If you’re wondering whether you need to use Garden Mix or Vege Mix or something entirely different for your next gardening project, then we’re here to help! Read on for a simple breakdown of these two very common gardening materials.

What is Garden Mix?

Top soil

Garden Mix is designed to help plants thrive.

A blend of composted bark fines, gypsum, chicken manure and slow release fertiliser, Garden Mix is designed to be planted in directly, with no additives needed before the plants go in.

The additional nutrients and superior structure of Garden Mix is far better suited to growing plants and produce than simply topsoil on its own.


Garden Mix in containers: For large urns and planters, garden mix is good to use, however we recommend that it is not to be used in smaller pots and containers as these require sharp drainage. Since it doesn't have vermiculite, perlite or pumice, it would not be suitable.

What is Vege Mix?

Veggie Mix

Our All-Natural Vege Mix is created from all natural ingredients: composted bark, PineGro and composted manures, making it ideal for growing food organically at home.

Vege Mix is specifically designed to have the ideal texture, nutrients and drainage for growing vegetables.

As there are no chemical fertilisers in this mix, a top up with organic fertilisers during the growing season is recommended.


For those wanting a more natural substitute, Vege Mix may be used in place of Garden Mix, but its lighter texture means it is not recommended for tree and shrub planting, or for growing grass.

Garden Mix vs Vege Mix

Garden Mix Vege Mix
A blend of inorganic and natural material. A blend of all-natural materials.
Used to fill raised beds, establishing a garden, or topping up an existing one. Used to fill raised vegetable beds and planters, or top up vegetable gardens.
Not suitable for smaller container growing. Not suitable for smaller container growing.
Can be incorporated into existing garden soils and used in planting holes in heavy soils.

How are Garden Mix and Vege Mix different from other soils?

Garden Mix and Vege Mix are different to Topsoil, Compost, and Potting Mix in a variety of ways.

Veggie Mix for Gardens from Central Landscape Supplies

Garden Mix vs Vege Mix

Garden Mix and Vege Mix have a very similar base mix, but differing fertilisers are added to the mixes. In the case of Central Landscapes Premium All Natural Vege Mix, no chemical fertilisers are added, only non chemical natural nutrients. For this reason Vege mix may, on occasion, require topping up with an organic fertiliser through the growing season.

Garden Mix vs Topsoil

The difference between Garden Mix and Topsoil is that garden mix is a ready-to-plant mix contains plenty of nutrients to enhance plant growth and it is weed-free. Topsoil is a versatile landscaping material used for various purposes but it is not sufficient alone for growing plants, fruits and vegetables and it contains weed seeds.

Garden Mix vs Potting Mix

The difference between Garden Mix and Potting Mix is that garden mix may placed in the garden over ordinary topsoil, used to fill raised garden beds or can be used till large pots.

Potting Mix soil is used on its own for plants in containers like potted houseplants and smaller pots that may be placed around the garden, on decks and balconies.

Unlike Garden Mix, Potting Mix has been formulated to grow plants in small confined areas for the roots, so it has a special grade of bark for aeration and it contains pumice for drainage.

Potting Mixes tend to contain controlled release fertilisers to ensure the plant has a regular supply of nutrients over Garden soil vs compost.

The difference between garden soil and compost is that compost is not actually ‘soil’.

Compost is a mix of brown (such as twigs) and green (such as lawn clippings) organic materials that create a nutrient-rich medium.

Once mature, compost can be added to soil to enrich it, spread over your lawn or used as mulch.

But you can’t plant in compost alone - you need to mix it with garden soil.

Mixing with other soils

Garden Mix and Vege Mix are designed so that gardeners can plant directly into them.

However, both mixes can be laid over a topsoil base - it will no longer be a weed-free mix though.

In successive growing seasons both mixes will benefit from a top up of more mix, or having compost mixed through them.

Types of Garden Mix and Vege Mix

At Central Landscape Supplies we carry Premium Garden Mix, which is a blend of composted bark, chicken manure, gypsum and slow-release fertilisers.

