4 Benefits of Organic Top Soil and Ways to Choose the Right Top Soil

Green garden trowel on fertile organic top soil, concept for selecting quality top soil.

In this blog, we will explore the subject of organic top soil, how it is made and how it can benefit your garden and the environment. We will cover all the basics, giving you the information you need to start with organic topsoil for your plants.

Crumbly, rich soil is a powerhouse for plant growth, offering superior nutrient content, moisture balance, and a living ecosystem to support your plants.

We will also guide you through choosing the suitable topsoil for your garden, considering factors such as soil texture and pH levels.

Knowledge of organic gardening will enable you to choose the best organic topsoil suitable for your plants. This is important to ensure your garden flourishes, whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting.

Join us as we explore the vitality of organic topsoil and how it can enhance your gardening experience.

What Is Organic Top Soil?

Organic topsoil is a unique mix made in nature’s kitchen and made entirely from organic materials. 

This includes bits of leaves, plants, and even tiny creatures, all broken down over time. It’s dark, crumbly, and smells like a forest after rain.

Organic topsoil is ideal for plants. It holds the right amount of water, allows air to circulate the roots of the plants, and contains vital nutrients. Think of it as a power-packed meal for your garden. Plants grow better, roots are more robust, and they can fight off diseases more effectively with the use of organic topsoil.

So, when you’re getting your garden ready, remember that organic topsoil is like the foundation of a house. It’s where all the good nutrients begin for your plants. 

Benefits of Using Organic Top Soil

Using organic topsoil in your garden has numerous advantages. It provides your plants with a healthy diet of nutrients, which means they’ll be better at fighting off pests and diseases, as well as promoting healthy growth and being kinder to the environment.

Here’s why organic topsoil is an ideal first choice:

  • Nutrient-Rich: Organic topsoil is like a natural fertilizer. It contains nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, essential for nutrients for your plants. These nutrients work individually and harmoniously to enable your plants to grow strong and healthy.
  • Holds Water Well: This soil is excellent for retaining water without becoming waterlogged. It means the roots of plants get the right amount of water without drowning or drying out.
  • Full of Life: Organic topsoil is teeming with tiny living things like bacteria and fungi. It sounds gross, but these microorganisms are suitable for your plants. They help break down organic matter, making more nutrients available for the roots to absorb.
  • Weed Control: Because it’s so dense and rich, organic topsoil can help stop weeds from growing in your garden. It’s like a natural barrier that keeps unwanted weeds at bay.
Seedling with exposed roots ready to be planted in rich organic top soil, symbolizing growth.

How to Choose the Right Top Soil for Plants and Gardens?

Choosing the suitable topsoil for your plants and garden involves considering several factors:

Understand Your Plant’s Needs

Different plants thrive in various soil types. Research the specific needs of your plants, whether they prefer moist, nutrient-rich soil or well-draining, sandy soil. Bear in mind there are ways to add different materials to alter the texture of the soil accordingly.

Soil Texture

Feel the soil; it should be easy to work with, not sandy or clay-heavy. An ideal soil is loamy, with a balance of sand, silt, clay and compost. This mix is perfect for most plants.

Organic Content

Look for topsoil with a high organic matter content to ensure better nutrient availability for your plants.

pH Level

Test the pH level of the soil. Some plants prefer acidic soil, while others thrive in alkaline conditions. It’s essential to test the soil pH level to meet your plants’ requirements. The usual pH range for growing fruits and vegetables is 6.0 to 7.0, except for some plants that thrive in more acidic conditions.

Local Climate

Your local climate and weather conditions play a role in determining the best soil type for your garden. Heavy soil in a humid climate may hold onto water and require correcting by adding free-draining materials. In contrast, soil in a dry condition may lack vital nutrients and will benefit from adding nutrient-rich compost.

Drainage and Aeration

Ensure the soil allows proper drainage and aeration to prevent root rot and other water-related issues.


Check for any possible contaminants, especially if the soil is from an unknown source. Contaminant-free, clean soil is essential for healthy plant growth.

How To Test The pH Level of Topsoil

Take three to five samples of soil from different parts of your garden, each sample taken from 4 to 6 inches below the surface, removing any plant matter, root, or debris from your samples.

