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Choosing the right soil

When it comes to giving your garden the care it deserves, choosing the right soil is a simple decision that goes a long way. There are different types for different needs, as much of it depends on what you’re going to be planting and where, whether you’re sowing seeds for your vegetable patch, preparing your planters for flowers or giving your lawn some TLC before Summer arrives. Maybe you want to completely replace the soil in your garden, or perhaps you’re looking for something to use as mulch, which can be any material spread over your soil to retain moisture, keep pesky weeds away and more.

Finding the ideal soil is just the beginning of any gardening project, so it’s important to give yourself the best possible start and help your plant life to flourish and bring life to your outdoor space.

  • Compost
  • Top soil
  • Bark chippings
  • Manure

  • Compost can be added to soil any time of the year and can even be used when potting plants too.
  • Because it’s packed with nutrients, it’s ideal for pots and containers where your plants can’t easily get the nutrients they need.
  • It offers a wide range of benefits; it improves your soil structure and helps it retain nutrients, water and air, it protects against drought and helps to maintain a neutral pH level. All types of soil can be improved with compost.
  • You can easily apply it by mulching with it. Apply a thick layer on top of your exposed soil and let worms and other creatures meld it with the soil.
  • By promoting superior root systems and retaining moisture, it helps your plants achieve optimal growth and its versatility makes it ideal for seeding, cuttings, potting and hanging baskets.

Top soil
Top soil

  • For gardening in the ground, top soil should be your go-to. It can completely revamp gardens where the existing soil is poor, damaged or non-existent.
  • It’s the ideal choice for a number of different jobs, including creating new beds and borders, providing a base for turf laying to sow grass seed and growing your lawn.
  • Achieve renewed growth and improved drainage by nourishing your garden with a rich, organic and fertile topsoil. You can get specific types based on what you’re planting, such as vegetable and fruit or beds and borders.

Bark chippings
Bark chippings

  • As practical as they are decorative, bark chippings offer plenty of uses in the garden. While they’re effective at suppressing weed growth and allowing for easier bed and border maintenance, they also make a great mulching material.
  • A simple layer of bark will protect plant roots all year round, preventing frost damage in the winter and retaining moisture when it gets warmer in the summer months.
  • By decomposing slowly, they require minimal maintenance or re-application when used for mulching purposes.


  • Using manure for soil conditioning, mulching and planting is a great way to maximise your crop yield.
  • Rich in organic matter, it’s just as effective on roses, trees and shrubs as it is on flowers, fruits and vegetables.
  • Instead of layering on top of your soil, it can be more effectively applied by watering it in thoroughly or mixing it with high quality compost.

Whatever planting project you’re undertaking, you can find more tips and inspiration at our ideas and advice hub and get your garden in shape for Summer.