garden bed - Knowledgebase Question

woodbridge, Vi
Question by Lechelle1977
April 12, 2010
what is the difference between garden soil and top soil. which one do I need to start planting? And can I use organic matter and fertiler when preparing the garden bed?

Answer from NGA
April 12, 2010


Top soil is basically garden soil with some sand and compost mixed in. It drains well, doesn't compact easily and as the organic matter decomposes, it provides some nutrients to the roots of your plants. Packaged garden soil has roughly the same make up. You can amend your own garden soil with organic matter and fertilizer and end up with the same rich, loam. If you need to purchase soil for a garden, either top soil or packaged garden soil will work equally well. If you're making a raised bed, purchasing top soil makes sense. If you already have a garden plot but your soil is lean or compacted, you can amend it with compost prior to planting to make a nice growing spot. Just spread 3-4 inches of compost over the top and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Incorporate some fertilizer (in amounts as recommended on the package) and you'll be ready to plant. Hope this answers your question!

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