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Soil: Darien (IL) Gardens, Lawns & Landscapes

soil topsoil landscape curb appeal

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Research Group analyzed the Return on Investment (ROI) of various landscaping projects and yard upgrades. It also surveyed homeowners to assess how much enjoyment each upgrade provides, assigning each project a “joy” score.2

The 2023 NAR study results show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve a decent ROI. Even maintaining your yard well can boost the value of your Darien home.

landscape projectThe study’s top five projects in terms of landscaping ROI include:

1) lawn care (a healthy, weed-free lawn)

2) lawn maintenance (pruned trees and bushes, edged garden beds, fresh mulch)

3) outdoor kitchen (built-in grills, sinks, etc.)

4) overall landscape upgrade (add hardscape, flowering trees, vegetable garden)

5) patio upgrade (create an outdoor seating and gathering area)

Investing in your outdoor Darien landscape is money well spent. Whether your target project this year is the lawn, landscape planting beds or a new flower or vegetable garden, Tim Wallace Soil Mix Supply has a soil blend that will help you achieve the look, function and ROI you have in mind.

Darien (IL) Lawn Care & Maintenance: Repair

fluffy green grassSeveral different issues might cause a lawn that needs repair, such as:

1) more weeds than grass

2) too many bare spots

3) thin grass

4) poor results from chemical fertilizers

5) grass that’s not a healthy shade of deep green

If any (or all) of these problems are present in your yard, it may be time for our Lawn Repair Mix. We also offer some great tips for addressing these repair issues.

lawn repair mixOur Lawn Repair Mix combines the three most important materials you’ll need to get your lawn looking great again: topsoil, fine sand and organic compost.


Grass grows best in good soil. Topsoil (screened and pulverized black dirt) is the cornerstone of a lawn with healthy grass. Over time, however, nutrients in the soil can leach out or be used up by the grass. A fresh layer of topsoil can rejuvenate a tired, nutrient-depleted lawn.

Fine Sand

Sand helps reduce soil compaction. Fine sand assists in water and moisture retention.


Organic compost is simply recycled plant-based material that is well-suited for both the lawn and the garden. You have several options for adding compost to your lawn.

Mushroom compost generally consists of composted straw, horse manure and peat. It too can be used in either the lawn or the garden. However, composted horse manure that has been aged and turned regularly is an option best suited for the garden. Our compost of choice for lawn repair is the nationally known Purple Cow Classic Organic Compost.

Purple Cow Organics logoThe proven and time-tested Purple Cow Compost adds beneficial microbes, carbon and balanced nutrients to your lawn or garden soil. A 100% plant-based and organic component, it also improves soil structure and porosity in creating a better plant-root environment; reinforces nutrient retention and use; and reduces nutrient loss caused by leaching. The weed-, seed- and pathogen-free Purple Cow further includes humus to assist in soil aggregation and nutrient availability for the plant.

For repairing an existing lawn, we recommend:

Lawn Repair Mix

50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% Purple Cow Classic Organic Compost

pro series soil blendsPRO-SERIES Lawn Repair Mix

50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% Purple Cow plus 40 lbs. PENNMULCH® per yard

The PENNMULCH seed accelerator in our PRO-SERIES Lawn Repair Mix is a pelleted seeding mulch uniquely formulated to include starter fertilizer (equivalent of 10-20-5) to support quick grass-seed germination to establish new or repaired turf.

Adaptable to any soil type, PENNMULCH is ideal for establishing a thicker, healthier lawn in one convenient application. When PENNMULCH gets wet, it expands and then dries, holding the seed in place. This will provide an almost 100% seed germination rate, resulting in nice, full turf. It also is safe for people, pets and the environment.

When combined with a Tim Wallace lawn soil blend, this product is perfect for homeowners, turf professionals, golf course superintendents, athletic field managers and landscapers.

Darien (IL) Lawn Care & Maintenance: Unevenness, Bumps and Dips

uneven turf keep off grassAreas of unevenness in your Darien lawn can be both a nuisance and a danger. Mowing across bumpy turf produces unsightly results as some grass remains uncut as the mower dumps up and drops down. Low spots in your lawn tend to leave grass looking scalped.

