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What is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the outermost layer of soil, usually the top 2 to 8 inches. Topsoil has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the earth’s biological soil activity occurs. Because topsoil tends to contain a high amount of nutrients, plants generally concentrate their roots in this layer and obtain most of their energy from topsoil.

Frequently Ask Topsoil Questions

Do I Need Topsoil?

If you’re creating a new bed or garden, you’ll want to invest in some topsoil before you begin planting. Topsoil contains a variety of nutrients necessary for the plant’s growth and health. You often don’t need a lot either—depending on the size of your garden, just a few inches will be enough to provide the necessary nutrients without hindering water flow. 

What Does Topsoil Do?

Topsoil has several different purposes. You may choose to add topsoil for the following reasons: 

  • Your plants need more nutrients. Topsoil is nutrient-dense and is often the first choice in trying to enrich your garden. Just be mindful that topsoil may need to be refreshed every so often as the plants absorb the nutrients out of the soil. 
  • You need better drainage. Topsoil is a great option for raised beds to help keep your plants from drowning during heavy rains. 
  • You want to protect against drought. During the Florida winter, we see less rain than we’re used to in the summer. Topsoil helps retain moisture during these dry seasons to keep your plants healthy and thriving. 
  • You just laid down new seeds. Topsoil protects new seeds from the elements, erosion, or hungry animals. 
  • You want to prevent erosion. With all the rain Florida receives, erosion is a frequent issue planters face. Topsoil acts as a protective barrier against erosion and helps anchor plants in the ground with deep roots.

How Is Topsoil Made?

Topsoil is a naturally occurring material, but it can also be manufactured for bulk planting purposes. In nature, topsoil can take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to develop from pieces of rock, clay, and organic matter. Manufactured topsoil production “consists of blending compost with mineral soil components to create a landscape and turf-grade topsoil.” This can either be done off-site or on-site. At Gaston Mulch & Soil, we have our own process of creating topsoil and combining it with compost to make a nutrient-enriched environment for plants.

What’s the Difference Between Topsoil and Dirt?

Sometimes, people will refer to topsoil as dirt, but these terms are not interchangeable in practice. Dirt, more often than not, is used to level the land or fill deep holes. It doesn’t retain water well and mostly contains small chunks of rock, clay, or sand—making it void of nutrients and microorganisms. You wouldn’t want to plant seeds in dirt as the lack of water retention and nutrients would cause the plant to die. 

Topsoil, on the other hand, is specifically for planting purposes. It’s full of nutrients and retains water to help with plant growth. If you’re looking to start a garden, you’ll want topsoil. If you want to even out your land, you’ll want dirt.

father and son working in garden, mulch, plants, planter

Buy High-Quality Topsoil from Gaston Mulch & Soil

As a result of the collection, grinding, and recycling of tree and land-clearing debris, Gaston Mulch & Soil produces its topsoil product as filtered organic material, in the form of mulch and wood chips, which is screened and then composted. The result is a bulk garden soil-like product with high biological activity—perfect for setting up a new garden bed, starting a nursery, tilling into your soil, or adding beauty to your landscape. 
With delivery across the state of Florida, you can start your new project with this high-quality topsoil shipped right to your doorstep. Visit our online store today to get the best in the game topsoil since 1972!

Awesome company. Great customer service. Very friendly. Great soil.” – Facebook Comment

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As a note: Due to the weight of topsoil, online orders must be less than or equal to 8 yards. For orders larger than 8 yards, please call.

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