This product is great for all types of garden plants including flower beds, vegetable gardens, and raised bed planting. The slow-release fertilisers in it will aid in good plant establishment and growth.

If you’re specifically looking to plant veggies, we stock the Premium All Natural Vege Mix which is a blend of composted bark, PineGro, and composted manures.

This mix really performs for the vegetable crops! The mix is made using non-chemical fertilisers, so a top-up with an organic liquid fertiliser through the growing season will add nutrients and will help to get the best results.

It is also 100% weed free so you won’t have to worry about weeds sucking up all the nutrients your vegetables need.

We also carry Rain Garden Mix, a blend of sand, topsoil, and compost, which is designed to absorb high amounts of water before releasing it into stormwater outlets.

The purpose of Rain Garden Mix is to aid stormwater management, but where a heavier textured mix is required for planting big trees etc, this mix is ideal.

Rain gardens are often visible near roads or heavily paved areas since it absorbs water runoff.

Nutra Soil is another ready to plant mix that is recommended as a more nutritious topsoil alternative to plant bigger more established trees, hedges, etc.

A 50/50 blend of Premium Waikato Topsoil and Garden Mix it is popular with the landscaping fraternity for new garden areas.

Buying Garden Mix and Vege Mix

Always make sure you are buying the best quality Garden Mix or Vege Mix for your plants and vegetables! We recommend the following products:

Premium Garden Mix

Premium Garden Mix is a blend of composted bark, chicken manure, gypsum and slow release fertilisers.

This mix is suitable for planting directly into and for filling raised beds and planters. The slow release fertilisers will aid good plant establishment and growth.

Order Online

All Natural Vege Mix

Our Premium All Natural Vege Mix is a blend of composted bark, PineGro, and composted manures.

Made using non-chemical fertilisers, so a top-up with an organic liquid fertiliser through the growing season will add nutrients and will help to get the best results.

Order Online

Storing Garden Mix and Vege Mix

Storing bags of Garden Mix is a great way to preserve and make use of extra mix you might not need right away.

Short-Term storage

If you have a surplus of bagged Garden Mix that you need to store for the next few weeks, you can place the bags in your garage or under the eaves of your house with no worry of them getting ruined.

Medium-Term storage

If you need to store the Garden Mix bags for up to two months, we recommend storing them in a dry, indoors, sheltered area away from the sun and moisture. Do be aware that the life of the fertilisers available in the mix may diminish.

Long-Term storage

If you find yourself needing to store excess Garden Mix bags for another season, typically around 12 months, you can keep them in a dark dry area. But do remember that garden mix degrades over time, so once you take this out to use it again you will need to combine it with a fresh garden mix and some fertiliser to be sure you are giving your plants the proper nutrients they need to thrive.

Look for high quality

Always buy a high-quality Garden Mix for your flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Colour: Dark brown to black.

Smell: Mild earthy smell.

Texture: When crumbling between your fingers the soil should feel moist and not too dry.

Bagged or bulk?

Garden Mix, Vege Mix and other mixes oils are usually available by the cubic metre, a 25 litre bag, or in cubic metre bags (the latter by enquiry), in 25 Litre bags.

For the home gardener with a small garden or little space for a mound of mix to barrow away, buying in bags is simple and easy.

Many of Central Landscape Supplies clients like the ‘buy in bulk, save a ton’ benefits of getting product delivered directly, then moving to the garden areas they are working on.

How much Garden Mix do you need?

If your garden beds or veggie gardens are on the large side, you can measure the width, length, and depth of your area, multiply them together - to get the number of cubic metres of Garden Mix or Vege Mix you will need.

Topping up raised beds with more is necessary after the growing season or each year as the mix contracts and the plants absorb nutrients etc.

TIP - when installing mixes in beds for the first time, buy a bit extra, as there is a bit of ‘slumpage’ generally after the first few weeks.

