Fill Dirt vs. Topsoil; What’s the Difference?

landscaping supplyIt’s no secret that homeowners are willing to spend a hefty amount of time and money to make their gardens look perfect. But unless you have a sound knowledge of soil, your garden might not grow!

Fortunately, learning the difference between different types of soil and how they help your garden isn’t too difficult. If you’re ready to start learning how you can better support the plants in your garden, take a look at this short soil guide we’ve crafted just for you.

Fill Dirt

For those who aren’t gardening experts, it’s often easy to see fill dirt and topsoil as interchangeable terms. The good news? They’re both important in your lawn. The bad news? Fill dirt provides little fertility for plant life. Fill dirt can still be purchased at your local landscaping supply location, but it’s hardly the type of soil you want to plant things in. Rather, it should be used to fill depressions and shape the surface of your garden or lawn.


Topsoil is responsible for supporting the vast majority of plant life on Earth. Healthy topsoil contains a balanced mixture of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and other nutrients essential for plant growth. This soil’s best feature is its excellent drainage. While offering this, topsoil also retains appropriate levels of moisture and allows some light to penetrate it. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily make the best soil for gardens 100% of the time. Most plants require a pH between 6.2 and 6.8, and because topsoil isn’t held to a hard standard, it’s often difficult to determine how good or bad a particular batch will be for your garden.

Garden Soil

If you’re looking for the best soil for your garden, take a trip to your local landscaping supply location and ask about gardening soils. Soil for gardening is designed specifically to cater to the needs of your specific plants. So instead of running the risk of getting faulty gardening supplies for your landscaping, make sure you’re asking about gardening soil versus topsoil.

Classifying dirt may seem a bit ridiculous, but it’s one of the most important aspects of creating a beautiful, sustainable garden. Don’t discount the importance of a good gardening base!