If you are planning gardening or a landscaping project, it is essential to understand the difference between topsoil and lawn soil. Topsoil is a general term for any soil used as a loose, upper layer of soil in a garden bed, whereas lawn soil is often made of specially blended nutrients optimized for grass growth.

When your soil is not up to scratch, aeration and expert lawn care can help you treat it.


Lawn soil and topsoil are organic materials typically composed of dirt, sand, clay, organic matter, and other materials. However, the difference lies in their nutrients. We will explain in detail why these two parts of the soil are so different.

1) Composition

The first factor to consider when comparing topsoil and lawn soil is their composition. Topsoil comprises clay, silt, sand, and decaying organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and other plant matter. It is usually dark brown or black and has a light, crumbly texture. On the other hand, Lawn soil is composed of sand, silt, and clay combined with fertilizers and organic matter that typically come from composted yard waste or manure.

2) Nutrients

The second factor to consider is the nutrient content of each soil type. Topsoil contains a broader range of nutrients than lawn soil, which typically only contains those added by fertilizer. The more organic material in the topsoil, the richer it is in essential plant nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Lawn soil also tends to be much more alkaline than topsoil, which can benefit some grasses and plants.

3) Erosion

Erosion is a significant consideration when evaluating topsoil and lawn soil. Topsoil is designed to be more erosion-resistant because it contains more organic material, which helps hold the soil together. On the other hand, lawn soil does not have as much organic material, so it can easily be washed away by rain and wind. This is especially important for gardeners in areas with frequent storms, as it can be difficult to replace lost soil.

4) Drainage

A significant difference between topsoil and lawn soil is the drainage capacity. Topsoil typically has better water retention capabilities because of its high organic content, while lawn soil tends to be more sandy and drains quickly. This can be an essential factor in areas with a lot of rainfall or irrigation, as it affects how quickly the water is absorbed and released from the soil.

What Should You Choose?

Budget and maintenance issues are the deciding factors for choosing between topsoil and lawn soil. Also, the type of landscaping project and its needs will help to decide the best soil for your lawn.

For example, topsoil will be a better choice if you are filling a large land area. This is because it is relatively cheaper and will offer better coverage than lawn soil.

In a smaller land area, lawn soil may be better because it is specifically designed to provide necessary nutrients to plants. Also, when you want to grow only a particular plant or grass, you can do so easily with lawn soil, as it retains better moisture levels.

Call Absolute Lawn Pros for the best lawn care in Alpharetta. Our expert team can help you determine the difference between topsoil and lawn soil, so your grass looks lush and green all season. 

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