Even though people use the words topsoil and loam soil in the same context, they do not necessarily mean the same thing. Topsoil is a general term that describes the top layer of soil. It is the soil that we walk on and it goes down to about 12 inches deep. That means that it can vary depending on the land use, subsoil, or vegetation on a piece of land. It could include rocks, dirt, organic matter, and dry grass. It is suitable for gardening because it has nutrients. Loam soil, on the other hand, refers to a particular category of soil. Loam soil, therefore, is part of topsoil but topsoil is not necessarily loam soil.
Many gardeners visit a greenhouse looking for topsoil under the assumption that they will get loam soil. If you are looking for the recommended soil for your garden, you should always ask for loam soil. It is the part of topsoil with the ability to hold a higher nutrient level. Loam soil is soil that has nutritive qualities. It is usually a mixture of clay, silt, and sand. ‘Sandy loam’ soil has a high level of sand and ‘clay loam’ has a high percentage of clay soil. The clay improves the soil’s ability to retain water while sand improves the circulation of water. Each one of the different types of loam is recommended for different gardens depending on their needs.
Significant Differences Between Loam Soil and Topsoil
- Commercial topsoil and loam soil have different consistencies. Topsoil has a looser consistency because it contains different particles. The texture of loam soil is perfect for gardening. You can mold it into a clump that does not break and stays in shape. The texture is a mix of sandy and clay soil.
- Topsoil cannot necessarily retain water well. Loam soil, however, can retain water very well. It has some concentration of clay soil and a bit of sandy soil. With topsoil, it may vary depending on where the soil is found.
- The spaces between loam soil particles are good for aeration. That is not always the case with topsoil. You need the right type of topsoil to garden
Greenvale is an online supplier of topsoil, turf and garden products in Lancashire. We are a family-run business that has been offering high quality products since 1990. Visit us if you need any of our products, and we will be glad to help.