Soil for flowerbeds

We recently moved into a new house and just finished redesigning our small backyard. We have paved most of it, but left two 1 yard wide strips for flowerbeds. We now need to add soil to the flowerbeds to raise the ground's level and create an environment our plants can flourish in. I need some help figuring out what to fill the flowerbeds with. I've done a tiny bit of research and looks like the best option is to use a mix of non-organic and organic matter. I need some advice on how to go about the selection of both. For non-organic, I am thinking about ordering "screened topsoil" from a local landscaping shop. Is that usually good enough for flowers, herbs and bushes (which is what we intend to grow)? Another option is buying some type of potting mix from Lowes, but it seems much more expensive (I need a good 2 cubic yards). As for organic matter, compost and peat moss are mentioned most. Do I need both? In what proportions should I mix them? Any other advice relevant to the subject would be highly appreciated. Thanks.
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Don't order any topsoil until you go check it out. Pick some up and spit into your fingers and rub the soil, if it sticks, like clay, don't buy it, if it feels sandy, depending on how much, not like a beach, decide then. The best thing is to start your own compost pile, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, coffee grinds, etc. or purchase some composted cow manure and mix that into the soil if you want to get started right away. Some manure has a lot of filler so just buy a couple of bags at first. Different stores sell different manufacturer's and they are not all the same. They do have mushroom compost that smells and is expensive. You don't have to rush you can add compost year after year.
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On Thu, 21 May 2009 13:00:22 -0700 (PDT), Andrei Outkine

Good topsoil and compost is what I would use, and till it in. Peat moss is okay, but compost is better as it provides more micronutrients. It may be cheaper to have a truckload delivered than to buy bags. Get a soil test done to find out what fertilizers you may need. Peat moss may lower the pH, so you may need some lime. Compost tends to neutralize acidic or alkaline soil. Adding other ammendments may be good depending on the specific plants you intend to grow. It is difficult to add too much compost but easy to add too much of other things. Unless you have lots of extra money forget the potting mix.
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