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Topsoil Buying Guide: What, Why, Where, Types and Tips

When buying topsoil, there are various questions you should be asking yourself before you make your purchase. These questions will help you narrow down the right amount and type of topsoil for your individual project. Here, we explain a little more about exactly what topsoil is and how it works:

What is topsoil?

Topsoil is the name of the uppermost layer of soil used within your outdoor plots. It is particularly high in nutrients, as well as organic matter.

Why do I need topsoil?

On account of its high nutrient content, topsoil is useful for ensuring that new beds and newly-planted flowers and plants can thrive and be nourished adequately. Topsoil is particularly important if the existing soil in an area is poor or damaged, or indeed if the space that will be used to plant new flowers and plants does not currently have soil and needs a brand new area of soil for the plants in question.

Where should I be using topsoil?

Topsoil should be used in gardens with poor soil, such as those belonging to new-build houses which have had their natural top layer of soil stripped away during the construction process. Topsoil can specifically be used for the following purposes:

–  to cover ground

–  to create new beds for plants

–  to create borders within the garden

–  to lay turf or sow grass seeds

Topsoil can even be used in gardens that are paved and there is no access to soil, providing an environment for the growth of many types of plant in raised beds within the garden.

Types of topsoil

There are three main types of topsoil, which can be chosen accordingly for different types of project. The three topsoil types are as follows:

  • Premium grade: Though it can be expensive, premium grade topsoil tends not to bring in weed seeds which is beneficial for those tending to the garden as it does not become as overgrown by weeds. This type of topsoil is extremely high in fertility and has a good structure, so is often used to build up flower borders or even create entirely new beds for flowers and other plants. Nurseries often use this type of topsoil in compost mixes for plants grown in containers.


  • General-purpose grade: This type of topsoil can be bought in different screen sizes dependent on the project at hand, with more coarse grades useful for turf laying and finer graders more useful for top dressing lawns. This type of topsoil is also useful for making new beds and borders, as well as making an excellent base for the sowing of new lawns.


  • Economy grade: Usually supplied unscreened, this cheaper topsoil is most commonly used to build up areas which require volume as opposed to serious high quality topsoil. 

Buying topsoil tips

When buying topsoil, look out for the following aspects that could cause issues for those using it:

–  high stone content

–  thick fibrous roots

–  weeds

–  contaminants such as glass and brick

Ensure that you ask the supplier where the topsoil has come from to guarantee its quality, as well as making sure that it all comes from the same source to make sure that the quality of the topsoil is not tarnished by additional amounts of soil from external sources.

Here at Woodford Recycling, we are a leading provider of topsoil supplies to customers throughout Cambridgeshire, extending our work to cover the rest of the UK with our network of approved partners. To find out more, get in touch with our friendly and reliable team of experts today, and let us help with your enquiry.


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