Moisture – Moisture in soils helps to hold them together which impacts their weight. For instance, a cubic yard of dry topsoil weighs approximately 2,000 pounds while the same soil when saturated with water weighs nearly 3,000 pounds. I’d advise you to buy topsoil on a dry day when it has not been affected by rain or any other moisture so that you get a good amount of it.

What does 1 yard of topsoil weigh?

How Much Does a Yard of Dirt Weigh? Average Topsoil Weight Everything you need to know to plan your next landscaping project and haul your dirt safely You’re driving your pickup to the landscaping supply store for a yard of topsoil to rehab your lawn when the thought hits you—how much is all that dirt going to weigh? Can my truck handle it safely? Did I order enough? The exact weight of a yard of dirt depends on its composition and how wet it is, but the average weights are consistent enough that you can plan your landscaping projects and dirt transportation accurately.

  • A cubic yard of loose, dry topsoil weighs around 2,100 lb (950 kg) depending on its composition. If it’s wet, it can be as much as 3,000 lb (1,400 kg).
  • A yard of topsoil usually costs between $10 and $50 and can cover a 100 square foot (9.3 square meters) area 3 in (7.6 cm) deep.
  • Transport up to 2 cubic yards in a full-size pickup truck yourself, or schedule larger, bulk deliveries in dump trucks.
  1. 1 A cubic yard (0.76 cubic meters) of dry topsoil weighs 2,100 lb (950 kg). This weight is a close estimation since the exact weight varies based on the type of soil, how wet it is, and what kinds of debris, rocks, or mulch are present. Topsoil is the uppermost layer of dirt that usually contains a mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter that can support plant life. If the topsoil is compacted, a yard of it can weigh around 2,700 lb (1,200 kg).
    • 2 yards of topsoil weighs about 4,200 lb (1,900 kg). To find the weight of multiple yards, multiply the weight of 1 yard by the total number of yards you need.
    • A yard of fill dirt (dirt that’s filtered for construction use and doesn’t contain any organic matter) is slightly heavier and weighs about 2,150 lb (980 kg).
    • If the topsoil is dry and sandy, it can weigh around 2,600 lb (1,200 kg) per cubic yard. Clay soil is lighter at around 1,700 lb (770 kg) per cubic yard.
    • Topsoil is used for most home and garden projects like raising flower beds, reshaping lawns, and adding more nutrients to your yard’s soil.
  2. 2 A yard of wet topsoil can weigh up to 3,000 lb (1,400 kg). If the soil is saturated with water after a rainy day, its weight increases dramatically. The moisture holds the bits of soil together and traps the water in the dirt until it slowly evaporates away. When you go out to, go on a dry day when moisture doesn’t impact the weight (it makes it easier to transport home, too).
    • As a general rule, the more moisture the soil contains, the heavier it will be.


