Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Topsoil, black loam, garden mix - what IS the difference?
Many people are under the misconception that all soils are the same and that you can use one or the other for everything, from gardening to laying sod; this is NOT the case. Hopefully this quick explanation of each soil will help you in recognizing which soil you require for your project.
Is a standalone soil with no additives. Topsoil is usually the top 2-8" of soil found in a fertile area, normally brown or red in colour and is usually a clay or sand based material. Its best usage is to level out a yard or landscape as it provides a great base for seeding or sodding, but can also be used to plant trees and shrubs in. Ideal usage is 2-8" in depth.
Black Loam -
Is basically topsoil with large amounts of decaying wood pieces, commonly found in drained swamplands it is highly nutritious. Black Loam is not recommended for lawns as the soil doesn't hold as much structure as Topsoil, as it's more peaty. Black Loam is highly nutritious which makes it ideal to be used in areas where plant growth is important, such as flower beds. Ideal depth is 6"+.
Garden Mix -
Often known as triple mix. Garden Mix is usually a two or three way mixture of a blend of Topsoil, Black Loam and a compost or manure addition. The blends are balanced for fertility and optimal growth, as well as low weeds. Most landscape supply yards will have their own special mixture*. Garden Mix is great for vegetable gardens and flower beds. It can be used at greater depth 8"+ (vegetable gardens).
*GroMax is the active ingredient in OUR Garden Mix blend. Our Garden Mix is as good as it gets and can be delivered delivered straight to your door or picked up at our yard in bags or loaded in bulk into your trailer or truck box.