Understanding the Difference Between Potting Mix, Compost and Topsoil

When it comes to gardening, everyone talks about the importance of soil quality. After all, the growth of your gardens or containers, depend on how healthy and nourishing your soil is. However, did you know that the key to quality soil and thereby beautiful lawns and gardens depend on what you add to the soil?

Yes, there are many different materials specifically designed to ensure soil health. Here we have discussed the 3 most commonly used – Potting Mix, Compost and Topsoil. Keep on reading to understand how they work, and how they are not one and the same thing…

Potting Mix

Usually, potting mixture is made from organic material, inorganic materials, sand and mineral soil. However, they are even altered to suit the needs of particular plants. To spread the mixture, it is recommended to depend on epandeur a terreau, rather than doing it manually.

On the other hand, if you wish to buy a fully organic potting mixture, make sure you check the label and look for terms – OMRI or organic. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that potting mixes should be only used for indoor or outdoor containers, and not gardens and lawns. They are not meant for in-ground gardens, where one can walk on cultivated ground.


Compost is one of the most common materials added to the soil. It is mostly made using organic material and is packed with numerous benefits. Adding compost to clay soil will enhance aeration and drainage, whereas when added to sandy rocky soils, it helps in increasing nutrient and water retention. Overall compost feeds your plants and soil microorganisms to ensure strong growing foundation.

Compost can be used to topdress lawns, as a material in potting mixture, or for mulching houseplants. However, growing plants directly in compost is not recommended.


Topsoil is ideal for creating raised planting beds as well as improve existing soil quality. It is the topmost portion in a lawn or garden right beneath your feet. Topsoil ensures that there is better biological activity, microorganisms and insects in the soil which reduces compaction and enhances soil health.

The upper layer of soil, i.e. topsoil, is mostly harvested by companies dealing in topsoil. Unfortunately, the leftover lower level is sold as topsoil as well, but it contains sand, clay and lime in higher quantities.

No matter what you buy – potting mix, compost or topsoil, it is important to research them well before you purchase. This might take some time, but it will surely prove beneficial in long run. Also, to ensure that you purchase the right type of spreaders and other gardening machineries, contact