  3. 3 Soil mixed with wood chips or compost weighs less than pure topsoil. Wood chips improve soil drainage, and a cubic yard of just wood chips only weighs around 1,000 lb (450 kg). Compost adds valuable nutrients for planting and weighs in around 1250 lbs (567 kg) per cubic yard. Any mixture of soil and wood chips or compost will be lighter than straight soil, with the exact weight depending on the ratio of soil to other material.
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  1. A cubic yard of topsoil costs $10 to $50. The exact price depends on the moisture content, delivery fees, and quality of the soil. Raw topsoil will be on the lower end of the price range, whereas soil that’s been filtered or has additives will be more expensive. If you’re buying in bulk, a 10-15 yard truck load of topsoil costs $150 to $500 (including delivery).
    • Half-yards of topsoil run for $10 to $30 for pickup, and 40 lb (18 kg) bags cost $2 to $6.
    • A cubic yard of fill dirt is generally cheaper and ranges from $7 to $12.
  1. 1 A yard covers 100 square feet (9.3 square meters), 3 in (7.6 cm) deep. To determine how many yards you need for your project, use a online or multiply the depth, width, and length (in feet) of your project area to of soil needed. Divide the number of cubic feet by 27 to get the cubic yards you need. For example:
    • Say you’re filling an area 5 ft (1.5 m) wide, 10 ft (3.0 m) long, and 6 in (15 cm) deep. Multiply 5 by 10 by 0.5 to get 25, then divide by 27 to get 0.93 cubic yards.
  2. 2 A yard of topsoil is equivalent to about 54 standard, Each bag is about 0.5 cubic feet (0.014 cubic meters), and since there’s 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard, this makes 54 bags per yard. This comes out to 2,160 lb (980 kg) of topsoil.
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  1. 1 A full-size pickup can haul 2 cubic yards 4,200 lb (1,900 kg) of topsoil. Double check your truck’s hauling capacity before you load it up with soil. If you’re pushing your weight limit, stay off of major highways and Interstates and try to keep your speed under 45 miles per hour (72 km per hour). Drive carefully with loaded trailers because of the risk of fishtailing.
    • Supply yards are usually pretty good at sizing up your truck and only loading a safe amount of material into the bed.
    • Small pickup trucks and trailers can usually haul 1 cubic yard of topsoil.
    • A small dump truck can carry about 5 cubic yards while a large one can haul 10 cubic yards or more.
  2. 2 It takes about 9 wheelbarrow loads to equal 1 yard of topsoil. Most medium-sized hold 3 cubic feet (0.085 cubic meters) of material, meaning you’d need to make 9 wheelbarrow trips back and forth from your topsoil stock to its final location. Each wheelbarrow load would weigh around 230 lb (100 kg), so making more, smaller trips might be easier!
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Question How do you order dirt for your yard? Landscape Designer Matt Daly is a Landscape Designer and the Founder of Water & Earth Landscape Design, which is based in both Richmond, Virginia, and San Jose, California. With nearly 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing outdoor living spaces, including patios, pools, and fireplaces. Matt also runs a blog where he educates homeowners about landscaping topics: He earned his Landscape Design & Horticulture Certification from The University of Richmond, where he also studied Sustainable Landscape Practices. There are a few ways to buy dirt for your yard. One would be to go to a big box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can buy as many bags as you think you need. This is the more expensive way to do it. Rather than going to a big box store to buy soil, it’s always better to look for your local stone yard or local mulch yard. You could get four times as much soil there for the same cost that you would spend at a big box store. There is a delivery fee for it but that’s the best place to get dirt. Another place you can get dirt from is by searching online. A lot of people do outside projects themselves and either they have dirt that they don’t want to haul somewhere themselves, so they give it away for free, or they order too much and then give it away.

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Advertisement This article was co-authored by and by wikiHow staff writer,, Matt Daly is a Landscape Designer and the Founder of Water & Earth Landscape Design, which is based in both Richmond, Virginia, and San Jose, California. With nearly 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing outdoor living spaces, including patios, pools, and fireplaces.

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  • Updated: June 27, 2023
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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 37,098 times. : How Much Does a Yard of Dirt Weigh? Average Topsoil Weight

How much does 1 2 yard of topsoil weigh?

How Much Does Topsoil Weigh – Topsoil is sold by the cubic yard and cubic foot. A dry cubic yard can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. A wet cubic yard can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Bulk topsoil is usually sold by the bucket or truckload. The bucket of the average front loader holds about 1/2 cubic yard.

How much does a yard of topsoil weigh in tons?

How much does a yard 3 of topsoil weigh? – A cubic yard of typical topsoil weighs about 2700 pounds or 1.35 tons. A square yard of a garden with a depth of 1 foot (30.48 cm) weighs about 900 pounds (410 kg) or slightly less than half a ton. The water content of the soil is assumed to be that of a moderately damp (e.g. freshly dug).

What is 1 yard of topsoil?

Bulk Soil –

  1. Bulk soil is measured in yards.
  2. 1 yard equals 27 cubic feet.
  3. Think about it as a cube that is 3′ X 3′ X 3′.
  4. All machinery that can load bulk soil is, by law, labeled as to the volume of the scoop.
  5. Our machine is 1/2 yard per scoop.

To calculate the amount of bulk soil you need, you need to:

  1. Figure out how many square feet you want to cover. This is length X width and is refered to as square feet.
  2. Decide how deep you want the soil or mulch to be, in inches.

Then you can follow this example to figure out what to get.

  • For example, you might have 220 square feet to cover and want to add 2 inches of mulch.
  • The formula is (220 X 2) divided by 324 (you’re just going to have to trust us on this number)= 1.36 yards.
  • Remember to add up to 25% more for settling.
  • So by multiplying 1.36 X 1.25 (how to add 25% more) it comes up to 1.70 yards.
  • You will probably be fine with 1.5 yards.

The formula is:

  • (area in square feet X depth of soil in inches) divided by 324 = total yards (X 1.25 to allow for settling).
  • If you need help, just call us at 281-440-5161.

Is topsoil heavier than gravel?

How Large is a Yard of Dirt or Gravel? Calculate How Much Dirt or Gravel You Need for Your Project When Gravel or Dirt suppliers ask how many yards you need they are talking about a cubic yard. A cubic yard is a measurement that is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. A cubic yard measures volume where a ton measures weight. A yard of topsoil usually weighs about 1,800 pounds and a yard of gravel usually weighs about 2,200 pounds.

