The upper layer of soil is high in minerals and organic matter. This is created over time as rocks and organic matter break down over time. In gardening, soils that are better for plant growth can be purchased to incorporate into a garden. There are different types of topsoil, from their quality to their origin, be that natural, or manufactured (blending components together to achieve topsoil).  Organic topsoil is a key component of sustainable gardening.


– Topsoil is easily purchased, being available from a variety of places. (ref)

– Topsoils can be sourced from brownfield sites, (ref) this takes a waste product from development and ensures it is used again. 

– It is possible to obtain third-party certified soil, ensuring its quality. (ref)


– Natural topsoils are becoming more scarce, (ref) which means that blended, manufactured topsoils are needed to replace this. 

– Topsoils that originate from agricultural land may have chemicals already in them, (ref) which may impact the ability of plants to grow. 

– Greenfield sites can also be used to source topsoils, (ref) this can impact nature and habitats a lot more than brownfield sites do.

– Manufactured topsoils can use sand, (ref) depending on the sourcing of the sand, it may contribute to the ongoing sand crisis.

Topsoil Summary

Topsoil is vital for allowing plant growth and supporting life. Certified and brownfield soil sources can be an environmentally friendly option for improving or replacing soil, however, greenfield soils and manufactured may have more of an environmental issue. To improve soil quality, Organic Fertilisers may offer an alternative.