All About Topsoil

All About TOPSOILTopsoil. You know that it can be important for the health of your lawn and garden, but what exactly is it? How does topsoil differ from compost? What are the different types of topsoil available? How much do you need?

These are common questions we get at Best Buy In Town and we’ll address those questions in this article.

What Is Topsoil?

Well, the most simplistic answer is dirt. It’s the top layer of earth that runs between 5-12 inches deep. Topsoil has many different types of textures. For example, if you go into your yard, you might find that your topsoil is sandy or more like clay, with clay being the most common soil type in Oregon. It’s challenging to grow anything in clay because the soil tends to have poor drainage and can be high in alkaline, making it difficult to grow anything.

Ideally, you want a topsoil that is high in organic matter to provide nutrients to your plants and you want to have soil that will allow for drainage.

How does topsoil differ from compost?

One of the first things to know about soil is that topsoil does not mean compost, nor does compost mean topsoil. They’re two separate things.

Compost is decomposed plant and animal matter. It’s the process of aerobic biodegradation, meaning that the bacteria and fungi in the air breaks down the plant and animal matter into compost.

Compost is frequently used to amend the topsoil and increase the amount of organic matter in the soil.

What are different types of topsoil available?

Best Buy In Town offers several different types of topsoil that have been perfected to match the weather conditions we see here in the Portland Metro Area.

  • Landscaper’s Choice Blend – is a superb five-way mix comprised of 35% Screened Sandy Loam, 45% Garden Compost, 5% Power Mulch, 5% Mushroom Compost, and 10% Horticultural Pumice.  that will encourage growth in flower gardens, shrubs, trees, or a new a lawn.
  • Super Grow Soil Blend™ – This is what you want if you’re going to use topsoil in your vegetable gardens or for growing flowers
  • Plant Mix Soil Blend™ as a perfect general planting blend for trees, shrubs, & flowers.  This soil blend is frequently used by landscapers for seeding or sodding lawns.  The Plant Mix Soil Blend consists of: 40% Screened Sandy Loam, 50% Garden Compost, 5% Power Mulch, and 5% Mushroom Compost.

Oh, and the best part. Best Buy In Town can deliver topsoil directly to you. It can’t get any easier than that!

How much topsoil do I need?

You might wonder if you need topsoil if your plants are already thriving. Odds are, you probably do. Plants require nutrients and those nutrients do need to be replenished every year to keep your plants growing healthy and strong.

Well, that depends. What do you need it for? If you’re starting a garden bed, typically 5-8” would work. When using our Landscaper’s Choice to seed or sod a lawn, Best Buy in Town Landscape Supply advises to give yourself a depth of about 1”-2” and evenly apply is where you plan to install your new grass.

If you’re not sure how much you need, give Best Buy In Town a call today. We’re ready to assist you take on your next big landscaping project.


If you’re not sure, you can always give us a call – our staff is ready to help you and answer your questions.