Whether it was playing baseball, making mud pies or planting flowers, we’ve all spent time playing in the dirt at some point during our lifetime. What you may not realize, however, is that not all dirt is created equal. In fact, there are many types of dirt, and you may even hear the words “soil” and “dirt” used interchangeable. But are they the same? It is important to have a better understanding on the brown material beneath our feet. In doing so, we can appreciate the different varieties and understand which type your landscape needs most.
Fill Dirt Versus Topsoil
Dirt is a very broad and casual name for the loose material that makes up the upper layer of the earth’s surface. However, we use “fill dirt” to describe a more specific ground covering, which is composed of sand, clay and minerals. Fill dirt is used just like you’d imagine, “to fill space.” This type of dirt is used when building a home or to help support a foundational structure. It is typically missing organic materials and other living things so it is much less likely to shift over time.
Topsoil, on the other hand, is rich in organic matter. It uppermost layer that contains the highest levels of living things. Therefore, topsoil is most commonly used in landscaping instead of construction.
Types of Soil
Ready to break it down further? Depending on the geography, topography and climate of the region, topsoil can fall into three main categories of soil: sand, silt and clay. While clay is the finest soil variety and absorbs the least amount of water, sand makes the up the largest particle size of the soil types and can absorb moisture well but drain quickly. When it comes to ideal soil in gardens, loamy soil is a balance of all three soil types and holds an optimal ability to both retain water and support life.
Understanding dirt and the different types of soil varieties can help you understand why certain plants and flowers grow in specific regions of the county. To learn more about which soil or dirt you need for your own backyard, please call GLM Landscape Supply. We offer affordable pricing on topsoil and fill dirt.