What is the weight of 1 cubic Metre of topsoil?

How much does a cubic meter of soil weigh? – The weight of soil can vary enormously based on the volume of water it contains. One cubic metre of moderately damp soil (as freshly dug) soil weighs 1.3- 1.7 tonnes when dug, depending on how tightly packed it is. It should be noted that blended topsoil may be less dense and therefore closer to 900 litres or even 1 cubic metre to the tonne.

How much topsoil per m2?

To calculate how much topsoil you need, simply measure the dimensions of the area you wish to cover and multiply this by the depth required. Measuring in metres is simplest, as this will give you the volume of topsoil you need in cubic metres. For example: A site has an area of 10m x 15m and needs a coverage of 150mm.

How many yards is 2 tons of topsoil?

How much will 1 tonne of topsoil cover? – Topsoils can vary in screening sizes, therefore some topsoils may be denser than others. Generally speaking, 1 tonne of topsoil will cover 0.63 cubic metres or 22 cubic feet or 0.81 cubic yards. Our bags of topsoil come in sizes of 0.75m³, meaning you’ll get just over a tonne of soil per bag! If you take our Premium Topsoil for example, this equates to less than £50 per tonne of topsoil.

  • To see how much topsoil you need for your project, we’ve created a free topsoil calculator for you to use below.
  • If you want to know how topsoil is delivered, see our in-depth guide,
  • © Copyright 2023 | Alsoils + Ltd | All Rights Reserved Registered in England No.5699001 | 8 Spur Road, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire.


How thick should topsoil be?

Soil Depth is Crucial Topsoil is typically thought of as the top 6 inches of soil. We recommend adding at least 2 to 3+ inches of topsoil and rototilling it 2 to 3+ inches into the existing dirt to get the recommended 6 inches depth.

How many tons are in a yard?

To convert Cubic Yards to Tons*: Cubic Yards x 1.4 = Tons. To convert Tons to Cubic Yards*: Tons ÷ 1.4 = Cubic Yards.

How much does 1 ton of soil weigh?

1 cubic yard of dirt is equal to about 2,000 lbs or 1 ton, which is a lot of dirt.

Will 2 yards of soil fit in a pickup?

Can I haul a cubic yard in my pickup truck or trailer? – Sure, assuming it doesn’t weigh more than the truck or trailer is rated to handle. Supply yards are usually good at sizing up your vehicle, and loading a safe amount of material. Still, if you’re driving the load yourself, it’s important to understand your vehicle’s hauling capacity, as well as how your vehicle behaves when fully loaded. Trailers can be especially difficult, due to the risk of fishtailing. If you’re pushing the weight limit, stay off major highways and Interstates, and keep your speed under 45 mph.

Full-size Pickup Trucks: Can usually handle 2 cubic yards of soil, 2-3 cubic yards of mulch, and 1 cubic yard of stone or gravel. Small Pickups and Trailers: Can usually handle 1 cubic yard of soil to maybe 1½ of mulch. Dump Trucks: If you’re having the material delivered, a small dump truck usually carries about 5 cubic yards, and a larger one carries about 10 cubic yards or more.

How many kg is a cubic yard?

1 yd 3 / cu yd = 764.55 kg wt.

What is the difference between a yard and a cubic yard?

About Cubic Yards – Under the United States’ Customary System, 1 yard is equal to 3 feet or 36 inches. And a cubic yard is the volume of material that fits in a space that is 1 yard wide by 1 yard deep by 1 yard high. This is important because quite a few common materials are measured in cubic yards — here are some of them:

  • Concrete
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Rock
  • Fill dirt
  • Topsoil
  • Mulch
  • Compost

Regardless of the project, you will need a cubic yard calculator to find out how much of these materials you’ll need. Determining how much pea gravel you’ll need for hardscaping, for instance, is as simple as multiplying a space’s length, width and depth. To do that, you’ll need to convert all three dimensions to the same unit of measurement. But first, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • 3 feet are in 1 yard
  • 27 cubic feet are in 1 cubic yard (3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet)
  • 46,656 cubic inches are in 1 cubic yard (36 inches x 36 inches x 36 inches)

Now that you understand the basics, you can skip to the cubic yard calculator, or follow along with a sample project as we put this math into action!

How many years does it take to get 1 inch of topsoil?

Photo credit: visionshare Soil is the source of all life. Yet “we know more about soils of Mars than about soils of Africa,” says Pedro Sanchez, director of the Earth Institute’s Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program, To remedy this situation, the Earth Institute is taking part in an ambitious undertaking to map the world’s soils.

