Topsoil Tips: Choose the Right Topsoil for Your Landscaping and Gardening Needs


A small shovel lifts soil from a small pile of soil.When taking on a landscaping or gardening project, selecting the right topsoil is crucial for the health and beauty of your plants. It’s rich in organic matter and nutrients, providing the perfect foundation for your garden or landscape. Topsoil is where all your plants begin their life so it’s important to set the right groundwork!

So which topsoil should you choose and why? In this post, we’ll dive into what topsoil is, explore various projects that require topsoil, reveal the most common soil types, and walk through how much topsoil your project may need. If you’re looking for topsoil delivery near me in Vallejo, we’ve got the tips to get your project done right!

What is Topsoil?

Topsoil is the top layer of the earth’s surface, comprising mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air. It is the layer in which most plants root, making it essential for gardening and landscaping. The quality of topsoil can significantly influence the health and growth of your plants.

What Projects Do I Need Topsoil For?

Whether you plan to grow shrubs, flowers, or a perfect putting green in your own backyard, a layer of rich topsoil can help to sustain your outdoor project. Let’s go through some common projects that will require topsoil:


Whether you’re planting flowers, vegetables, or herbs, topsoil provides the nutrients and support your plants need.


For laying lawns, creating flower beds, or establishing a backyard oasis, topsoil is the foundation. Other helpful soils, mulches, and decorative stones can help make a landscape truly stand out.


Replenishing soil in eroded areas or after construction ensures a healthy base for planting.

What Topsoil Types Are There?

Topsoil types vary in composition based on their origin and the materials mixed into them. Knowing the characteristics of different topsoil types is essential for matching the soil to your project’s specific needs.

Here’s a detailed look at the common topsoil varieties and their ideal applications:

Screened Topsoil

This topsoil is sieved to remove larger particles, making it smooth and easy to work with. It’s versatile, suitable for laying lawns, creating beds, and general landscaping tasks where a fine, consistent soil texture is desired.

Enriched Topsoil

A nutrient powerhouse, this topsoil is blended with organic matter like compost or manure, boosting its fertility. It’s excellent for gardens that need a nutrient-rich environment, particularly beneficial for growing vegetables and blooming flowers.

Sandy Topsoil

Characterized by its coarse texture and quick drainage, sandy topsoil is ideal for plants that prefer drier conditions. It’s the top choice for succulent gardens and other landscapes where water conservation and drainage are priorities.

Clay Topsoil

Dense and moisture-retentive, clay topsoil is nutrient-rich but may require amendments to improve drainage. It’s well-suited for plants that thrive in moist environments but can be adapted for general use with the right treatment.

Peat Topsoil

Known for its high organic content, peat topsoil is acidic and excellent for acid-loving plants. It retains moisture well, making it suitable for specific horticultural applications, particularly in gardens focusing on plants like azaleas and rhododendrons.

Each topsoil type has its unique properties and applications. Choosing the right one depends on your landscape’s specific needs, the plants you wish to grow, and the existing soil conditions. By selecting the appropriate topsoil, you lay the groundwork for a thriving, vibrant landscape.

How Much Topsoil Do I Need?

So, you’ve got your project all laid out. You know what plants you’re growing, what environment they require, and, most importantly, which kind of topsoil you plan to get! Now you need to know how much topsoil you’ll need to be hauling to the project site.

The amount of topsoil you need depends on your project’s scale. For a new lawn, you generally need a layer of topsoil about 6 inches deep to provide a strong foundation for the grass. Depending on your lawns use and personal aesthetic, you may go for a lawn soil instead. For gardens or flower beds, a depth of 12 inches is ideal to encourage healthy root development.

For instance, if you’re working on a 10×10’ garden area and aiming for a depth of 12 inches, you’ll need approximately 3 cubic yards of topsoil. Similarly, for a 20×20’ foot new lawn area with a 6-inch depth, you’d require about 7.4 cubic yards of topsoil.

Remember, it’s always better to have a little extra than to run short! If you’re unsure about your calculations, feel free to consult with our experts at Bayshore Materials. We also offer our helpful topsoil delivery service in Vallejo and the surrounding areas.

What Materials Do I Need for Landscaping and Gardening?

Beyond topsoil, incorporating other materials can enrich your landscape’s aesthetic and functional properties. Here’s are some other materials to consider utilizing:


Mulch is essential for retaining soil moisture, regulating temperature, reducing weed growth, and enhancing visual appeal. Organic mulches, like bark or straw, improve soil fertility as they decompose. Inorganic mulches, such as rubber or stones, are durable and offer a different aesthetic.


Rocks can add texture and contrast to your garden. They’re excellent for creating pathways, borders, or as decorative elements in rock gardens. Consider river rocks for a smooth look or lava rocks for a rugged, porous texture that’s lightweight and ideal for drainage.


Sand is used to improve soil drainage and is a key component in creating soil blends for specific types of plants, like cacti or succulents. Coarse sand can also be used in landscape design for areas like Zen gardens.

Other Soils

Depending on your project, you might need specialized soils. Potting soil is perfect for container gardening, providing the right aeration and moisture retention. Garden soil, designed for in-ground use, can be mixed with your native soil to enhance its properties.


Adding compost can improve soil structure, aeration, and nutrient content. It’s a fantastic way to recycle organic waste into something beneficial for your garden.

Let’s Get to Work!

Ready to bring your gardening or landscaping vision to life? Visit Bayshore Materials online or call (707) 644-0859 to explore our top-quality topsoil options. Whether you’re creating a lush garden or a stunning landscape, we have the perfect topsoil solution for you. Contact us today and ask about our amazing topsoil delivery service!