Although compost has more nutrients than topsoil, topsoil isn’t without its advantages. Topsoil is far better at retaining its structure and holds much-needed moisture far longer than compost. It is also generally cheaper. As a good general guideline to follow, topsoil should be used when you need to raise the absolute level of your ground while compost should be used to make your soil healthier.
What Is Topsoil?
Topsoil is the upper layer of soil. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth’s biological soil activity occurs. Topsoil is dense with minerals and organic matter, which gives it a much darker color than other gardening soils. It is important to have high-quality soil for the top 6 to 12 inches of your garden or lawn since this is where most of a plant’s roots live.
What Is Compost?
Compost is a mixture of ingredients used as plant fertilizer to improve soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties. It is commonly prepared by decomposing plant and food waste and recycling organic materials and manure. Compost helps keep your soil healthy in the near and long term.
When To Use Compost
An ideal time to add compost to your garden is in the spring every year. Another good time to use compost is during the fall. You should be adding compost at the start of the growing season or in anticipation of the next one. Compost makes your soil healthier, more nutrient-dense, and increasingly pleasant to plant in with repeated applications over time. So get into the habit of adding nourishing compost to your garden every year. If you already have soil in place for your garden, it is generally cheaper, easier, and of equal quality to just use compost to make the existing soil healthier. Compost needs to be added with other minerals like sand, silt, or clay to provide a sufficient structure for roots.
When To Use Topsoil
It’s best to use topsoil wherever you’re lacking soil. For example, you may need to fill in a low spot in your lawn or add as a base layer in a new garden that’s missing a foundation of soil. If you use topsoil in a garden, you’d still have to add additional compost or manure to help your plants thrive. Early spring is an excellent time to lay topsoil for both your lawn and garden. The soil is typically thawed, and temperatures are beginning to rise. This period is ideal because the soil is often moist and workable after the winter season, making it easier to spread and level the topsoil.
Look for compost that doesn’t have large particles. It should pass through a ⅜-inch screen. There shouldn’t be any rocks, trash, or other debris. Premium screened topsoil is all-purpose soil for lawns, shrubs, and trees. It is a screened soil that comes from organic compost and is mixed with sands and local soils.
About Bray Topsoil & Gravel
Topsoil and gravel delivered to you by Bray Trucking, a specialized aggregate hauler servicing the Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana region.