Topsoil vs. Manure

Topsoil vs. Manure - National Site Materials

Not all landscape materials are created equal. At National Site Materials we strive to offer only the best site materials for our customers. Since choosing the right materials for the job is just as important as having high quality products, we have compiled some information to help you decide how to best use topsoil and manure.


Topsoil is the layer of soil between the subsoil and the decaying organic matter on the surface. Truckloads of topsoil are used to restore areas where the existing soil was significantly disturbed. Topsoil is commonly used in subdivisions and other residential construction sites. At construction sites like this, the existing topsoil has sometimes been completely removed, making it necessary to truck in fresh topsoil.

Topsoil is great for creating new gardens, leveling a lawn or job site and can help eliminate weeds. Unfortunately, topsoil offers little or no nutrients for lawns, gardens and other landscaping.


Unlike topsoil, manure will feed your lawn, bushes and trees. Manure is a soil amendment. It is a nutrient-rich, organic compound that provides nitrogen to support plant growth. As manure breaks down, it fills the soil with these nutrients and provides a healthy environment for plant-life to flourish. If you want thriving flora in your newly landscaped area and throughout your yard, you should apply manure along with your topsoil.

Cow manure is most common, however chicken, horse and other varieties of manure are available. While fresh manure can have an unpleasant smell when it is first applied, it is full of nutrients that enrich your lawn and garden. You can also rest assured than any lingering manure smell will dissipate fairly quickly.

What Should You Use?

The short answer is both. A blend of topsoil and manure give you the fill you need along with the nutrients to allow plants to grow successfully. Generally speaking, you will want to plan to use 50 to 100 pounds of manure for every 100 square feet of soil.

When you are applying manure to existing landscaping, it is best to apply the manure in the spring or fall before planting. After application, mix the manure into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. If you are applying manure or a mixture of manure and topsoil to a garden bed, you should add mulch as a top layer. Mulch will help retain moisture for plants and prevent weed growth.

Order Topsoil and Manure Today

National Site Materials offers a two online order forms to help make ordering quick and easy. Contractors can use our Contractor Order Form while residential customers can use the Homeowners Order Form. With either form, all you need to do is tell us what materials you need along with when and where you need them delivered. Our order fulfillment team will handle the rest.

Have questions about your order? Contact us online or call us at (888) 237-2746 and we will work with you to find the materials you need for your next project.

Posted in ,