Your Topsoil Buying Guide
Buying topsoil can be a confusing job, especially with so many different suppliers, grades and the different terminology used by different suppliers. We have put together this simple buyers guide to make things a little easier for you
What are you going to use the Topsoil for?
Topsoil comes in many different types and grades, depending on the area it has come from and the use it has been specified for.
There are many uses around the garden for different grades and blends of topsoil, these uses include infilling holes and ponds, turf laying, topping up and creating flowerbeds and filling up raised beds and vegetable patches.
Topsoil for Turf Laying - Turf laying requires a general purpose topsoil, preferably screened to 10mm to remove larger stones and lumps and free of clay. A screened sandy loam is the best soil for turf laying.
Flower Bed and Border Topsoil – A better quality screened topsoil with a higher organic matter content is best for flowerbeds. Where possible choose a topsoil blended with an organic compost or soil improver. This added organic matter will ensure the best possible growing conditions for your plants.
Topsoil for Vegetable Growing – Vegetable crops can absorb a large amount of nutrients from the soil so to get the most out of you vegetable patch or new raised beds it is best to use a topsoil with a higher organic matter content than would normally be used in other applications. You are going to eat your crop so grow it in the best possible soil you can buy. Find out more here
Buying on Price alone (& why that's a bad idea)
Please don’t buy Topsoil on the price alone (of course we would say that..)
Hear us out.
Topsoil isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean you should be settling with the cheapest provider. Unlike most other goods, whether it be gardening gloves, plants, flowers, etc. Topsoil is delivered using a large, heavy vehicle, which can’t access every single residential road. Alongside this, the heavy bulk bags can’t be picked up and dropped off as easily as small garden centre soil bags.
If I haven’t put you off buying Topsoil, let’s talk about things to consider when buying it.
Heavy goods are delivered using big heavy vehicles. There are few networks that offer tracking, especially not to the extent of the delivery networks we use. We can chase an ETA (estimated time of delivery) for you. The depots will come back to us with a 2 hour time frame that we will then pass back onto yourself.
Alongside this, the drivers are instructed to call you before delivery to let you know when they are on the way!
This superior service can cost a pretty penny - thankfully we deliver a lot of pallets and we have good relationships with the hundreds of depots within the network.
For the majority of the country, we can offer an AM service, which will guarantee your product is delivered between 9am - 1pm. Yes this service costs, and yes it’s an additional service, but the option is there. Booking one couldn't be easier though. Before you place your order, call our Sales team on 01785 850 653 and request this service.
Drivers have roughly 20 minutes on each delivery, so if there’s an issue, we are notified by the depot and we kick into gear to get the matter resolved. Whether that be to instruct the driver to leave it in a safe place, or to contact you, the customer. This is a very simple service we offer, but it’s important to us that we do as much as possible to get your product delivered.
"How Much Topsoil Do I Need?"
Our favourite question.. Well, it would be if we measure it by the amount of times we’re asked it (on a daily basis).
We honestly don’t mind, it’s (obviously) the biggest factor. As we’ve been in the ‘biz’ for nearly 10 years now, we thought it would only make sense we create a Topsoil calculator.
Try it out.
Width * Length * Depth
E.g. 5m x 5m * 0.15m = 3.75m3
3.75 * 1.3 = 4.875 tonnes (let’s call it 5)
If I was smart enough to make confetti appear on your screen, I’d do it. For now just imagine it!
You’re done. Minus the buying topsoil part - don’t worry that bits even simpler. Click on the button below to be taken to our topsoil catalogue.
How is Topsoil delivered?
Before placing an order, it’s worth noting however small or tall the product is, we send all of our products (including Top soil) using 18 tonne curtain sided vehicles.
Vehicle SizeThe vehicles are 3 meters wide (10 feet), and 9 meters long (30 feet).
Delivery SurfaceAs our delivery depots use manual pallet trucks and tail lifts, the delivery surface must be flat and hardstanding. The driver will lower the tail-lift flush with the ground, to then push the goods onto the flat and hardstanding surface.
Whilst the goods can be moved using a pallet truck - topsoil is very heavy and can only be moved a short distance.
(Alternative Option) Improving Existing Soils
The alternative to buying better topsoil for your garden is to improve your existing top soil by adding soil improvers and organic composts. This is often a less expensive way of achieving better results from your garden.
Buy good quality organic composts (preferably screened to 15mm or less) and blend this with your existing soil by applying a 2 to 3 inch layer over your topsoil and incorporating it with a garden fork or mechanical rotavator. Adding organic compost to soils will increase soil fertility and improve soil structure, the basics of a good topsoil.
Now you know which topsoil to buy you probably want to know how much you need.. visit our topsoil calculator page.