Garden and veggie mix prices

Garden Mix and Vege Mix bags cost from $10-12 per 25 Litre bag. When buying in larger quantities, Garden Mix price is determined by cubic metre. The average per cubic metre is $155 and per half cubic metre is $80.

Frequently asked questions 

Is Vege Mix safe for all of my vegetable plants?

Yes! Vege Mix allows you to safely plant a wide range of vegetables and get a bountiful crop.

How do I know if my soil is good for my vegetable garden?

Signs of healthy soil include plenty of underground animal and plant activity, such as earthworms and fungi.

Soil that is rich in organic matter tends to be darker and crumbles off of the roots of plants you pull up. A healthy, spread-out root system is also a sign of good soil.

Is Vege Mix healthy?

Our All Natural Vege Mix is made from natural ingredients and is one of the healthiest ways to grow chemical-free food.

Can I use Garden Mix as Topsoil?

The landscape supply industry has coined the term Garden Mix to describe products that can act as substitutes for topsoil.

They normally consist of blends of organic matter, barks, pumice and fertilisers. The big difference is the much higher amount of organic matter, sometimes over 40% in garden mixes.

You can definitely use Garden Mix as a topsoil for growing plants.

Should I mix Garden Mix into my ordinary Topsoil to improve its performance?

Adding organic matter in the form of Compost and aged manure, or using mulch or growing cover crops (green manures), is the best thing to improve soil performance for planting.

What soil should I use in raised beds?

The best product for raised beds is our Premium Garden Mix or All Natural Vege Mix.

What is the best soil for a garden?

Loamy soil is the ideal soil for most plants; it contains a balance of all three mineral particles and is rich in humus (what's left after organic matter decomposes). Try our Premium Garden Mix or our All Natural Vege Mix.

Can I use Potting Mix in my garden?

Potting Mix contains ingredients formulated for pots and containers that are not necessary in a garden situation. Garden Mix or Compost is recommended over Topsoil.

What is the difference between Topsoil and Raised Bed Soil?

Raised bed soil is nutrient rich and contains a higher percentage of organic material than regular garden soil, usually it is Garden Mix that is placed in raised beds.

Is Garden Mix better than Potting Mix?

It depends on what you are planting and where. If you are planting in containers, go for a Potting Mix, and if you are planting in a raised bed or garden, go for the Garden Mix because it has a heavier texture and holds water longer than potting mixes.

Why not use Garden Mix in pots?

Garden soils are typically intended for use in the ground and contain minerals and organic matter. They are not a good choice for containers because the soil can quickly become compacted and waterlogged, reducing air space around the roots. This can lead to poor or stunted growth.

What soil is best for a vegetable garden?

Garden Mix can be used in raised beds or the vegetable garden to grow vegetables. If growing without chemicals our All Natural Vege Mix has been specifically formulated to grow natural healthy food.

What is difference between Topsoil and Garden Mix?

Garden Mix is just Topsoil that has extra organic matter mixed in, like compost, bark and fertiliser. It's intended to be used in the garden or raised beds, where your plants benefit from the added nutrients.

Why is Potting Mix different than Garden Mix?

Potting Mix includes ingredients such as perlite, coconut fibre, and vermiculite to build a ‘mini garden’ environment in a pot or container.

Is ordinary garden soil good for plants?

Ordinary garden soil often contains nutrients for your plants to thrive, but plant performance using Garden Mix, Nutra Soil or All Natural Vege Mix will be superior.

What is the best soil to fill raised beds with?

Garden Mix is the best mix to use in raised beds.

Do I need Garden Mix and Compost?

Garden Mix often has Compost incorporated already meaning there is no need to add extra.

Is Topsoil good for a vegetable garden?

Topsoil mixed with Compost, Garden Mix or Vege Mix is great for a vegetable garden!

Can you fill a raised bed with just Compost?

No, this will not provide the optimal environment for your plants to thrive and will likely lack the proper drainage, texture, and nutrient make-up. We recommend Garden Mix or Vege Mix.