Differences Between Loam Soil and Topsoil

Oct 31, 2017

Stuck on whether topsoil or loam soil?

Loam and topsoil are often used to refer to the same soil type, but that is not the case. It is essential for every gardener to recognise the most nourishing kind of soil for their garden. So what does is best? Let’s take a look through both grounds. 


It’s the uppermost layer, about 12 inches deep. It is darker and has a high concentration of organic matter which comes from vegetation that decomposes on the soil surface and microorganisms. It has the elements mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air. Topsoil is either screened or unscreened.

Screened or unscreened topsoil?

Unscreened topsoil

As previously discussed, unscreened topsoil mostly comes from excavations thus contains large unbroken particles and may have roots, weeds, chips, woods, sticks, and stones. It’s probably not used for vegetables and plants growing.


• Best suited for creating a garden or construction projects base, for example, levelling slopes in a garden.
• Raising beds through a screened top layer is necessary if planning on plant growth.

Screened topsoil

It is unscreened soil that has been thoroughly sifted through to remove the big particles and make it less course. It is loose and evenly sized providing perfect drainage and allow nutrients thus enhance plant growth. It is excellent for plant growth. 


• Growing plants and flowers
• Lawn laying.

Loam Soil

It is mostly composed of sand, silt and small amounts of clay. Loam soil has little or no organic matter but has a high water and nutrients retention capability. 


• Ideal for gardening and other agricultural uses.
• The Construction the houses.

Loam soil vs topsoil

The difference that is in the loam soil and topsoil is similar to the fingers and thumb difference: all loam is topsoil, but it's not all topsoil is loam soil. Loam soil is used to describe the texture of the land. Large particles in loam soil make aeration possible and also helps the faster movement of moisture.

The clay part is perfectly adsorbent thus perfect for water retention which is vital for tall and robust plants. Silt, on the other hand, holds some water while allowing proper air circulation. Every type of loam matters with a different ground of soil. Topsoil in the most basic way is the different types of organic matter that have already decayed through the years

Loam soil is the way to go. Whichever kind of loam soil you decide to choose, be confident that it's the best land to grow different kinds of plants.