Potting Mix and Top Soil
Potting mix is a medium in which to grow plants and seedlings in a pot or other container. It typically contains an engineered mixture of sand, silt, organic matter (e.g. peatmoss, pine bark, compost) and perlite and vermiculite in various proportions (see specific Manufacturer for details). Its pH is usually fine-tuned with limestone. Some contain a small amount of fertilizer or slow-release nutrients. Bagged potting mix typically is sterile. Potting mix sometimes is referred to as "potting soil" but it actually contains little to no soil because soil is considered too heavy.
Top soil can be used to fill raised beds or for filling in low spots in a lawn. It typically contains a natural mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic matter is various proportions (see specific Manufacturer for details). It is obtained from grubbing the surface layer that has formed over millions of years from rock decomposition, wind and water movement, for instance when developing land. Black earth is a type of top soil that is especially rich in organic matter.
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