Having good soil is a cornerstone to successful gardening and landscaping. Plants are amazing and intricate living organisms, but they all need the same basic needs met in order to be healthy and grow – sun, water, nutrients, and air. The environment they live in controls how they are able to absorb many of these elements, which will directly affect plant growth.

At Patuxent Nursery, we stock high-quality soils for sale, both in bulk or bagged, perfect for all of your landscaping and gardening needs.

(Scroll to the bottom of the page to see a selection of our top items!)

What is soil? Well, it’s not dirt. We teach our new employees that soil is for planting and dirt is for washing off of your face! Soil is what generally makes up the very top layer of the ground. It consists of inorganic particles, organic materials, water, and air. Different ratios of these elements will change how plants are able to absorb water and nutrients. There are three main types of soil frequently found here in Maryland – clay, silt, and sand.

Each type is defined by the size of and space around its particles, but thankfully you don’t need a microscope to find out which one is which. Each type can be identified by how they interact with water and nutrients.

Clay has the smallest particles with the smallest amount of space between particles. This means that it holds onto water and nutrients very well but doesn’t have very much drainage. Sand has the largest particles with the largest amount of space between them. This means that it doesn’t hold onto anything very well at all, but has excellent drainage. Silt is the middle ground between these two sizes and is usually found floating in bodies of water or near sources of water.

A perfectly balanced combination of these three types of soil actually makes a fourth type – loam. Loam, also known as black dirt or black earth, is typically a 40-40-20 mixture of sand (40%), silt (40%) and clay (20%). There is just the right amount of water retention within the particles, but there is also the right amount of drainage of any excess water. (Note: adding sand directly into clay without any other organic matter or silt will typically make drainage worse, not better). 

Roots have a tough time moving through clay, and they have a difficult time receiving the nutrients they need in sand. This is why a loamy, crumbly soil composition is ideal. Many soil choices sold at garden centers like ours have composted organic materials added in to increase the number of natural nutrients present. This perfect blend is going to get your plants off to the right start.

worm calling through healthy soil helping feed plants

Another element that can make the ground a healthy living environment for your plants is what else is living in the soil too. While some bugs are pests, others are predators to those pests, so encouraging creatures like ladybugs or praying manti to move in is a good thing. Worms consume organic matter and leave behind casings, which make it easier for plants to absorb healthy nutrients. Local microorganisms in the soil can also help make nutrients easier to absorb in a similar manner. Mycorrhizae are fungi that are common in soil and very beneficial for young root systems.

When first planting a flower bed, vegetable garden, or laying down a lawn, it’s ideal to start with the best quality soil you can. Our bulk topsoil will get you started with a lovely blend of ideal texture and organic matter. It can also help balance out your native ground if it is too sandy or too much like clay.

trowel in a hole of good soil

Soil Test Kits Available

Not sure what kind of soil you currently have? We have soil kits available for free at Patuxent Nursery, which you can then send to the University of Delaware for testing for only $9. We don’t collect that testing fee, it needs to be paid directly to the university in order to have your soil samples tested. These tests are in-depth and will tell you everything you need to know about your soil.

With that information you can know exactly what kinds of soil amendments you should look for. This is why testing your soil is a very important step, because you wouldn’t want to add the wrong amount of an amending mineral or material with good intentions, only to find out you actually needed to lower the pH instead of raising it or vice versa.

We also have smaller soil testing kits available for sale, if you only need to test the pH levels or other simple measurements. These provide results immediately but usually only test for a few things at a time. These tests include a test strip and a color chart with detailed instructions on how to read the colors that appear on your test strip.

Whether you are looking for bulk soil, potting soils, bagged soil, or soil amendments, Patuxent Nursery can get you started on the right foot.

Some of our most popular bagged soils include:

Espoma Organic Potting Mix,

Quail Ridge Topsoil,

Foxfarm Ocean Floor Potting Soil,

Foxfarm Happy Frog for indoor and outdoor plants,

Espoma Organic Cactus, African Violet or Orchid Soils,

and Lucky Dog Foxfarm Soil Grower’s Blend,

as well as many others.

These options are already balanced and ready to be added to your lawns, gardens, or containers.

collage of four types of soil for sale at patuxent nursery
get topsoil delivered to you by red truck with patuxent logo

If you are looking for ways to amend your soil and change its makeup, whether with organic matter, compost, or specific minerals, then make sure to check out our wide selection of soil amendments as well.

Want to order garden soil in bulk? Call or email our customer service team and we can put together a custom quote depending on how much you need and where you live.

To Order:

Contact Customer Service to Order Ahead or to Schedule a Delivery.

To Request a Custom Quote, Please Fill Out the Form at the bottom of the page.
Your address,
When you need your mulch delivered,
How large the space is you are covering,
and How much you think you will need for each product.

Someone from our team will get back to you as soon as possible!

Shop for Bulk Soil

Shop for Bagged Soil & Amendments