How Much Topsoil Should I Use? 


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How Much Topsoil Should I Use? 

March 06, 2024      Topsoil

One of the most common gardening questions we get asked is: what is topsoil? But also, how is it different to regular soil? Although they may look the same, soil and topsoil have very distinct qualities and offer different benefits to your garden. But how much you need will vary depending on your existing landscape, garden design and desired results. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out everything you need to know about topsoil. 


The Importance of Topsoil in Gardening and Landscaping 

The soil within your garden has most likely been there for several years and has, therefore, been compacted by footfall or affected by rain, drought, storms and frost. So, it probably needs an injection of healthiness, and that’s where topsoil plays a major role.  


Topsoil is packed full of essential minerals, valuable nutrients, and organic matter; everything your garden needs to grow strong and healthy foliage. It tends to have a fine texture, making it superb for absorbing and effectively draining water. Furthermore, it helps plants establish new roots and build their strength so they can push further into the earth. And finally, a layer of topsoil on the surface of your flowerbed helps protect the soil and roots underneath from extreme weather conditions.  


So, overall, we’d say topsoil is pretty important when it comes to gardening and landscaping! 


How to Calculate the Amount of Topsoil You Need 

The great thing about topsoil is its versatility. It means even if you overorder, there are plenty of ways to use up leftovers. Ultimately, your requirement comes down to your garden landscape design. Focus on the areas where you plan to grow plants and vegetables, lay GDT turf, or any existing areas that could do with a topsoil mix. Measure the length, width and depth required for each section, then head to our topsoil calculator.   


Using a Topsoil Calculator: Step-by-Step Guide 

At George Davies Turf, we want to make gardening and turf laying as easy as possible. That starts with knowing the best products to choose and how much you need for your landscaping project. That’s why we’ve built a handy topsoil calculator to figure out exactly how much topsoil you need in 5 easy steps: 

  1. Choose whether you’re measuring in metres, feet or yards. 
  1. Enter the length and width of the area being covered (if you have lots of smaller plots, add them together for one total size). 
  1. Choose your depth unit in centimetres or inches. 
  1. Enter the depth of soil you require (we recommend 150 – 200mm). 
  1. Click ‘calculate’ to discover how much topsoil you’ll need and how many bulk bags that equates to. 


Where to Find Topsoil Near Me 

Because topsoil plays a huge part in the successful growth of plants and turf, it’s recommended to buy high-quality topsoil from a trusted supplier. If a topsoil supplier is nearby, you can often head to their yard to purchase your topsoil, especially if it’s a small order. George Davies Turf’s yard is conveniently based in Olney, in close proximity to Northampton, Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. We also have our St Albans depot that can assist you with your topsoil needs.  


For orders of a single bulk bag of topsoil or more, customers can book a suitable delivery day and time. We guarantee a two-hour delivery window where our friendly drivers will deliver your order directly to you. With their trusty Manitou forklift trucks, they can even place your topsoil bulk bags directly where you want it, if there’s access.  


Buying Topsoil: Bagged vs. Bulk 

Ok, we’ve established the difference between topsoil and regular soil. So, what’s the difference between bagged and bulk topsoil, but more importantly, what are the benefits of each one? Let’s take a look: 


Bulk Topsoil – bulk refers to large bulk bags, with our bags holding up to 850 litres. This enables customers to easily order larger quantities of topsoil, saving money on buying multiple smaller bags. Bulk bags also provide an easier order and delivery process, with the GDT team handling everything and delivering your topsoil exactly where you want it.  


Buying bulk topsoil directly from a trusted supplier guarantees good quality products, especially GDT topsoil, which is thoroughly screened for weeds and diseases. The only downside with bulk bags is that if there is not adequate access. You will need to wheelbarrow your topsoil to its destination. Also, if the UK weather lives up to our expectations, you’ll need to have a way to cover your topsoil if it rains.  


Bagged Topsoil – these are probably what you’re used to seeing in garden centres; smaller, sealed bags of topsoil. This makes them ideal for smaller plots or locations where you’ll have to carry the topsoil to its destination. As they’re sealed, it also means they’re easier to store and protected from the elements, so they can be used as and when. Bagged topsoil can come in at a higher cost, especially if you’re buying a large quantity. But depending on the amount of soil you need; you can easily head to the store and pick up bagged topsoil or order multiple bags online.  


How to Choose the Right Topsoil for Your Project 

Topsoil can be split into 3 grades: premium, general purpose and economy. Each grade holds different qualities best suited to particular gardening tasks. For example, premium-grade topsoil has a fine, loamy soil structure that compacts well. It’s also high in fertility, making it ideal for flower beds, compost mixes and potted plants where plants will flourish. 


General purpose grade topsoil has a coarse texture due to the slightly bigger material particles. Although it’s still a suitable option for flower beds and borders, it also makes an excellent base for new lawns. Economy-grade topsoil isn’t screened as thoroughly as the other two types, so it’s bittier in texture and less fertile. Economy-grade is often used to build up areas such as deep flower beds or uneven surfaces. The focus should always be on quantity rather than quality.  


Choosing the right topsoil all comes down to your garden project and your desired results. 


The Benefits of Buying Topsoil in Bulk Bags 

As topsoil experts, we sell high-quality topsoil to numerous garden designers, landscapers, housing development sites, sports clubs and domestic homes. We know a few things about buying bulk topsoil and the vast benefits it brings, such as: 


  • Convenience – ordering bulk bags includes picking a dedicated delivery day and two-hour window. 
  • Precise Delivery – our friendly drivers deliver your topsoil directly to your site. They can also use their Manitou forklifts to move bulk bags where you want them. 
  • Cost-effective – buying topsoil in bulk often means money savings for larger landscaping projects.  
  • Versatility – topsoil can be used for multiple gardening jobs. These include flower beds, improving existing soil, composting, levelling surfaces and laying turf; it can always be put to good use. 
  • Quality control – we guarantee that our GDT’s bulk bagged topsoil is of the highest quality, screened of weeds and stones, and ready for use.  


Tips for Using and Storing Bulk Bag Topsoil  

The biggest benefit of topsoil is its flexibility throughout your garden. When your topsoil bulk bag has been delivered, aim to lay it as soon as possible. Use a wheelbarrow and spade to manually manoeuvre your topsoil exactly where you need it to be.


150 to 200mm of topsoil is the perfect depth for it to get to work and help establish plants and turf. Spread out your topsoil on the primary areas of your garden; if anything is left over, use it on flowerbeds, in potted plants or your compost. If you still have a large amount of topsoil in the bulk bag, aim to keep it covered with tarpaulin or a waterproof cover; rain won’t diminish the quality of your topsoil, but it will compact it, making it trickier to move.  


Making the Most of Your Topsoil Purchase 

Whether it’s a city garden, commercial area or golf course, our friendly team is on hand to help you. From understanding how to get the most from your topsoil and the ordering process to deliveries, using, and storing your topsoil. Speak to the team today or if you know what you need, head straight to our topsoil calculator. 



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