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I bet that when you first started gardening, you didn’t think you would need maths!
As topsoil is an essential part of any gardening or landscaping project, you should know how much a yard of topsoil weigh.
Topsoil weighs between 1,400 and 2,700 pounds on average, but this depends on moisture content and density. Different materials can be added to improve density, so the weight varies.
All the calculations provided below will help you determine how best to transport topsoil to your home.
Let’s dig deeper!
How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh
One cubic yard of topsoil weighs between 1,400 and 2,700 pounds on average, and what we add to the topsoil will determine its exact weight.
The materials that commonly influence soil weight are:
• Wood chips.
Each material, along with the type of soil, will change the weight of topsoil.
40 pounds of topsoil will cover approximately 0.75 cubic feet.
What Is Topsoil
It will be easier to follow this article if you know the exact definition of topsoil.
First, topsoil is the top layer of dirt on the earth’s surface.
The distance between the surface and the end of the topsoil layer is approximately 4 to 12 inches.
The essential thing about topsoil is that it contains organic matter and the correct amount of nutrients needed for healthy plant growth. The best example is humic acid which is great for lawns.
The topsoil contains nitrogen and carbon, among many other nutrients. That’s why it’s the best choice for gardening or any other outdoor project related to planting commonly done by homeowners.
Different organic materials will give more oxygen to plants and encourage the healthy growth of roots.
Topsoil has a bigger chance of breaking down from collapsing air pockets, which is why it shouldn’t be a structural or supporting layer. The best thing would be to use it as the topmost layer in landscaping projects.
You can add different things to topsoil to improve its quality, such as compost based on loam or fertilizer. By using this method, you can increase the number of nutrients in the soil.
If you use the things above, you will get garden soil in just a few months.
Fill Dirt vs. Topsoil
The two main types of dirt are fill dirt and topsoil.
Fill dirt contains rockier, less organic material.
Fill dirt doesn’t break down as topsoil, so it is used to fill holes, gaps, and divots.
Another advantage of fill dirt is that it’s more resistant to erosion than topsoil.
However, topsoil improves the activity of microorganisms and ensures the plants get enough oxygen, which makes it the best choice for gardening.
To get the best soil quality, use a combination of both by putting a layer of fill dirt and then adding topsoil when it sets.
Now we’ve finished with all that, let’s see how much a yard of dirt weigh.
How Many Cubic Yards of Topsoil Will I Need?
3 factors influence the weight of a cubic yard of topsoil:
• Soil moisture: the topsoil will weigh more, so you should purchase it on a dry day.
• Materials used: Dry and sandy soil will weigh more than dry clay soil (a cubic yard of sandy, dry soil weighs about 2,600 pounds, and a cubic yard of dry clay soil weighs up to 1,700 pounds).
• Compost vs. woodchips – Topsoil with woodchips will weigh less than topsoil with compost.
The unit we use for measuring topsoil is cubic yards.
Before we move on to methods of measuring topsoil, let’s revise:
Cubic yard = 27 cubic feet
Cubic foot = 12x12x12 inches
To precisely calculate how many cubic yards of topsoil you’ll need, you should consider measuring the area where you want to use topsoil.
By multiplying the measurements, you’ll get the overall cubic feet.
Here’s a video:
The methods below are used to measure topsoil.
For example, if the dimensions of the flower bed are 6 inches in depth, 12 feet in length, and 12 feet in width, to get the amount of topsoil you need, follow these steps:
• First, you should convert all measurements to feet: 6 inches = 0.5 feet
• Multiply the dimensions to find the number of cubic feet: 0.5 x 2 x 12 feet = 72 cubic feet.
• Divide the number of cubic feet by 27 to find the number of cubic yards:
72 cubic feet/27 cubic feet = 2.67 cubic yards
2.67 cubic yards will cover your flower bed
This can be seen as an equation for determining the amount of topsoil you need.
Again, we will use the exact dimensions of the flower bed: 6 inches in depth, 12 feet in length, and 12 feet in width.
• First, convert the measurements of feet and inches into yards.
6 inches = 0.167 yards (there are 36 inches in a yard)
12 feet = 4 yards (there are 3 feet in a yard)
• To find the number of cubic yards, multiply the dimensions in the yard.
0.167 yards x 4 yards x 4 yards = 2.67 cubic yards.
If you feel you won’t get precise cubic yard calculations, you can use an online calculator.
How Much Does 1 Cubic Yard Weigh?
One cubic yard of topsoil weighs about 1,080 pounds. There are 27 cubic square feet in a cubic yard.
This is an average weight because debris or moisture can increase its weight, and on the other hand, clay or sand may reduce the weight.
Topsoil weight is more consistent compared to fill dirt as topsoil contains fewer sediments.
How To Measure A Cubic Yard Of Dirt Using Wheelbarrows
The size of your wheelbarrows is a crucial factor in determining how many wheelbarrows are in a yard of topsoil.
For example, a standard wheelbarrow can hold about 3 cubic feet per load.
Therefore, you’ll need approximately 9 to 14 full wheelbarrows loads to equal a cubic yard of topsoil.
How Many Yards Of Topsoil Can Fit In My Dump Truck?
When buying topsoil, you will be offered a few different transportation methods. Of course, you can always transport it yourself.
If you decide to transport it yourself, you’ll need some math again! You’ll need to know the weight of your vehicle.
A pickup truck can handle approximately 2 cubic yards of topsoil (if you have a full-sized pickup truck: 8 feet long, 5.33 feet wide, and 1.5 feet high).
However, if you have a smaller pickup truck, you will probably be able to transport 1 cubic yard of topsoil to your home.
On the other hand, a smaller dump truck can hold 5 cubic yards of soil, whereas a larger truckload will weigh 10 cubic yards.
I would like to share my story with topsoil and wheelbarrows so that you don’t make the same mistake.
I ordered topsoil online and didn’t think much about the location of my garden and where I told the manufacturers to deliver it. You’ve probably guessed how the story ended… It took me a really long time to transport the topsoil to my garden using wheelbarrows. I ordered 2 cubic yards of topsoil, which makes 18 wheelbarrows!
How many 40lb bags of topsoil are in a yard?
A cubic foot of topsoil weighs approximately 40 pounds. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard, and therefore, there are 27 40-pound bags of topsoil. For raised beds, the calculations are 20 bags of soil sold in bags containing 2 cubic feet of dirt each.
How many yards are in a ton of topsoil?
A ton of condensed topsoil is approximately 0.750 cubic yards or 20 cubic feet. You can use one of the two methods provided in our article to calculate yards. Then you multiply cubic yards by 1.4 and get the approximate number of yards in a ton of topsoil.
What does 5 yards of topsoil weigh?
5 yards of topsoil weighs about 2,700 lb, and this is the result if the standard soil density is 100 lbs/ft3. Bear in mind that the topsoil’s materials and moisture levels will influence the calculations.
What Does It Cost To Buy A Yard Of Topsoil?
Topsoil costs $12-50 per cubic yard. When compared to fill dirt, topsoil is more expensive. If you decide to buy fill dirt, you will have to pay $8-12. Here we have to mention that you will have to pay $35-$50 per yard of mulch.
There is a lot of math in this article. If you aren’t a math-lover, you may want to skip the calculations and use an online tool.
We provided you with the answer to “how much does a yard of topsoil weigh?”, and it will help you determine how much topsoil you need for your projects.
Additionally, you will get an insight to determining which vehicle to use to transport the topsoil.
Now that you know everything about topsoil, don’t hesitate to use it!
Until next time!
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