Using any available soil test kit to measure the soil’s pH level, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for accurate results. pH soil testing kits are readily available from garden stores or online.

Alternatively, you can conduct a DIY test if you don’t have a test kit. One method is to mix 1/2 cup of soil with 1/2 cup of water and a few drops of vinegar. If the soil fizzes, it is alkaline. If it doesn’t react, it is acidic.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline. Most plants thrive in a pH range from 6.0 to 7.5. However, specific plants may have different pH requirements. For instance, blueberry bushes prefer a pH of around 5.5.

Types of Organic Materials in Top Soil

Let’s look at what makes up this particular layer of soil:

  • Decomposed Plant Material: This is a mixture of dead leaves, grass, and old plant parts. Over time, they break down and mix into the soil, adding nutrients.
  • Humus: Humus is a vital ingredient in topsoil. It’s dark, rich, and comes from decayed organic matter. It helps the soil hold onto nutrients and water.
  • Compost: Compost is generally made from organic waste like food scraps and yard waste. When added to soil, it boosts nutrient levels and helps plants grow.
  • Manure: Yep, animal poop! It contains nutrients and is excellent for the soil when broken down.
  • Worm Castings: These are fancy words for worm poop. Worms eat soil and leave behind castings that are highly beneficial for plants.
  • Microorganisms: Tiny living things like bacteria and fungi live in topsoil. They help break down organic materials, enabling nutrients to be absorbed by the roots of your plants.

All these materials work together to create an essential environment for plants to grow. So, when we talk about topsoil, we’re talking about a whole world of life and nutrients right under our feet!

Gardening tools, seedlings, and egg cartons on soil, prepared for sustainable planting.

Organic vs. In-Organic Top Soil

Choosing the correct type of topsoil can make a big difference. If you want a nutrient-rich environment for your plants, organic is the preferred choice. But inorganic, in some situations, might be more suitable for specific needs like drainage or stability or as a quick-acting soil improver.

The Comparison

  • Nutrient Content: Organic wins with its rich, nutrient-packed composition, but the nutrients in inorganic topsoil generally release quicker with faster benefits for your plants.
  • Water Management: Organic topsoil holds water better, but inorganic is good if you need fast drainage.
  • Longevity: Inorganic topsoil is more stable over time, while organic can break down at a quicker rate.
  • Environmental Impact: Organic is more eco-friendly, being completely natural.

Are Organic Topsoil And Potting Soil The Same?

Organic topsoil and potting soil are different. Organic topsoil is derived from natural surface soil, rich in decomposed organic matter, and used primarily for outdoor gardening. It enhances the existing soil in gardens and landscapes.

Potting soil, on the other hand, is a more controlled mixture designed for container plants. It’s usually lighter and fluffier, with ingredients like peat, bark, and perlite to provide better drainage and aeration, which is crucial for potted plants. Potting soil may also be enriched with nutrients and is mainly used for indoor or container gardening.

Final Words

Remember, topsoil is much more than just dirt – it’s the lifeblood of your garden. Packed with nutrients, beneficial microorganisms, and the perfect texture for water retention and drainage, organic topsoil sets the stage for vibrant plant growth and a flourishing garden.

Choosing the right topsoil, whether outdoor landscaping or indoor planting, is crucial to your gardening success.

By understanding organic topsoil’s unique benefits and characteristics, you’re well-equipped to create a lush, healthy environment for your plants to thrive.

Do Fertilizers Go Bad? How to Extend Its Shelf Life

Fertilizer encourages crop growth, improves soil fertility, and even boosts garden sustainability. Does fertilizer go bad if kept for too long? Unfortunately, yes, it...

What’s the Best Indoor Plant Compost?

Bringing the outdoors into your home with house plants has plenty of benefits. Not only are house plants known to improve air quality, but...

What is Mushroom Compost?

In gardening, good-quality soil is key to thriving vegetables and plants. Mushroom compost is an excellent addition to your soil, acting as a mulch...

What is Topsoil Used for? Is It Important?

For healthy gardens, flourishing flowers, blooming plants, and fresh vegetables, the powerhouse behind all this growing force is topsoil, a key component for plant...

Read More

Related Articles