best lawn, vegetable patch or flower bed then yes, it does matter what topsoil you use. Not all topsoils will give you the same result, which is why you should seek out specific blends of good quality topsoil for the project you are tackling. Unsure of what screened topsoil is? See our in-depth guide.
On the other hand, if you are a casual gardener and have a limited budget and time allocation, choosing a multi-purpose topsoil screened to 20mm will serve you well, albeit not giving you the best possible result.