Thursday, March 26

Compost? Topsoil?

Jackson and I have been racking our brains as to what the heck is the difference between topsoil and compost. Finally, per email correspondance, someone has given us an answer. Feel free to add to this explanation:

"As per your question, compost-enriched topsoil is not a replacement to compost, but in this case will probably serve you better. While one normally adds compost to topsoil to add nutritive organic matter, topsoil has bits of rock and other grit that creates a firm growing substrate; compost is too soft and nutrient-rich to be used on its own. Most likely, since this soil is of high quality/organic matter, you will not need to use compost with it. (In subsequent years, of course, you will want to add compost as a means of replacing the nutrients lost by growing plants in the soil. This won't be a problem, because you'll have tons of compost from your gardening effort!)
As far as potting soil -- that's just what it sounds like, a lighter, less dense version of topsoil that allows good air flow to plant roots and excellent drainage. If your group is planning to use earthboxes or any kind of containers, I'd suggest picking this up, it can be pricey to buy from nurseries."

10 Comments:

Blogger John Paget said...

Great Blog !

8:19 AM  
Blogger Select Materials said...

This is spot on. Many topsoil mixes of topsoil with compost cannot be classed as compost.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Chelsea Johnn said...

Thank you so much for explaining the difference between topsoil and compost. I was talking to a neighbor about this because we are both going to be doing some major landscaping in the near future. You have really helped me out! Thanks again!

10:58 AM  
Blogger James Norris said...

Thank you for the blog post. I didn't realize the difference between the two until now. I know there is a major shortage of both in Utah, and that's why they have to have topsoil companies in Utah. It helps them to maintain their farms and land. Keep up the great posts.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Virginia Lawrence said...

This is a good post. My mom is an avid gardener, so I actually already knew this, but it's good of them to reply to you and help out! But yeah, a lot of places don't naturally have good topsoil, so you have to buy it. I'm actually looking out for somewhere to get topsoil in Vancouver for this summer, myself. Anyway, good luck on your gardening exploits!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ronald White said...

Thank you for posting these ideas and comments on topsoil. I live in a place that is so rocky that nothing will grow so I have to use topsoil in Vancouver or my poor little plants have no chance at survival.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Booker DeWitt said...

I am looking to get garden soil in Vancouver. Does anyone know where I can get the best deal on it?

7:01 PM  
Blogger starstarcrazy said...

I'm always looking for the cheapest topsoil and for relevant information about topsoil and this blog is really informative! Thanks!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Paul Bear said...

The "grit" in topsoil also provides raw minerals absent in compost. Adding a little bit of pure sulfur to my garden perked up tomato plants that looked like they were dying, and they are now producing tomatoes. Soil needs the organic matter, but it also needs ground up rocks.

Paul | westernturffarms.com

5:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Stewart said...

I didn't know the difference between topsoil and compost either. It sounds I would be better off buying topsoil. I have been working on my yard and I was trying to decide which one I needed. I'm glad I came across this blog. http://www.randlessandandgravel.net

10:59 AM  

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