Which Landscape Layer Does My Yard Need?

If you’re interested in improving your yard, garden or flowerbed, you probably know that you will need to supplement the raw dirt to help your plants grow. There are, however, several terms and it’s difficult to know which one applies to which situation. What’s the difference between compost, mulch and topsoil? Which do is needed for my garden? Here is a quick breakdown of each.

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At the most basic level, compost is when a variety of organic substances that are decaying are used as fertilizer for the soil. This can include dead leaves, lawn clippings and even manure. Compost can be purchased at stores and can even be created by homeowners. Once the compost is ready, it is used to fertilize and aids in the growth of flowers, plants and gardens. If you live near Gaston, OR, several places sell Compost Washington Count OR.


Many people confuse mulch with compost. While compost is used as a fertilizer, mulch is used to discourage weed growth. Examples of mulch are wood chips, sawdust and tree bark. This material is laid down around your vegetable plants and flower plants. Used as a ground cover, it is effective at preventing weed growth, which gives your plants less to compete with for nutrients in the soil.


Topsoil, on the other hand, is supposed to be an organic layer of soil that is rich in nutrients. Unfortunately, many areas of the country no longer have good topsoil. The good news is that you can buy topsoil to round out your garden or flowerbed. In a pinch, you can even make your own topsoil by combining compost with existing soil in your yard.

As you begin work on your flowerbed or vegetable garden, learn the difference between compost, mulch and topsoil. Make the right choices for your yard and enjoy the growth that occurs.