Tips & Advice
What is pulverized topsoil?
Pulverized topsoil has been machine-ground, with all rocks and debris chunks removed, so it’s easier to work with by hand.
What is the difference between fill dirt and topsoil?
The difference between fill dirt and topsoil is first where the soil was taken from: Topsoil legally has to be from the top 8 inches of earth, whereas fill dirt can be collected from much deeper in the earth. It comes in two categories: “common fill,” which may come with large chunks of debris or roots, and “select fill,” which is not debris-laden, but is usually sandy. As it is not typically nutrient-rich, fill dirt is used to fill holes and create mounds, not for planting.
Can topsoil be used for a vegetable garden?
Topsoil can definitely be used for a vegetable garden, but keep in mind there are different kinds of topsoil. Make sure to get a breakdown of topsoil composition, and get topsoil that is screened, and is best for what you’re growing. Additionally, you might want to add amendments such as compost and fertilizer to create a more nutrient-rich environment for vegetables to grow.
Topsoil is made up of four components: sand, clay, silt, and humus (i.e., decomposed organic matter--generally plants, insects, and small invertebrates). Topsoil also contains water. The more humus, the more nutrient-rich the topsoil is. With the optimal amount of water (not dry or wet, but moist) and a high concentration of humus, topsoil provides desirable growing conditions.
Is topsoil the same as compost?
Topsoil is not the same as compost. Compost is biodegraded organic material--usually vegetable matter. Manure is its own category of compost. Compost is a soil amendment: It is much richer in nutrients than regular topsoil, and is added to it to enhance growing conditions.
Topsoil is the very top 2-8-inch layer of soil in undeveloped plots of land, fields, gardens, and green spaces. Ideally--but not legally required--it has a high concentration of nutrients and organic matter. The other common name for topsoil purchased for gardens is “black dirt.”