  • Soil provides nutrients that sustain plants for food and energy, and anchors their roots.
  • By absorbing, releasing and purifying most of the water on earth, it supplies us with drinking water, regulates excess rainfall and prevents floods.
  • Much of the planet’s biodiversity resides in the soil: it’s estimated that an acre of soil may contain 900 pounds of earthworms, 2400 pounds of fungi, 1500 pounds of bacteria, 133 pounds of protozoa, 890 pounds of arthropods and algae, and even sometimes small mammals.

One gram of soil may hold one billion bacteria, of which only 5 percent have been discovered. Soil acts as a buffer against pollutants such as heavy metals and excess nutrients. Moreover, soil is critical in helping slow climate change—as the largest carbon sink on land, it stores over three times more carbon than forests and other vegetation.

  • It can take 500 to 1,000 years for one inch of topsoil (the upper layer of soil containing the most organic matter and microorganisms) to form through the interaction of bedrock, climate, topography, and living organisms.
  • Soil erosion has always occurred naturally, but sometime during the 19th century, the rate of topsoil loss from erosion due to agriculture surpassed the rate of soil formation, according to Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute.

Today “soil is a threatened natural resource,” warns the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC – World Soil Information). Graphic: Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal Seventeen percent of the world’s soil has been “strongly degraded” and areas of degradation are growing. Unsustainable agricultural practices are the chief causes of land degradation: land clearing and deforestation to plant crops remove vegetation and change the composition of soils; over-tillage destroys the top layers of soil and hastens erosion; irrigation and soil drainage cause soil salinization after crops take up water and leave salt behind; excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers and acid rainfall acidify soils; pesticides and chemical fertilizers change the consistency of soil and destroy organisms that aerate the soil; and heavy farming equipment compacts soils. Dust storm in Australia. Photo: Ian Armstrong Huge dust bowls are now forming in northern and western China, western Mongolia, central Asia and in central Africa. In 2010, the United Nations reported that desertification affects 25 percent of earth’s land area and jeopardizes the livelihoods of over one billion people in 100 countries.

To feed the global population, now 7 billion and expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we will need 70 percent more food than we are currently producing (100 percent in some developing countries). Yet, a third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil at an alarming rate, resulting in lower crop yields.

For example, for each inch of topsoil that is lost in the U.S., wheat and corn yields decrease almost 6 percent. As temperatures rise due to climate change, desertification in dry areas will intensify, extreme weather events will multiply and ” agriculture will increasingly be out of sync with the climate system that shaped it,” according to Lester Brown.

  1. Each 1-degree Celsius rise in temperature above the optimum during the growing season, will likely result in a 10-percent decline in grain yields.
  2. In 1994,193 countries signed the U.N.
  3. Convention to Combat Desertification, acknowledging that soil and water conservation practices are necessary to increase biodiversity, help mitigate climate change and improve food security.

The sustainable land management practices needed to conserve soil and boost production have long been recognized: planting grass, leguminous crops (to add nitrogen) and trees for vegetative cover; strip cropping; no till and minimal till techniques; efficient irrigation strategies and the addition of organic matter and fertilizer.

  1. But knowing what to do when and where requires a thorough understanding of an area’s specific soil properties and of how different soils respond to different agricultural techniques—so access to methodologies, standardized tools, models and accurate and detailed up-to-date maps is key.
  2. Existing maps of the world’s soils, based on pre-computer age technology, are limited by low resolution and outdated information, or cover only a third of the planet’s ice-free surface.

For example, the FAO world soil map, created between the 1970s and the 1990s, has a scale of 1:5 million (1 inch on the map equals 5 million inches on the ground). Today high-resolution digital soil maps are being produced with new technologies. Digital soil maps are not actually maps in the traditional sense, but rather databases of soil properties compiled from the monitoring of soil and landscape characteristics through the use of technologies including satellite imagery, infrared spectroscopy (a way of analyzing the properties of soils by measuring their absorption of infrared radiation), methods of statistical modeling, field sampling of soils to predict the properties of soil in unsampled areas, enhanced pixel display, and the inclusion of historic information. AfSIS coverage. Graphic: AfSIS Under the auspices of the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) and the Consortium, the initial segment of the global soil mapping effort was launched in 2009 in sub-Saharan Africa, where 265 million people do not have enough food.

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture is leading the project, with major subgrants to the Earth Institute and the World Agroforestry Centre in collaboration with the International Soil Reference and Information Centre and numerous partners on the ground in more than 20 African countries.

The project is funded by an $18 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. The result will be a digital soil map 5 million times more detailed than the FAO soil map, of an area encompassing 42 countries and 90 percent of Africa’s population.

