Topsoil: What It Is and How to Use It in the Garden

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There may be many ways to improve your landscape and grow all the flora you desire, but your soil is the foundation that ensures proper growth. You’ll be surprised how topsoil, a simple gardening ingredient, can have a massive impact on your plant growth.

So, if you’ve ever wondered about the rich, earthy layer beneath your feet and how it can completely transform your garden, you’re at the right place. This blog post is your ticket to exploring the magic of topsoil delivery in Eatonville, Puyallup, Graham, Port Orchard, Steilacoom, Gig Harbor, and Tacoma.


What is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the upper layer of the soil, usually between 2 to 12 inches deep, with the highest concentration of ground nutrients and fertility. True topsoil in Eatonville, Puyallup, Graham, Port Orchard, Steilacoom, Gig Harbor, and Tacoma is found in native soil. You can think of it as the most vital and productive section of the garden soil.

This is essentially the layer where “magic” happens. It’s where water absorption occurs, nutrients are supplied to plants, sunlight aids the growing process, and fauna and microorganisms interact with the plant in different ways. Also, it plays host to significant bacterial, fungal, and entomological activity, without which the soil quality will deplete and become less fertile for plants and vegetation. 


How to Apply Topsoil?

You can apply topsoil in Graham, Steilacoom, Port Orchard, and Tacoma anytime, but most gardeners like to add it in the spring season before planting. You can also add it as a top dressing in the fall, allowing nutrients to break down into the soil. 

When planting trees or shrubs, you can add topsoil in the holes or the areas where the shrubs are planted. You can also spread a layer of it over the garden before or after planting. If your topsoil delivery in Tacoma, Puyallup, and Graham is lumpy, mix it with heavier soil in a wheelbarrow or tarp before sprinkling it in the garden. You can spread the soil by pouring it from the containers or using a shovel and then leveling it with a broom or rake.


When to Tile Your Topsoil?

Tiling refers to turning soil, which helps with aeration, controlling weeds and insects, and preparing the soil for further seeding. You can tile the garden in spring when the weather is getting warmer, and the soil is dry. 

Remember that this isn’t an essential step and is only required if you notice soil compaction. Consider top dressing or compost instead.


How to Fertilize Your Topsoil?

You can fertilize the topsoil effectively using the following steps,

  1. Testing the topsoil in Eatonville for deficiencies.
  2. Choosing a balanced fertilizer.
  3. Sprinkling the fertilizer over the topsoil in spring or early summer.
  4. Watering the area thoroughly to seal the product.
  5. Adding compost or organic matter to increase soil fertility.
  6. Using organic mulch to retain moisture and protect the topsoil.


Types of Topsoil

Topsoil in Steilacoom is usually differentiated based on its texture and composition, affected by the minerals and materials the soil already contains naturally. Some common kinds of topsoil include,


Clay Soil: 

Clayey soil contains a high concentration of fine clay particles, making it so thick that it can even be used to carve clay pottery. This form of topsoil in Graham and Puyallup lacks proper aeration and drainage, which can cause it to compact and impede root growth(if not managed properly). 

Clayey soils are ideal for 

  1. Growing out vigorous plants
  2. Holding large amounts of water
  3. Providing required nutrients and minerals to crops


Sandy Soil: 

Sandy soil contains larger sand particles, which allow for excellent drainage but may not be able to retain nutrients or moisture well. It’s best to use this variant for plants with excessive moisture, like evergreens or sumac, that don’t need a lot of water.

Sandy soil is ideal for,

  1. Providing space for root growth
  2. Ground drainage
  3. Cultivating crops in large areas


Silty Soil: 

Silt is fine textured soil that’s usually light in color and retains moisture fairly well. This topsoil in Lakewood, Gig Harbor, and Steilacoom has a neutral pH and is fairly nutrient-rich. Swamp milkweed, yellow iris, Japanese iris, river birch, and weeping willows are some plants suitable for silty soil.

Silty soil is ideal for,

  1. General gardening uses
  2. Retaining nutrients and water


Loamy Soil: 

Loam is a desirable soil, often rich in organic matter, that combines sand, silt, and clay in a medium-textured mixture. From peppers and zucchini to strawberries and pot toes, most vegetation thrives in this nutrient-rich soil.

Loamy topsoil in Eatonville is ideal for 

  1. Growing plants.
  2. Retaining moisture and nutrients
  3. Allowing room for water and air
  4. Creating a superior habitat for microorganisms


Peaty Soil: 

Peaty topsoil in Tacoma and Port Orchard is rich in organic matter. Because this kind of soil doesn’t occur naturally in many places, peat is often harvested and exported for use in soil amendments and mixtures to improve garden soil’s texture and drainage.

It’s ideal for,

  1. Root structure and its ability to retain water
  2. Providing minerals to crops
  3. Improving aeration.


Chalky Soil: 

Chalky or alkaline topsoil has a high pH due to large amounts of limestone or calcium carbonate present in it. It may not be suitable for plants like camellia and rhododendrons needing acid soil conditions, but it is great for alkaline-loving plants like Ceanothus, Lavandula, and Campanula.

Chalky soil is ideal for,

  1. Resisting compaction
  2. Warming up quickly during summer.


How Does Topsoil Differ from Garden or Potting Soil?

Topsoil vs. Garden soil: 

Garden soil is just topsoil with extra organic matter mixed in, like compost, peat moss, bark shredding, or fertilizer, specially formulated for gardening. Even though both soil types are tailored for plant growth, topsoil is sold in larger quantities as it’s more of an ‘all-purpose’ soil.


Topsoil vs. Potting soil: 

Potting soil or mix is a specially formulated soil blend for container gardening. Topsoil can retain lots of water, so it remains moist for a long time. While potting soil lets water drain easily, so it dries out quickly.



Rich topsoil is as effective for new grass as it is for old. You can significantly boost the health of your lawn by applying new topsoil.


Topsoil delivery in Eatonville and Steilacoom can solve many problems that your lawn might be experiencing, such as: 


  1. Uneven areas and slope issues
  2. Lack of essential nutrients and minerals
  3. Compacted soil
  4. Bare spots 


Nowadays, you don’t have to travel miles and miles in search of superior-quality topsoil. You just need a credible lawn, commercial, and ga den soil supplier who ethically produces the topsoil and delivers it to your local area. 


We know how impossible it seems, but fret not, as Randels Sand and Gravel offer seamless topsoil delivery and production in Port Orchard, Gig Harbor and the surrounding Washington area. So, if you’re in the market to order topsoil in the form of lawn mix, garden mix, or commercial mix in the Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Puyallup, Eatonville, Graham, and nearby areas, then look no further than us. Our highly trained professionals and extensive fleet of trucks make us your ideal destination for topsoil and aggregate materials.

Many call it ‘dirt,’ we like to call it ‘soil.’ You can always count on us for exceptional quality topsoil delivery at reasonable rates. Contact our team today for all residential and commercial applications.

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