Topsoil: buying

Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, which is high in nutrients and organic matter. It is widely available to buy in bags or in bulk from specialist suppliers, garden centres and DIY superstores. It can be used for making new beds, borders, raised beds or as a base for lawns, where the natural soil is poor or non-existent.

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If your topsoil is poor, you may need to buy more in. Image: Tim Sandall/RHS

Quick facts

  • For laying lawns you will need at least 10cm (4in) layer of top soil
  • New beds will need about 20cm (8in) or more
  • Topsoil is available in three grades: premium, general-purpose and economy
  • Good quality top soil should meet British Standards 3882:2007

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.