What Type of Topsoil Do I Need?

Did you know that different types of topsoil are needed for various garden projects? How do you know which topsoil to use for sod as opposed to a vegetable garden?

At Asphalt Materials, we provide landscape supplies for any project, including topsoil. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the different qualities to look for when choosing the perfect soil to enrich your Utah lawn and garden.

Topsoil for Sod

A lot of preparation goes into laying sod in your yard. Make sure you use the right topsoil to help your sod thrive so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

In Utah, yard prep for sod involves digging up and removing at least the top three inches of soil. The newly-exposed ground should then be rototilled to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Stirring up and loosening the earth makes it easier to add fertilizer, and will allow the roots of the sod to more easily find nutrients.

In addition to adding fertilizer to your newly exposed layer of earth, sandy loam topsoil should be mixed in. Sandy loam is soil comprised primarily of sand, silt, and clay. This helps increase aeration and support the proper pH in the soil.

Once you added the appropriate amendments to your yard, you can proceed with leveling and watering, and eventually laying rows of sod. If you have any seams showing after laying your sod, fill in the gaps with topsoil and brush over them with a push broom.

Topsoil for Grass Seed 

If you’re growing a lawn from seed, you need moisture-rich topsoil. It should contain lots of organic material, such as compost, to give grass seed nutrients. Topsoil for grass seed should be well-aerated and mixed into existing earth. The best topsoil for grass is a mixture of sand, peat, and loam. 

If you’re unsure of the ratio you need for your lawn, have the existing soil tested to see what it already contains, and what its composition is. This will serve as a guide for purchasing amending materials to support grass seed growth.

Topsoil for a Vegetable Garden

Your vegetable garden needs a lot of nutrients, so your topsoil needs to be chock full of food. Garden topsoil should also support earthworms and microbes that can keep the soil productive. If your topsoil is too sandy, it will drain too quickly, drying out your veggie patch. If the topsoil is more clay than not, it can retain moisture too well and drown your plants.

The best topsoil for Utah gardeners is one that contains organic matter and is crumbly in texture. You may select topsoil with different pH levels to best support the type of vegetable you’re growing. For example, you don’t want to grow asparagus in the same row as garlic.

For Sandy Soil:

Amend sandy topsoil with shredded leaves, peat moss, or compost to help it retain moisture and nutrients.

For Clay Soil:

Till it to break up large clumps, and amend with shredded leaves, peat moss, compost, or gypsum.

Asphalt Materials offers blends of topsoil to meet your garden needs, whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers, or filling in low spots around your yard. If you don't want to amend your existing soil, you can remove it and replace it with our products to start with a clean slate.

Topsoil for a Flower Garden

When new homes are built, it’s important to bring in topsoil for landscaping projects. During construction, all the original topsoil is removed, so there’s little to work with once the home is finished. To promote the growth of landscape plants, including flowers and bushes, invest in peat-free, screened topsoil.

Topsoil vs Potting Soil

Potting soil is often more spongy than regular topsoil, which is necessary to allow potted plants to properly drain. Potted soil sometimes doesn't have any actual dirt in it, and is instead comprised of moss, coconut husks, and vermiculite. You can use potting soil in your garden beds, but it should be incorporated into the Earth so it’s mixed with actual soil. A good ratio of topsoil for flower gardens is 50% existing dirt mixed with 50% new material.

Utah gardeners know how important it is to have soil that retains moisture. On our website, you’ll find a variety of topsoil blends that cater to our climate, and a calculator to help you estimate how much product you need for your project. Our products are available for pickup, or you can learn about delivery fees and schedules HERE.