Skip to Content

What Is 50/50 Topsoil – Everything You Need to Know!

Sharing is caring!

After finishing the raised bed structure, the last thing left is to fill the beds with soil and prepare them for planting.

However, you must first decide what kind of soil to add and the right proportion of topsoil to compost.

So, what is 50/50 topsoil?

You may have heard about it often…

“The 50/50 soil mix for raised garden beds is a mixture of 50/50 topsoil and compost. This mixture works well for sculpting your little garden, filling up bare spots where you want plants to grow, and creating new lawns.”

The 50/50 soil mixture is one of the most popular products on the market, suitable for raised beds.

Continue reading to learn more about soil ratios and how to mix topsoil and compost for the lawn to add to your raised beds.

This article will provide all the information you need for selecting the ideal soil for your raised beds so you can go ahead with seeding.

A man mixing soil with compost—what is 50 50 topsoil
What is 50/50 topsoil? – Image via Greta Hoffman.

What Is 50/50 Topsoil? | Understanding the Logic!

A 50/50 soil mixture for raised garden beds consists primarily of 50% screened topsoil and 50% compost.

Instead of only compost, some soil mixtures may also have added organic material, giving them a composition of 50% topsoil and 50% organic matter.

The soil layer between your lawn’s surface and the subsoil is known as topsoil. Most root growth occurs in the topsoil due to the high concentrations of microbes and organic substances. The layer’s thickness will differ from lawn to lawn.

In topsoil, 5- and 10-inches thick layers will be present on healthy grass.

“Compost is a soil amendment created by decomposing various organic materials like animal manure, dried leaves, fruit & vegetable waste, wood chips, etc.”

It has massive nutrients and can be used as organic fertilizer.

  • With the help of this soil mixture, you can be confident that your plants will receive the proper nutrients and that you won’t need to replenish the soil’s organic content any time soon.
  • Some people fill garden beds with both raised and regular soil.
  • They take approximately 3/4 of 50/50 topsoil, then add a compost layer for the remaining 1/4 of the way, depending on how much organic material they want to put on their ground.
  • While some people produce their own compost, others buy compost in bulk and mix their own 50/50 soil.
  • You can also buy soil that has already been mixed 50/50.

The primary issue with 50/50 soil is that making your perfect soil using commercial compost might be expensive.

Since many individuals have a lot of raised garden beds to fill, they prefer using a mix with less compost.

Why Is Topsoil Screened?

As is already noted, screened topsoil is one of the components of 50/50 soil mixes and other soil mixtures.

“Topsoil that has been filtered to remove any particles that can obstruct the growth of plant roots is known as screened topsoil.”

This contains sticks, clumps of soil, and rocks.

Topsoil can be screened at home. You only need a mesh soil sifter and topsoil from your garden or backyard. Remember that topsoil is untouched ground. Your garden soil won’t qualify as topsoil if you’ve already modified it.

The next step is to put the soil through the sifter once you have your topsoil and sifter.

You can pick how fine you want your screened topsoil to be by choosing the screen size. A 12-inch (1.27 cm) mesh is a common choice, although you can choose soil that is either finer or coarser.

Your screened topsoil is the soil that exits the sifter after you’ve run it through.

You can layer your soil mixture on top of unscreened topsoil, often used as the foundation for garden beds. Additionally, it is employed in building tasks like flattening slopes in your backyard or patching holes in your lawn.

However, you are also free to toss away the unscreened topsoil if you don’t have room to store it and don’t plan to use it soon.

Watch this video to find out more about screened topsoil:

What is 50/50 topsoil? | What Is Screened Topsoil? – YouTube

What Is the Best Soil for Your Raised Garden Beds?

The ideal soil mixture for your raised garden beds depends on a number of criteria, including your budget.

However, choosing the right plants to grow in raised beds is one of the most important decisions. Various plants need different types of soil.

For instance, loam soil is ideal for growing vegetables. This soil has an equal mixture of silt, clay, and sand.

However, organic-deficient soil does not support plant development. Additionally, combining the soils mentioned above will not produce loam soil.

Instead, you must add organic material, like compost, leaves, and straw, to create fertile loam for your raised beds, ensuring that it is both nutrient-rich and favorable for the growth of plant roots.

On the other side, acidic soil is necessary to grow blooms like blue Hydrangeas.

This means that for these flowers to thrive properly, you’ll need to add acidifiers to the soil, which will change the composition of your soil mix (source).

In the end, to get the most out of your raised garden beds, it’s crucial to match your plants to your soil mix!


While gardening may seem easy, all your efforts can go wrong if your plants need better care.

To make the best out of our effort, you should know more about soil, and now you know what is 50/50 topsoil too.

The soil you use should always be compatible with the plants you intend to grow. Achieving the proper soil conditions depends on adjusting the percentage of your preferred soil mix or adding particular soil additives.

Share this article with your gardener friends if you’ve found it informative!

Also, do let us know anything you have to say about this article. We are always looking for feedback to improve our user’s experience.

Finally, thank you for reading!