Although the terms “topsoil”, “fill dirt” and “black dirt” are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences.

Organic black dirt has carbon and wouldn’t be used in areas where a lot of planting and growing are needed, such as on a farm. The dirt can be tested and analyzed for its suitability for growing, but that can be a lot of extra work and requires time and expense that farmers often don’t have.

Fill dirt consists of broken-down rocks, clay and sand and is not screened or pulverized. Although it provides little fertility for plants to grow, it can add stability and filling volume. Fill dirt, for example, is often used for back-fill around new home foundations. A layer of topsoil is then added to facilitate the placement of foundation plantings and sod for the lawn.

Cupped hands picking up dark soilTopsoil, on the other hand, adds nutrients to the dirt that allow for grass and plant growth.

Again, topsoil is different from fill dirt, as it has been screened to remove debris. The rich and dark qualities of topsoil (aka. pulverized black dirt) can be attributed to naturally occurring composting of decomposing plant material. It’s used in landscaping or gardening because of its nutrient- and texture-rich qualities as well as its ability to retain water.

Pulverized black dirt is topsoil that has been screened and crushed until it is fine and loose and, thus, with few if any lumps. The aeration process that pulverized black dirt goes through with a diesel-hydraulic system makes the soil lightweight. Because of this, it’s easier to work with in both the lawn and garden.

At Tim Wallace Supply will do not sell fill dirt or organic soil – only topsoil. Our topsoil is available for pick-up or delivery by the cubic yard. Our delivery minimum is 2 cubic yards. Call us at  (630) 759-5552 to set up your home delivery.

To learn more about our soil blends for the lawn and garden, visit our Soil Mix Supply website.