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If you are planning to take on your next backyard project, one of the most important things you should know is what type of soil you are going to use. This single element is enough to make or break the success of your venture. If you choose the right one, your project will thrive, otherwise it would negatively affect its growth and vitality.

Your requirement for soil will vary depending on the project you are on, you might need additional soil for your garden or need to fill or level areas of the landscape; whichever the case is, you need to be careful about the type of soil you are going to use.

If you plan to grow something, you might consider using gardening soil or topsoil. Gardening soil has its own unique texture and is a combination of sand, silt, clay and various minerals. It is designed to target specific types of gardening project. There are different mixes of gardening soil for herb gardens, vegetable gardens, flower gardens and more, which means you need to do a bit of a research before deciding on one.

Topsoil is essentially the layer of soil that covers the outermost surface of the earth. They are generally a combination of sand, silt and clay, though the texture may vary at times. If you are using it for gardening, thicker topsoil should be avoided as it will retain water very well and not allow much air to reach the roots of the plant. Topsoils with a loamy texture are great for gardening because they are easy to till and promote airflow.

Compared to garden soil, topsoil is generally sold in larger quantities for large-scale landscaping needs. Topsoil is also more of a general-purpose soil mixture that may not be mixed with as much fertilizer and organic matter as some garden soils.

Now, if you are not growing anything and just need to fill in an area, you can use subsoil. Subsoil, or fill, as it is commonly referred to, is cheaper than topsoil. It lacks organic matter and is usually a tan or brown colour. You can have it screened or unscreened, and the use of the material will dictate which will be needed. There is also the option where you can fill an area, and top dress it with topsoil.

Alongside the soil type, there’s another thing you need to take into account, and that is the soil pH level. It is the measure of acidity or alkalinity and can have a big effect on the health of your plants. Although many plants tolerate a wide range of pH, but they do best when planted in the right soil. Soil test can help you in determining the level of pH.

Making the Right Choice

Your garden will tell you what it needs. Experts recommend you perform a soil test because it will tell you what nutrients your garden is lacking so you can look for a garden soil or topsoil that includes those nutrients.

Price is another factor you might want to consider, high-quality garden soils can be very expensive, while topsoils are often much cheaper. Whereas packaged garden soil may be prepared to target a specific type of plant, topsoil is ideal for general-purpose landscaping. If you have a lot of space to cover in your garden, you might consider mixing some of each.

Local Turf has over 45 years of experience in this industry. If you need some assistance on soil purchasing, you can always speak with our friendly team about our range of lawn supplies. We have soil for sale, as well as mulch, roadbase, gravel and sand and we offer soil delivery.

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