raking garden soil

How to Choose the Right Soil for Your Yard and Garden

 As soon as that last bit of snow melts our customers are eager to get outside and start working on their yards and gardens, and come to the store looking for soil. For us, the sale of those first bags of dirt marks the changing of the season - spring has arrived! 

Our customers buy dirt for a variety of purposes. They might be filling cracks or levelling out an area of their lawn, they might be building a flower bed or vegetable garden, or they might be seeding their lawn. Often times they aren’t quite sure which type of soil is best for the job, and so we thought it valuable to provide this overview: 

Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of dirt:



If you’re planting flowers or plants in the ground…

3 in 1 landscape mix

Use garden soil. This is topsoil mixed with organic-based materials such as peat moss and manure to promote the healthy growth of flowers and vegetables. The objective is to mix it up with the soil in the ground to enrich and improve the overall quality, so the plants can build strong roots and thrive. 

If you’re growing grass…

lawn soil

Use lawn soil. This is soil that has targeted nutrients added, designed to feed young grass seedlings. It is ideal for top-dressing existing lawns or planting new lawns from seed. The objective is to encourage faster root growth, retain moisture and it will often contain a slow-release fertilizer to continue to feed the grass as it matures.

If you’re filling in gaps, levelling off an area, building up a garden…

top soil

Use topsoil. This is your everyday dirt, and is the most economical because it doesn’t have any compost, fertilizer, or plant food added to it. 

If you’re planting flowers in a pot or container…

potting mix

Use potting mix. This is soil blended with a rich mix of organic matter and nutrients specifically targeted at giving plants more blooms and size. These blends often have a slow-release fertilizer in them and work in both indoor and outdoor planters. 

If you’re starting seeds…


seed starting

Use seedling starter mix. This type of soil is usually in smaller bags because you won’t need as much of it to get your seeds started in trays. It’s a blend specially formulated for fast and strong root growth and works for vegetable, flower and herb seeds. 

If you’re making your garden beds more attractive…

black cedar mulch

Use mulch. This is a very popular “top dressing” soil, typically made from raw wood such as cedar bark. Adding a layer of mulch on your garden not only makes it tidy and more attractive, it also inhibits the growth of weeds and holds in moisture. 

TIP: We recommend that you hold off putting down mulch until the weather is consistently warm. If you spread mulch on your flower bed too early, then you risk impeding growth of your growing plants. A good practice is to remove the layer of last year’s mulch and weeds but patiently wait to add that new layer of mulch until the new growth has emerged. 

Here is a handy chart you can refer to when determining which type of soil you need:

garden project chart

Enjoy getting your hands dirty and spending time in your yard and garden!  



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