Then there’s the challenge of trying to mow in a straight line. The result is a lawn that looks like it was mowed with the aid of a blindfold. More important, dips and raised spots in the lawn can also be a safety hazard that can lead to trips and falls.

Regular topsoil is fine for filling in low spots with depths greater than 3″. Adding fine sand to the topsoil as golf-course turf pros do will establish a silky-smooth soil blend perfect for leveling lawns at depths between ½” and 3″. This topdressing blend spreads easily, holds it depth and contributes to overall lawn improvement.

For leveling your lawn, Tim Wallace Soil Mix Supply offers the following options:

Topdressing lawn with rakeTopsoil: When you need to level at depths greater than 3″, topsoil is the best choice.

Topdressing Mix (also great for laying sod): 50% topsoil, 50% fine sand

Darien (IL) Lawn Care & Maintenance: Overseeding

overseedingOur Topdressing Mixes are an ideal medium for germinating grass seed. Simply add a starter fertilizer and water regularly. If you desire a non-chemical or more “natural” approach, try one of our lawn soil blends incorporating compost, PENNMULCH or peat.

Tim’s Original Garden Mix turns up the power of our Topdressing Mix with the addition of organic compost. When you’re overseeding your lawn, the mushroom compost in both the Enriched Topsoil Mix and the Premium Topsoil Mix provides optimal topdressing as opposed to simply covering the seed with topsoil.

Acting as a type of slow-release, organic plant fertilizer, the mushroom compost in the Enriched Topsoil Mix and the Premium Topsoil Mix also helps hold moisture against the seeds so they can germinate faster while preventing birds from eating them and wind from scattering them.

We offer several different blends for overseeding your lawn in Darien:

overseeding lawnTim’s Original Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% organic compost

Topdressing Mix (also a perfect base for laying sod)
50% topsoil, 50% fine sand

Enriched Topsoil Mix
50% topsoil, 50% mushroom compost

Premium Topsoil Mix
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% mushroom compost

Peat Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% peat

Peat Topdressing Mix (also a perfect base for laying sod or overseeding)
50% topsoil, 50% peat

PRO-SERIES Topdressing Mix
50% topsoil, 50% fine sand, 40 lbs. PENNMULCH per yard

Darien (IL) Overall Landscape Upgrade: Add a Vegetable Garden

soil for vegetable gardensMore Darien homeowners are discovering the many benefits of a home vegetable garden. When you grow and harvest your own food, you know where it came from, how it’s been grown, how long it’s traveled from harvest to table and especially how great the produce tastes. The garden becomes a focal point for quality outdoor family time.

Potential Darien home buyers often consider an established garden a value-added home amenity.

A soil blend for your vegetable garden should control moisture, provide an appropriate planting media and include a healthy organic amendment.

optimal soil blend waterMoisture control. Vegetable gardens need a lot of moisture, and a good soil mix with plenty of organic matter holds more of it. We need to be careful, though – too much moisture can lead to detriments such as soggy soil and root rot. So can using the wrong kind of sand.

Coarse sand will better support water drainage in raised garden beds, which can hold water and turn soggy, leading to root rot. Because it helps retain moisture, fine sand is better for in-ground gardens and lawns. Unless a soil mix already includes composted horse manure, adding sand also helps produce a smooth blend that’s easy work with. Another great product for moisture retention is a soil blend that incorporates peat.

Proper planting media. A good garden soil proceeds from a quality topsoil (screened and pulverized black dirt). However, even a great topsoil alone will fall short of what’s required for the garden to thrive.

Organic compost. When you amend your topsoil with vibrant natural compost, superb results will follow. Where fertilizer feeds the plants, compost feeds the soil. However, while compost adds important nutrients for good soil health, too much can hurt plants and burn tender roots. Tim Wallace includes the right compost ratio in each garden mix with your best results in mind.

food starts with good soil vegetablesTim’s Original Garden Mix (great for in-the-ground gardens)
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% organic compost

Premium Garden Mix (also great for in-the-ground gardens)
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% Purple Cow Classic Organic Compost

Peat Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% peat

Enriched Vegetable Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 50% composted horse manure

Raised Bed Mix (best option for an above-ground garden bed)
50% topsoil, 25% coarse sand, 25% organic compost

Premium Raised Bed Mix (super-charged with Purple Cow Compost)
50% topsoil, 25% coarse sand, 25% Purple Cow Classic Organic Compost

Mix & Till Blends (for gardens with a sufficient amount of good black dirt)
50% sand (fine or coarse), 50% compost or peat


Darien (IL) Overall Landscape Upgrade: Establish a Flower or Perennial Garden

perennial flower gardenFlowers are a cost-effective, dazzling way to raise your Darien home’s curb appeal – and your ROI. Flowers infuse your yard with visual excitement and color, complement your home’s architectural style and call to the eye of passers-by. They also make your home look even more friendly and welcoming.

