Choosing an appropriate soil mix is vital when gardening to get the best out of whatever you're growing. Here are four soil products to consider.
A good all-rounder to consider is garden soil, which consists of topsoil enriched with elements such as decomposed leaves, grass and foliage. You can use this soil around the garden, including in raised beds.
Quality garden soil should have an earthy smell and be dark and crumbly rather than hard and compacted, which prevents roots from entering and spreading easily. Some flowers and native Australian plants need soil with a particular acidity level, so keep this in mind and check the soil's ph level to understand what plants will thrive.
Another option is a potting mix that doesn't contain soil but contains a blend of ingredients such as moss, compost and vermiculite. A potting mix blend has good aeration and drainage, helping to prevent the growth of rot. You should choose a combination tailored to what you're growing, whether vegetables or flowering plants.
Topsoil generally indicates the top layer of the earth. However, when choosing garden products, it refers to soil typically screened to remove debris but without much added nourishment. Topsoil is a general landscaping product that you may use to fill up a low area on the lawn to even out the ground. Or you could spread topsoil as a lower layer in a raised garden bed before adding more nourishing garden soil on top. Like all products, topsoil varies depending on the particular variety. Some may be more nutrient-rich than others.
Mulch is a layer of material spread over the soil to improve the health and appearance of the garden. It helps the beds retain moisture and stay at a more constant temperature that doesn't fluctuate with the air temperature as much. Mulch also helps suppress weed growth. Wood chips, straw and leaves are some mulch options that nourish the soil as they decompose into it. Each of these will add different nutrients while decaying at varying rates. For example, wood chips decompose more slowly than straw. This means that you will need to top up some materials more frequently.
Each of these composts also looks different when spread across the garden beds. For instance, straw and leaves can look more organic and less manicured than wood chips, and each will bring different colours to the landscape. For more information, contact a company like Leslie Vale Landscape & Gravel Supplies.