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Which Topsoil Should I Buy?

What is the best topsoil to buy?  What topsoil should I use for my lawn?  What are the different grades of topsoil?  Does it matter what topsoil you use?

With so many different suppliers and varying terminology when it comes to topsoil it can be confusing!  Our aim in this blog is to help you understand the different topsoil types and which one is best for your project.

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What Is Topsoil?

Topsoil is made up of broken-down minerals (stones), organic matter (grass, leaves etc), water and air.  This is why topsoil is high in nutrients and where the roots of plants are usually found.  Topsoil can take over 100 years to form due to it being made up of broken-down rock particles formed by weathering, mixed in with other decaying organic matter.  Now you can start to understand why quality is so important. Which topsoil you need depends on what you will be using it for.

Which Topsoil Do I Need?

Which topsoil you need depends on what you will be using it for.  It comes in different grades and there are various blends available - meaning some will suit your purpose more than others.  

Topsoil for turf laying - We recommend using premium topsoil as it is screened between 5mm to 10mm - there will be less lumps and get a better finish. Our premium topsoil is a sandy loam which is ideal for turf laying and also contains soil improver for added nutrients.

Topsoil for flower beds and borders - It is best to use a quality topsoil with higher organic matter for growing flowers.  Both our multipurpose and premium topsoil contain soil improver but the premium is a finer grade.

Topsoil for growing vegetables - Which topsoil you use for growing vegetables will depend on what you are growing - for instance, carrots need a sandy soil like our premium topsoil.  However, most vegetables will benefit from a nutrient rich soil like our premium vegetable mix or our multipurpose topsoil.  Vegetables absorb a large amount of nutrients from the soil, so the better the soil is the better your crop will be.

Topsoil for grass seeding - If you are starting a lawn from scratch, our multipurpose topsoil is perfect for covering large areas and has added soil improver mixed in to add nutrients.  If you are filling in gaps and seeding, we recommend either our premium topsoil or top dressing as they are a finer grade.

How much topsoil do I need?


To work out how much topsoil to buy you will need the width, length and depth of the area you want to cover (we measure in metres.)

Width x length x height = m3 of topsoil needed

You can use our handy online calculator to work this out for you which can also tell you approximately how many bags you need to order.

Why is quality important?

Not all topsoil is tested to meet British standards. 


There are 3 main grades of topsoil:

Premium grade:  A sandy loam with good soil structure and high nutrient levels.  This is a finer grade which can be more expensive.  Usually used for pretty flower beds and borders or when turfing.

Multipurpose grade:  Also high in nutrient levels and classed as a sandy loam.  The main difference is that it is not as fine as the Premium.  Can be used for beds and borders as well as covering larger areas and seeding.

Economy grade:  Can be referred to as unscreened or as dug topsoil.  Used for filling large areas where the quality is not important.


When buying topsoil it is ideal if you can see it beforehand to check for possible contaminants glass, large fibrous roots and weeds.  However if this is not possible you should check with your supplier that the topsoil is BS3882 specified.

What does BS3882:2015 mean?


BS3882:2015 sets out the British standards for Multipurpose and Premium topsoil.  The classification is based on various components such as texture, acidity and contaminants.  It also contains information on testing, sampling and how soil should be handled to avoid it being degraded.

Why buy from Topsoil UK?

Topsoil UK is a family-run company with an outstanding reputation for quality products, excellent customer service and reliability. We are extremely proud our topsoil, specially blended here on the farm in Odiham. 


We supply many local stockists, garden centres, contractors and Landscapers. 


Why not check out our reviews on Google or Yell.

If you need further help please feel free to call our friendly customer service team on 01256 861 345

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