Whether you’re planting a vegetable garden or a gorgeous flower bed, topsoil can be an essential part of helping your garden thrive naturally. Topsoil has a host of benefits that help maintain healthy soil and plants, and knowing the different types and the basics of how to use it can help you show off your green thumb and have a garden you can be proud of. Discover a few tips and tricks to start choosing and using topsoil in your garden. 

Know the Benefits of Topsoil for a Natural Garden

Topsoil is filled with advantages for natural gardeners. Made of helpful organic materials, topsoil can:

  • Preserve and maintain nutrients in your garden 
  • Help retain adequate moisture levels, even when there is less rainfall than expected
  • Provide proper drainage for the garden to help plants thrive
  • Give the garden a solid defense against erosion from things like wind and rain 
  • Support healthy microorganism growth in the soil 
  • Simplify planting and weeding 
  • Protect roots systems

Overall, adding topsoil to your garden is a simple way to create and maintain a successful garden with healthy soil and plants. 

Different Topsoil Components 

Knowing the advantages of topsoil is just the beginning. Next, you’ll need to know what type of topsoil to choose to provide the most benefits for your garden. Soil types itself can contain many different components, including clay, silt, sand, peat, chalk, and loam, that can have beneficial properties. For example: 

  • Clay: Clay soils are primarily made of small particles of rock and minerals and hold moisture well. 
  • Sandy: Sandy soils have an abundance of nutrients and provide excellent drainage. 
  • Silty: Silty soils are made of small particles eroded by wind and rain over time. They have excellent water retention 
  • Peat: Peat-based soil is made primarily of plant matter and sediment and is high in nutrients. 
  • Chalky: Chalky soil is made from eroded limestone or calcium carbonate. It holds water well and may help balance the pH of some soils because of its alkaline nature. 
  • Loamy: Loamy soil is a mix of silt, sand, and clay. It helps retain nutrients and water, but also has good drainage properties. 

Because naturally occurring soils can be higher in some components than others, knowing what type of soil you have can help you know which type of topsoil to purchase.

Choosing Topsoil: Overview of the Different Types

Topsoil available for purchase may have a combination of these mixtures to help create an optimal garden environment. They may also be available in different grades. Some common types available for topsoil delivery in Cornwall, PA, and many other areas are: 

Unscreened Topsoil

Unscreened topsoil can be ideal for a natural garden because it’s direct from fields. It contains essentials for healthy plants and is a great choice for most gardens. Because it’s completely natural, there may be small rocks or clumps. Depending on your soil type and what you are growing, incorporating natural additives along with the unscreened topsoil that helps increase nutrients can be an option for a healthy garden. 

Screened Topsoil

Screened topsoil is a more refined product that does not contain rocks or clumps. It’s an ideal garden base, as well as one of the best options for planting all types of plants. Screened topsoil may also be enhanced with compost for added nutrients that will help your garden thrive. 

Garden Mix

Garden mix is a rich mixture of screened topsoil combined with compost to provide maximum ease of use and nutrients to your garden. It’s also versatile enough to be used as potting soil. 

Custom Topsoil Blends: Topsoil specialists may also offer delivery of custom blends that can be tailored to your specific needs and soil type. These can be ideal for natural gardeners because you can evaluate what your specific needs are for your garden and the type of soil. 

Tips for Using Topsoil in Your Natural Garden 

You can use topsoil in a variety of ways to promote a beautiful, healthy garden. 

Use Topsoil as a Garden Base

Because it’s high in nutrients and has benefits like water retention, starting with topsoil as a garden base is a good option to create a thriving garden. Starting with a topsoil base can also be helpful if the soil has washed away or has low spots. Many gardeners till the new topsoil into the existing soil.

Use It to Top Off Existing Gardens

If you already have an established garden, adding topsoil yearly can help maintain the right environment for your plants. Many gardeners add one to three inches of new topsoil each year to replenish the area and help create the perfect garden. 

Mix in Amendments Appropriate for Your Soil 

Having your soil tested and knowing the type of soil you have can be beneficial, as then you can amend your topsoil with natural additives like compost, peat moss, or other substances for the right balance in your existing soil. 

Buy in Bulk and Apply in Spring and Fall

Spring is an ideal time of year to add topsoil to your garden, but it’s also an excellent top dressing to add to your gardens during the fall months. Buying bulk allows you the opportunity to apply in both seasons for gardening success.  

Use the Application Method Right for You

Applying topsoil can be quick and easy with the right methods. Spreading it on a tarp or lightly mixing it in a wheelbarrow before you apply can help spread the product out and make it easier to handle. Then use containers in a size that is comfortable for you to add the topsoil to the garden itself. 

Fill in Low Spots or Areas That Need Drainage

If your garden has places that aren’t level or need better drainage, topsoil is a great way to solve these issues. The result will be a happier garden and healthy root systems. 

Create a Thriving Natural Garden With Topsoil 

Whether you’re starting out, or improving an existing garden, topsoil can go a long way toward healthy soil and happy plant parents. Knowing which topsoil to choose and the different ways to use it to enhance your natural garden can help you keep your plants at their best.