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Best Soil Guide

You know you need some garden soil but there are so many options to choose from, which one is best for you? And how do you go about buying it?

This ‘best soil consumer guide’ below outlines in layman’s terms your options for buying garden soils, mulches & composts in New Zealand with advice on what product is best for you. The guide will help you understand the kinds of garden soils that are on the market in New Zealand and what each one is designed to do. There are literally hundreds of different types of soils, compost and lawn mixes available to today’s DIY gardener and it can be a confusing task trying to learn what separates product A from product B, or brand 1 vs brand 2. We’ll be adding further products each week over the coming weeks so stay tuned for further additions.

Questions you’ll often ask yourself are:

What does each of these products do?
What are the pro’s n cons of each?
What mix do you need to best suit the uses you have earmarked for it?
Do you buy weed free or not weed free?
Which one suits my budget?

So to give you an understanding of what each is garden media is designed to do and give you an overview of which one will be best for your gardening project or design we have put together this resource for those of you that might need some assistance.

If you don’t know your composts from your potting mixes check out our descriptions below to give you a detailed description of the mix make up and what each is designed to do in your garden. We’ll be adding one each week over the coming weeks so stay tuned for further additions.


The most common and arguably the most popular product sold in most landscape supplies yards. Screened soil usually in most cases is sourced by merchants selling it directly from a newly formed subdivisions or the clearing of sections around town. The topsoil being the first few inches of soil on top of the ground is stripped from the source property, piled up and carted to a destination (usually a topsoil manufacturer) for screening and storage ready to be sold again. The screening takes place via a shaker screen or trommel screen over typically a mesh or screen size of 10mm to 14mm in size. As topsoil is not treated in any way there are in most cases no guarantees the product is weed free. Topsoil does have the added benefit in that it is heavier than most of the other mixes in this guide and as a result gives a mix more body and structure, even when used as a standalone product. It is very affordable product for the budget conscious and can be used as a multi-purpose alternative in a lot of cases. It gets used a lot for establishing new lawns, topping up raised beds or garden repair.

The Pro’s – It’s cheap and as a multipurpose product it is the best, topsoil can tick a lot of boxes in and around your garden.
The Con’s – typically is not weed free and must be kept dry prior to laying to keep it workable. Can at times contain foreign matter such as small stones and sticks that sneak through the screening process – these are as a rule of thumb very small and can vary depending on the supplier.

At CUBAG we offer three types of topsoil. In the Wellington region we offer a sandy loam topsoil. In the wider Auckland region our normal topsoil for sale and also a loamy topsoil from the Waikato.

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