When you’re planting seedlings in your garden it is important to make sure that you choose the right bedding – do you use loamy, loose gardening topsoil, or nutrient-rich compost? Read on for our quick and easy guide to topsoil vs compost.


What does gardening topsoil do?

Topsoil is the top six-to-seven-inch layer of your soil that will act as a bed for any planted seedlings. It helps provide growing plants with the key nutrients and essential elements that they need while helping to retain moisture when dry. The loose makeup of natural soil also allows for the filtration of excess water during periods of high rainfall.


What does compost do?

Compost is a growing supplement made up from decomposed plant and organic matter. This is one of the most nutrient-rich fertilisers that you can purchase and is normally used to augment a young plant’s growth or provide your seedlings with the cocktail of initial nutrients they need to sprout strong.


When should I plant my seedlings in gardening topsoil or compost?

Essentially, topsoil is there to ensure that plants are supported and healthy while compost works to provide a boost to growth that many early seedlings can greatly benefit from. Young plants need extra care at this stage, so it’s important to weigh up which of the two should be used.


Any standard gardening project will require topsoil in order for your seedlings to flourish. However, while you can use soil from your existing garden, this is not advised as there is a likelihood that any disease or insect larvae can be unwittingly potted alongside your seedlings. There is also a chance that your existing soil can contain overly alkaline or acidic nutrients which could unwittingly harm your seeds. Purchasing sterile topsoil from a reputable supplier can help ensure that your mix is clean, no matter what you need it for.


If you are trying to grow potted plants indoors or outside, compost is a solid choice. When supplemented with liquid fertiliser, it can make sure that your seedlings have all the nutrients they need for rapid growth and make sure they are ready for transplantation.


However, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t use your best judgement to help plants grow. Mix your own ratio of compost and gardening topsoil and use a ph tester to check on the make-up of the soil and you will end up with the perfect base for your seedlings and seeds. So, get started with the purchase of affordable of high-grade gardening topsoil and/or compost with The London Topsoil Company.