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How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh? Let’s Find Out!

What does a yard of topsoil weigh? According to Grow Your Yard, a cubic yard of topsoil can weigh 1,400 to over 2,000 pounds. The exact answer depends on the soil’s moisture and whether it contains rocks, sand, debris, or other impurities. 40 pounds of topsoil fill about 0.75 cubic feet.

How much does a yard of topsoil weigh, and how do you find how much you need? The answer to the first question depends on what’s in the soil, and the answer to the second requires a little math. 

In this article, I’ll explain what topsoil is, how to measure it, what a cubic yard looks like, and how much topsoil weighs.

Fill Dirt Vs Topsoil

There are two main types of dirt: fill dirt and topsoil. The former lies below topsoil and is typically composed of rockier, less organic material. It’s often used to fill holes or elevate the ground. It provides a sturdier base because it doesn’t break down as much as topsoil.

Topsoil is the darker-colored, uppermost layer of dirt. It’s typically 4 to 12 inches deep and has more organic material and nutrients than fill dirt. Most soil activity by microorganisms happens in this layer. This and that fact that it provides more oxygen to plants makes it better for gardening. 

However, because it contains more organic matter, topsoil tends to break down as air pockets collapse. This makes it suitable only for the uppermost layer of a landscape. It’s also more vulnerable than fill dirt to erosion. Therefore, always place topsoil over fill dirt after the fill dirt has been set.

Measuring Topsoil

Topsoil is typically measured in cubic yards. A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, and a cubic foot is 12x12x12 inches.

Dirt Connections outlines two methods you can use to determine how much topsoil you need:

Method 1

Suppose you have a flower bed that’s 6 inches deep, 12 feet long, and 12 feet wide. Follow these steps:

  1. Convert All Measurements To Feet

    Six inches is equivalent to 0.5 feet.

  2. Find The Number Of Cubic Feet By Multiplying The Dimensions

    An example calculation would be 0.5 x 2 x 12 feet = 72 cubic feet.

  3. Find The Number Of Cubic Yards By Dividing The Number Of Cubic Feet

    Divide the number of cubic feet by 27.72 cubic feet / 27 cubic feet = 2.67 cubic yards to fill your flower bed.

Method 2

Suppose you have a flower bed with the same dimensions as before, try the following steps:

  1. Convert The Measurements Of Feet And Inches Into Yards

There are 36 inches in a yard, so six inches is 0.167 yards. There are 3 feet in a yard, so 12 feet is 4 yards.

  1. Multiply The Dimensions In Yards To Find The Number Of Cubic Yards

Assuming the same values, an example calculation would be 0.167 yards x 4 yards x 4 yards = 2.67 cubic yards.

How Much Does Topsoil Weigh?

A scale for weighing topsoil
Image credit:

According to Dirt Connections, a cubic yard of topsoil weighs about 1,080 pounds. However, debris and moisture can make it heavier. Grow Your Yard states that topsoil can weigh between 1,400 and 2,000 or more pounds. Because topsoil contains less sediment than fill dirt, its weight tends to be more consistent.

Because 1,080 is such a heavy load, Dirt Connections recommends always having a company deliver dirt to your home.

What Does A Cubic Yard Look Like?

Greg of Adams Fairacre Farms explains that 1 cubic yard of anything will fill a 10×10-foot space, 3 inches deep:

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To fill a large garden area, he recommends buying soil, mulch, stones, etc. in bulk instead of in bags. Not only is this more convenient, but it can save you money.

In this video by Patuxent Nursery, you can see what a cubic yard of mulch looks like in a pickup truck:

YouTube player

At 2:24, you can see the same amount on a blue tarp.


How Much Does 2 Cubic Feet Of Topsoil Weigh?

A cubic foot of topsoil weighs about 40 pounds, so two cubic feet of topsoil weighs about 80 pounds. The amount of moisture and debris in the soil can affect its weight. If your topsoil contains rocks, here’s how to remove them.

What Does 1 Yard Of Topsoil Look Like?

A yard of topsoil spread to a depth of one inch covers 324 square feet, whereas the same amount spread to a depth of three inches covers 100 square feet.

How Many Wheelbarrows Are In A Yard Of Dirt?

The number of wheelbarrows in a yard of dirt depends on the size of your wheelbarrow. Soil Building Systems states that it takes 9 to 14 wheelbarrow loads to equal a cubic yard of dirt.

How Much Does A Yard Of Dirt Cost?

How much a yard of dirt costs depends on what type you’re buying. Fill dirt costs $8-15 per cubic yard, whereas topsoil costs $12-50 per cubic yard.

What Does 20 Quarts Of Soil Weigh?

There are 30 US liquid quarts in a cubic foot, and a cubic foot of topsoil weighs about 40 pounds. Therefore, 20 quarts of topsoil weigh about 26.74 pounds.

How Many 40lb Bags Of Topsoil Are In A Yard?

Since a cubic foot of topsoil weighs about 40 pounds, and there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard, there are 27 40-pound bags of topsoil in a cubic yard.

A Cubic Yard Of Topsoil Is Heavy

How much does a yard of topsoil weigh? Depending on its moisture and whether it contains rocks, sand, debris, and/or other impurities, it can weigh from 1,400 pounds to over 2,000 pounds. 

To determine how much topsoil you need for your project, first determine the length, width, and depth/height of the space you want to fill. Then:

  • Convert the measurements to feet.
  • Multiply them to find the number of cubic feet.
  • Divide this number by 27 to find the number of cubic yards you need.

If you have questions, please share them in the comments!

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About The Author

Cole Trahan

Cole Trahan is a gardening enthusiast, and he has been doing gardening as a hobby for more than 10 years. He lives in South Georgia in a house and enjoys tending his garden on regular basis. He also enjoys writing and here, on, he could combine his both passions! Follow him on LinkedIn.

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