  • The map will also incorporate data on land use, farming systems, crop yields, extent of poverty, roads, etc.
  • The Earth Institute’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network is helping create information systems to collect, analyze, and distribute the data to a wide range of users.
  • The information will provide a baseline of soil conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, and aid in the development of evidence-based options for sustainable soil management.

Models will be able to predict the efficacy of different soil management strategies under different soil, climatic and socio-economic conditions. Pedro Sanchez, project director for AfSIS, says, “We are on track to release the digital soil maps of Africa in the next few monthsand a renewal of the Gates Foundation grant looks very promising.” A second phase of the project, which would be renamed AfricaSoils and begin in November, would focus on Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania, and concentrate on the data aspects of the project, as well as the development of and training; while on-the-ground field sampling efforts are being conducted by government agencies, like the Agricultural Transformation Agency in Ethiopia.

In addition, a new tool called lab-in-the-box will soon enable soil samples to be analyzed in the field with data sent via smartphone apps as well as text messaging, avoiding the time-consuming process of sending samples to a lab for results. Consortium partners are also developing digital soil maps in : East Asia, EurAsia, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Oceania, and Central-West Africa/North Africa.

The wealthier regions have already begun work, while Latin America, the Mid-East and East Asia are looking for funding. A Ugandan farmer. Photo: Neil Palmer CIAT The digital soil maps will be made available online for free, and have many uses in different regions. For example, they will enable governments to anticipate and plan for the fertilizer needs of their farmers, determine the scope of their countries’ erosion and estimate costs to combat it, and help scientists predict the effects of climate change.

Farmers will be able to use the information to figure out the right strategies for their own soils, such as how best to manage fertilizer application rates, inputs of organic matter, irrigation, use of legume planting and tillage techniques. Says Sanchez, “The digital soil maps will make a huge difference in what you can recommend for use with different kinds of soil, and for helping with climate change, water resources and biodiversity.

And most importantly, it will help determine where you put your investments to get people out of hunger in Africa.”

How deep is a yard of topsoil?

Calculate How Much Topsoil You Need – A new lawn, garden or flowerbed requires from 3 to 8 inches of topsoil. One cubic yard covers 100 square feet to a depth of 3 inches. Your landscape company can help you calculate how much you need and a number of topsoil calculators can be found on the internet. If you want to tackle the math yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the length and width of your project.
  2. Length X width = square footage.
  3. Convert the depth requirement to a fraction of a foot. Example: 3 inches = 1/4 foot or,25
  4. Square footage X depth = cubic feet
  5. Divide by 27 to get cubic yards

How big is 20 yards of topsoil?

A cubic yard is a dirt pile 3 feet wide, 3 feet long and 3 feet tall, so 20 cubic yards is a pile 15 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 3 feet tall.

Is topsoil better than garden soil?

Gardening Soil – Whereas topsoil is better suited for a wide range of projects, gardening soil usually fits more of a niche need, sometimes even plant-specific needs. Gardening soil is a combination of a mixture of soils and textures that is designed to target a specific type of gardening project.

Is topsoil better than compost?

Whilst compost has more nutrients than topsoil, topsoil isn’t without its advantages. Topsoil is far better at retaining its structure and holds much needed moisture far longer than compost. It is also generally cheaper.

How much topsoil is in a ton?

4) How much is a ton of topsoil? Since one ton of topsoil is equivalent to 0.75 cubic yards, or 20 cubic feet, the cost of topsoil would be between $7.50 and $37.50 per ton, depending on where you live.

What is the weight of 1 cubic Metre of topsoil?

How much does a cubic meter of soil weigh? – The weight of soil can vary enormously based on the volume of water it contains. One cubic metre of moderately damp soil (as freshly dug) soil weighs 1.3- 1.7 tonnes when dug, depending on how tightly packed it is. It should be noted that blended topsoil may be less dense and therefore closer to 900 litres or even 1 cubic metre to the tonne.

How much is 4 yards of top soil?

Loam Prices

Loam $ Per Yard Screened Loam/Top Soil can be used for plantings or new lawn install.
1 to 12 Yards $45.00 4 yds
13 to 24 Yards $43.00 16 yds

What does 1 yard of black dirt weigh?

1 cubic yard of dirt is equal to about 2,000 lbs or 1 ton, which is a lot of dirt.

How do you calculate a yard of topsoil?

Length in feet x Width in feet x Depth in feet (inches divided by 12). Take the total and divide by 27 (the amount of cubic feet in a yard). The final figure will be the estimated amount of cubic yards required.