It’s never a good idea to assume all landscaping materials are created equal.
Some stones have features and benefits that others don’t. Some mulches have different properties than others. And not every type of landscaping soil is the same. In this blog post, we’ll look at the basic types of soil used in landscaping projects.
The three main types of soil
Dig under your backyard and you’ll find three types of soil: loam, clay and sand.
Of the three, loam is the easiest to work with. It’s a diverse combination of materials – sand, silt, clay and organic matter – which makes it the richest soil. Clay holds water for too long, while sand doesn’t hold it long enough.
Soil is crucial to your landscape and/or garden, providing several different benefits:
- It filters out pollutants and cleans ground water
- Stores water for plants
- Provides a habitat for bacteria and earthworms, which turn waste into nutrients for your plants
- Keeps carbon out of the atmosphere
Most hardscaping applications involve removing soil rather than adding it. However, there are some cases where you might need additional landscaping soil.
If that’s the case, Woodward Landscape Supply offers a few different options:
Our standard topsoil is a screened version of the dirt you’d find just below your grass, useful for most applications, such as growing grass and leveling out small irregularities in the grade of your property.
We also sell premium topsoil. Screened and enriched, this soil provides an excellent top layer for growing plants.
Topsoil contains significant amounts of organic matter and microorganisms. As plants die, they decay, and their nutrients are returned to the soil, which helps you grow new plants. Topsoil can also help fend off weeds and pests.
Topsoil isn’t the same wherever you go. Some versions contain sand, or manure, or bits of rock. It varies depending on your location. A store that sells landscaping supplies can give you a detailed breakdown of what materials are found in their topsoil.
And topsoil should not be confused with compost. While they both include organic material, compost is made from decomposed plant and animal matter, broken down by bacteria and fungi. It is often used to enhance topsoil.
This landscaping soil is compost that needs to be aged before sale to reduce its acidity. We make sure our mushroom soil is aged three months before it goes out to our customers. You can use it alone in some applications – growing vegetables, for example – or with it with standard topsoil.
Customers who need to level a significant grade on the property or fill in small holes will find a solution with screened dirt. We screen it to remove large stones and weeds, but do not enrich it in any way. We recommend topping this dirt with topsoil if you think you’ll be using it for planting.
Fill dirt and clean fill
This dirt is not screened or refined at all. Fill dirt has stones and weeds, while clean fill is mostly stone with some weeds and dirt. Both are used to fill large holes where nothing is intended to grow. Again, if you’ll be planting, you should top this area off with premium or standard topsoil.
If you’re not sure what type of soil you need for your property, contact Woodward Landscape Supply. Our experts can advise you on all our different soil options and find the one you need for your yard or garden to look its best.