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Garden Tips 101: Topsoil, Triple Mix & Mulch

Published on
February 21, 2023 at 12:17:16 PM PST February 21, 2023 at 12:17:16 PM PSTst, February 21, 2023 at 12:17:16 PM PST


Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time to get our green thumbs ready for some gardening. Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener, it’s important to know how to get the best out of your gardens, plants and flowers. Using the right materials for the job is a great way to start. With that in mind, here are some guidelines to better understand the difference between topsoil, triple mix and mulch.


Soil vs. Dirt

Let’s start with some basics. There is a monumental difference between dirt and soil. Dirt is a substance that consists of mud and dust. Not a very fertile material to use on your plants. Soil, on the other hand, is made up of sand, clay, silt and organic material. This is what enables plants in your garden to grow. It’s a common myth that garden soil is a living compound, but this is simply untrue. Soil can offer nutrients and life to other things, but it alone is not living.


The ideal percentage of components in your soil breaks down like this:

- Sand – 38%

- Silt – 38%

- Clay – 19%

- Organic – 5%


What’s the Difference Between Topsoil, Triple Mix & Mulch?

Who hasn’t been in a garden store staring blankly at what you think would be best to put on your garden? With so many different products, it can be an intimidating choice. Here is a brief summary and description to better understand what your specific garden needs to flourish:



This is a great place to start when you’re levelling your landscaping, grading your property, filling holes, or preparing a base when laying down new sod. A good topsoil is made from a clay and sand mix that has been thoroughly screened so it doesn’t contain any clumps or added debris. This ensures you’ll have an aligned turf with a durable foundation.


Triple Mix Soil

Triple mix soil generally consists of 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost. This triple mix combination is widely known as meeting most planting needs. Due to the moss and compost, it is more airy than regular topsoil, which is excellent for your plants – as it holds more air and water.


Make sure to always read the ingredients on the side of the triple mix package to make sure the amounts will meet your plants’ needs.



Mulch is like the icing on a cake. After laying a strong foundation of soil and/or triple mix, you spread mulch on top of the soil and around your trees and plants.


Mulch has numerous benefits, such as:

- Conserving and improving the health of the underlying soil.

- Reducing weed growth.

- Insulating roots.

- Adding visual appeal.


Mulch comes in a variety of forms. Pebble/rock, straw, grass clippings and landscape fabric work well, but the most common mulch includes wood chips and shredded bark. It’s best to do some research beforehand, so you know what’s best suited for your garden and plants’ needs before deciding on an option.


Order Premium Soil at Van Beek’s

The team at Van Beek’s Garden Supplies are here to help you choose the right soil and mulch for your garden and landscaping. We can answer all your questions when it comes to garden products, design ideas, or landscaping advice. We’ve been helping homeowners and contractors with their gardening needs since 1962.


Contact us today to place your order and have soil, mulch and landscaping supplies delivered right to your door!