Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Unscreen Vs. Screen Topsoil

...
empty planting pots image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com

Topsoil has many uses. Whether it is for a lawn or garden, there are different types of topsoil available. When it comes to choosing topsoil, deciding whether to get screened or unscreened soil is a big decision that can make a difference in how you are able to use the soil. For some uses, unscreened may be fine, but for others, screened topsoil will make the process easier and more effective.

What is Unscreened Topsoil?

Unscreened topsoil can be purchased as is. It is simply soil that has been excavated from a site and is ideal to use for leveling or filling in low areas. This soil has not been broken down or sifted in any way and may have roots, weeds, sticks and rocks in it. Unscreened topsoil is not recommended for gardening uses.

What is Screened Topsoil?

Screened topsoil is the same soil as unscreened, but it has been sifted or screened to remove clumps, rocks, roots, sticks and other debris that may have been in it. Screened topsoil is great for gardening because it mixes easily with potting soils, compost and fertilizer, and is generally loose and easy to amend for drainage.

Uses for Unscreened Topsoil

Hole filling, leveling, wall support, raised bed filler and many other construction and maintenance projects are all ways that unscreened topsoil may be used.

Uses for Screened Topsoil

Gardening, lawn preparation, flower pots and planters, and as a walkway base are ideal uses for screened topsoil. You wouldn't want unscreened for these uses because of the clumps, sticks and even weeds that may be in the soil.

Price Difference

When purchasing topsoil, you will notice a big price difference, which is why the lower-priced unscreened soil is usually used for large projects, while the screened topsoil that costs more is used for more specific jobs. If you are planting a new lawn, use unscreened for leveling and filling, then apply a layer of screened on top for planting your grass seed.

Related Articles

What Is Screened Topsoil?
What Is Screened Topsoil?
How to Prepare Soil for Seeding
How to Prepare Soil for Seeding
The Advantages of Soil Compaction
The Advantages of Soil Compaction
How to use Kelp Meal As a Fertilizer
How to use Kelp Meal As a Fertilizer
What Is a Cubic Yard of Soil?
What Is a Cubic Yard of Soil?
Tools for Removing Stones From My Garden
Tools for Removing Stones From My Garden
How to Grow Grass in Dirt
How to Grow Grass in Dirt
Cinder Block Recycling
Cinder Block Recycling
How to Make Homemade Mortar
How to Make Homemade Mortar
Low Cost Alternatives to Concrete Patio
Low Cost Alternatives to Concrete Patio
Lime & Sandy Soils
Lime & Sandy Soils
Peat Moss
Peat Moss
What's the Permeability of Various Soil Types?
What's the Permeability of Various Soil Types?
How to Fix a Lawn That Holds Water
How to Fix a Lawn That Holds Water
What Is the Purpose of Planting in Mounds?
What Is the Purpose of Planting in Mounds?
How to Add Topsoil to an Existing Lawn
How to Add Topsoil to an Existing Lawn
How to Prevent Soil Settlement
How to Prevent Soil Settlement
How to Seed Fescue in the Spring
How to Seed Fescue in the Spring
How to Lay Flagstone for Edging
How to Lay Flagstone for Edging
Garden Guides
×