What’s the difference between topsoil and subsoil? 


Choosing the right soil for your garden is one of the first steps to creating a lush lawn or bountiful beds. And understanding the structure of the ground which you’re working with is a useful step.


Topsoil is the upper layer of soil, and usually sits on the top 10 to 25 cm (5 to 10 inches) of the ground. Formed over a long period, it has the greatest concentration of nutrients, organic matter and microorganisms, and as a result is the place where most of the action happens! Topsoil provides the important key nutrients which any plant needs to grow, with varying levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Refreshing the topsoil in your garden can help give everything a boost.


Subsoil is the layer of soil which sits underneath the topsoil. Just like topsoil it is composed of a variable mixture of small particles such as sand, silt and/or clay, but with a much lower percentage of organic matter. Subsoil acts a bit like an anchor in the ground, providing that all important drainage, or foundation for tree and shrub roots. As a result, good subsoil needs to have just the right combination of materials to allow water to move through it.

Why choose our soils?

All Earth Cycle topsoils are peat free, organic and blended with compost produced from green waste sourced from Hampshire and West Sussex. Our subsoil is locally quarried and sand based, with a natural injection of clay and silt which gives a good consistency. All of our products are PAS100, NHBC and British Standards compliant and screened for asbestos, glass, plastic, heavy metals, chemicals, ceramics and hardcore. We offer fast, efficient nationwide deliveries of our products, so you can begin that garden or landscaping project as soon as possible!

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