How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh?

By Ann Sanders | Soil Care

How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh

Now that you have figured out that you need topsoil to plant your new garden or yard how much of it do you need to make or buy? How much does a yard of topsoil weigh?

These are some of the issues that are likely to be running through your mind as you prepare to start some new plants and this is more so if you intend to buy the topsoil. It is always more affordable and convenient to buy all the soil you need at a go, and you also do not want to waste any leftovers.

​Topsoil is vital for the growth of any plant as it supplies up to 80% of all the nutrients and essential minerals that they need to grow and so it is always important to get enough of it. But, if you do not know how to measure it, things can be a little challenging.

The good news is that you can always find some online dirt calculators. However, these will in most cases only provide a rough estimate and so to get reliable data you need to know how much a yard of soil weighs.

​What Determines Topsoil Weight

The soil composition is the first thing that will define the weight of the topsoil. Topsoil that is fine and sifted will tend to be lighter than one that is full of large rocks or has not been through sifting. And so where you get the soil from determines the weight.

How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh

If you get it from a construction site where they only dig it out and transport it the chances are that a yard will be heavier than what you get when you opt to buy from companies that specialize in selling high-quality topsoil.

​Moisture content is the other factor that determines the topsoil weight. The more the amount of moisture in the soil the heavier it will be. For example, if you buy a cubic yard of topsoil in the dry summer months it will be significantly lighter than what you would get in damper spring months.

​If you go for topsoil that has amendments such as compost and manure, it will likely be lighter than the natural one straight from the ground without any alterations in its compositions. And this is because the organic matter and minerals will be lighter but take up same or more space than the core soil constituents.

​So How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh?

One cubic yard will weigh about a ton (2000 pounds), but this will vary widely according to the moisture content because in the dry summer months it can weigh as little as 1700 pounds or even less. But, how you calculate it might also affect the weight of a cubic yard that you will get.

How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh

​Before you determine the weight of your topsoil, you will need to understand a few important things. First is that 1 cubic yard of soil is equal to 27 cubic feet. Secondly, a cubic foot of soil is equivalent to 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches. And so if you have a garden that is 14 ft by 14 ft and about 6 inches thick you can determine the amount of soil that you need by following the three simple steps below.

Step 1: Converts all the dimensions to feet (6/12=0.5).

Step 2: Multiply your numbers (which are in feet) to determine the total cubic feet in your garden. It is a simple calculation as you only need to multiply the three numbers (0.5 x 14 x 14= 98 cubic feet).

Step 3: You should then divide the cubic feet that you get with the total number of cubic feet present in a cubic yard (1=27), and the result (98/27=3.63 cubic yard) is what you will need for your garden or yard.

For irregularly shaped gardens things might be a little harder than those with a regular shape. One way to go around this problem involves dividing the garden into regular sections, calculating for each and then combining everything to determine how much topsoil you will need.

​Buying Topsoil Wisely

Once you figure out how much a yard of topsoil weighs and how much you need for your garden the other important thing is to know how to buy the best. Before you spend your money on any topsoil, it is important to inspect it keenly. Also, you should ask the seller some important questions like the source to determine whether it will be appropriate for your gardening needs.

How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh

​It is always vital for gardeners to know whether the soil is sifted or not and the amendments if any that it contains. In most instances, topsoil sellers will add compost and manure to improve its quality.

​If you plan to use the soil in your vegetable garden, it is important to avoid those with biosolids since these will contain chemicals and heavy metals. It is also wise to do the squeeze test (squeezing a handful of soil in your hand) to determine the type of soil and moisture content and also ask for the PH soil test kit results.

​Conclusion

Knowing the weight of a yard of topsoil is important when buying this essential soil since it ensures that you get enough and good quality one. Also, knowing how to calculate the amount you need based on the size of the garden helps to prevent wastage and inconveniences. But, the ultimate goal should always be to make sure that you get the best quality since it is what will determine the growth and health of your plants.

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About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...