Topsoil Vs Compost: Which should you be using?

Topsoil supplies

Whether you are looking to plant some flower and vegetable beds or lay down a new lawn, having the right soil is key to seeing your plants and grass thrive.

 Your two main choices of soil are Topsoil or Compost, but which is better and which should you be using?

Let’s start at the beginning:

What is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the top layer of soil under your lawn – usually the first 5-10 inches. It contains organic matter, composed of mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air and has a strong structure.

What is Compost?

Compost is made from decomposed materials such as food scraps. It is nutrient rich and used as a fertilizer for plants but has a weaker structure than topsoil.

So, should you use topsoil or compost?

The decision between which to use, ultimately rests with what you’re wanting to achieve and the results you’re wanting to reap. If you’re looking to fill a large plot of land, level out a lawn or raise beds, we’re recommend topsoil.

 It is cheaper than compost and can be bought in bulk. At RJC Plant Hire we supply both screened and premium topsoil to suit whatever your budget. Screened topsoil is from a recycling centre meaning it can contain small stones which is ideal for draining under turf but not for flower beds or vegetable patches. This is where uncontaminated premium topsoil or double screened topsoil is at its best.

Pure compost should only be reserved for small or potted plants. This is because their roots have limited access to the nutrients directly in the soil and can’t search in the existing surroundings, often leaving them needing that extra oomf. However, you will still need to feed these regularly as compost struggles to retain water and so can quickly dry out.

Can I mix the two?

Compost can be mixed with topsoil to create your own potting topsoil. This has the structural water-retaining advantages of topsoil, with the added nutrient boost of compost. It’s the best of both worlds and provides the ideal home for any plants.

Although there are benefits of using both materials, topsoil’s versatility means it is better suited to most gardening projects beyond a single pot. It not only contains its own nutrients, but is more cost effectively and durable than compost, making it the go-too choice.

Here at RJC Plant Services we supply topsoil and other aggregates to landscapers, gardeners and businesses across Yorkshire, delivering via our grab hire services. If you require the removal of waste and muckaway before the laying of your topsoil you can save money by combining both tasks with one grab hire visit.

Get in touch for a quote and availability.

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