Creating a healthy, flourishing flower garden isn’t simply a matter of dropping some plants into the dirt and watching them blossom. Having the right kind of garden soil for your flowers is crucial for their health, growth and overall bloom development. Generally, most flowering plants do best in loose and well-drained soil with plenty of organic material.

When planting your flowers in containers, choose an all-purpose potting mix to allow for optimal growing conditions and prevent root rot and damage. When you’re planting flowers into an in- or above-ground garden, select a specifically blended garden soil.

At Tim Wallace Soil Mix Supply we offer you several flower and perennial garden options:

flower garden premium mixTim’s Original Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 25% organic compost, 25% fine sand
Even the best compost can dry out quickly, so mixing it with topsoil and fine sand is a great way to provide balanced bedding for flowers and plants. This mixture gives you the best of all worlds since topsoil offers a robust home for roots with plenty of water, compost provides a nutrient boost and sand helps with soil porosity and water retention.

Peat Garden Mix (great for annual flowers too)
50% topsoil, 25% fine sand, 25% peat

Premium Garden Mix
50% topsoil, 25% Purple Cow Classic Organic Compost, 25% fine sand
Our Premium Garden Mix will save you both time and effort as everything your flowers need – a prepared blend of high-quality black dirt, fine sand and naturally fertilized soil – is ready to be spread into your Darien garden.

Perennial Garden Mix

50% pine bark fines, 50% organic compost
A 50-50 blend of organic compost and aged pine bark mulch offers a great formula for a lively and productive perennial garden bed. To help your plants grow, bloom and thrive, the compost provides the soil with essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This should also raise the soil pH for the growing season. The material helps retain soil moisture and even prevents diseases as well.

Darien (IL) Overall Landscape Upgrade: Trees & Shrubs

tree plant topsoil nutrientsWhen it comes to obtaining a great ROI, properly placed trees and shrubs within your yard add annual value as they grow and mature.

When you’re planting newly purchased trees, shrubs and bushes, they will be under stress, often referred to as “transplant shock.” One of the best ways to lessen this shock is to supply extra water and nutrients into your planting hole or bedding area.

Your Darien planting area’s existing soil will likely have lost many nutrients over the years. Adding fresh topsoil and compost gives your trees, shrubs or bushes the nutrient boost they’re looking to find; loose soil in which to comfortably spread their roots; and a good soil structure for water flow and drainage.

Landscape Planting Mix

50% topsoil, 50% organic compost

The top layer of any soil above the bedrock, topsoil is the most nutrient-rich layer of naturally occurring soil. Good-quality topsoil mixed with the right amount of organic matter is essential for growing healthy trees, shrubs and bushes. This mix’s 50-50 ratio provides the perfect balance.

soil blendEnriched Topsoil Mix

50% topsoil, 50% mushroom compost

If your aim is to increase the accessible phosphorus for your fruit-bearing trees, shrubs and bushes, this is your mix. The mushroom compost’s blend of composted straw, composted horse manure and peat provides greater available natural phosphorus that reaches down to the plant roots to promote bloom and fruit development.

Soil Mix Supply for Darien (IL) Lawns & Gardens: Contact Us Today

Whether your target project for your Darien home is the lawn, landscape planting beds or a new flower or vegetable garden, Tim Wallace Soil Mix Supply has a soil blend that will help you achieve the look, function and ROI you desire. To find out more about the right “topsoil or garden soil near me,” call us at (630) 759-1080!

1 Cynthia Paez Bowman and Lara Vukelich, August 3, 2023, “Does landscaping increase home value?”

2 Stephens, Hannah, June 25, 2023, “What Backyard Improvements Yield the Best ROI?”

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