How Much Does a Yard of Topsoil Weigh? Size, Cost and More

Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil that contains most of the organic matter and microorganisms that support plant life. Knowing how much a yard of topsoil weighs is important for estimating how much you need for projects like starting a garden or filling in low spots in your yard. The weight of a yard of topsoil depends on several factors, including soil composition and moisture content.

Average Weight of a Yard of Topsoil

On average, a yard of pure topsoil weighs around 1.25-1.5 tons, or 2500-3000 pounds. However, the exact weight can vary significantly:

  • Sandy topsoil weighs around 1 ton per cubic yard.
  • Loamy topsoil weighs approximately 1.25-1.4 tons per cubic yard.
  • Clay topsoil weighs around 1.5-1.75 tons per cubic yard.

Soil containing high amounts of organic matter or moisture can weigh more. Topsoil blended with compost or other amendments may also weigh more per cubic yard.

The weight differences mainly come down to density. For example, clay particles are heavier than sand particles, so clay soil is more tightly packed and dense.

Factors that Affect Topsoil Weight

Several key factors determine the density and weight of a yard of topsoil:

1. Soil Composition

The percentages of sand, silt, and clay particles affect soil weight. As mentioned, clay weighs more than sand. Silty soils are also denser than sandy soils but not as dense as clay.

The organic matter content also impacts weight. More organic material (like compost) makes soil weigh more.

2. Moisture Content

Wetter soil weighs more than drier soil. Water has significant weight, so higher moisture levels increase the per yard weight.

3. Compaction

Compacted and undisturbed topsoil weighs more per cubic yard than loose, aerated soil. Packing soil tightly crams more particles per space.

4. Amendments

Adding organic amendments like compost or fertilizer increases the weight per yard. Inorganic materials like vermiculite or perlite also add density.

5. Soil Health

Healthier topsoil with more microorganisms, worms, roots, and biomass weigh more than poor quality soil. The biological life contributes significant weight.

Typical Topsoil Composition

Most topsoil is a loam soil, meaning it has a blend of particle sizes with about 40-40% sand and silt and around 20% clay. The ideal loamy soil looks like this:

  • Sand particles: 40%
  • Silt particles: 40%
  • Clay particles: 20%
  • Organic matter: 5% or more

This composition forms a loose, crumbly soil texture that retains some moisture but still drains well. Pure loam topsoil weighs around 1.25-1.4 tons per cubic yard on average.

How Much Does a Cubic Foot of Topsoil Weigh?

When estimating how much to purchase, it helps to know the weight per cubic foot. A cubic foot is 1/27 of a cubic yard.

Here are typical cubic foot weights for different soil types:

  • Sandy soil: 75-90 lbs per cubic foot
  • Loamy soil: 90-110 lbs per cubic foot
  • Clay soil: 110-135 lbs per cubic foot

Again, organic matter and moisture increase weight. A cubic foot of very rich organic topsoil may weigh over 100 pounds.

Cost of a Yard of Topsoil

The cost of a yard of topsoil varies depending on your location and topsoil quality. Some typical costs:

  • Basic sandy topsoil: $25-40 per cubic yard
  • Enriched loamy topsoil: $35-50 per cubic yard
  • Premium organic topsoil: $45-75+ per cubic yard

Better quality topsoil with compost/amendments costs more but can be worth it for gardens. Delivery fees may also apply if you can’t pick it up yourself. Buying in bulk usually saves money per yard.

How Many Yards of Topsoil for a Garden?

When planning a new garden, you’ll need several inches of quality topsoil to provide nutrients for plants. Here are rough estimates:

  • For in-ground gardens, 4-6 inches (depth) is ideal. This equates to:
  • 0.5 cubic yards per 100 sq ft
  • 1 cubic yard per 200 sq ft
  • 1.5 cubic yards per 300 sq ft
  • For raised beds, 6-12 inches of soil is optimal. Figure:
  • 1 cubic yard per 3x3x1ft raised bed
  • 2 cubic yards for a 3x6x1ft raised bed

Mix in 1-2 inches of compost for added nutrients. Having extra topsoil allows you to top-dress and replenish beds yearly.

How Much Topsoil for Lawn Leveling or Grading?

When filling dips or depressions in a lawn, calculate the cubic feet needed. Aim for an extra 1-2 inches over the low areas.

For example, to raise a 5x5ft section 2 inches:

  • 5×5=25 sq ft
  • 2 inches is 0.167 feet
  • 0.167 x 25 = 4.2 cubic ft of soil needed

Having extra topsoil allows you to fine tune and smooth grades. Consider a soil calculator or surveyor for major grading projects.

Uses for Topsoil

Beyond gardening and lawns, topsoil has many uses:

  • Filling low spots: Top dressing to level uneven ground or fill holes.
  • Landscaping beds: Adding topsoil when building planting beds allows for healthy root growth.
  • Covering construction debris: Create a soft surface over rough construction debris before establishing lawns or gardens.
  • Seeding/sodding: Ensuring at least 2 inches of quality topsoil creates the ideal seedbed for new grass.
  • Planting trees/shrubs: Amending and loosening soil when planting provides better rooting environment.
  • Retaining wall backfill: Using porous topsoil behind walls facilitates drainage.
  • Potting soil: Mixing topsoil with compost makes excellent potting media for containers.
  • Erosion control: Ground cover of topsoil prevents erosion on slopes or bare ground until establishment.
  • Turf resurfacing: Thin layers of topsoil can improve worn lawns when seeded.

Key Characteristics of Quality Topsoil

When buying topsoil, inspect it thoroughly and look for these traits:

  • Friable loam texture: Soil should break into crumbly clumps, not stick together. Loam provides ideal drainage and water retention.
  • Rich brown color: Darker soil indicates higher organic matter and nutrients to support plant life.
  • Earthy scent: Topsoil should smell fresh, like the forest floor. Avoid unusual chemical odors.
  • Visible organic matter: Bits of leaves, roots, etc. provide food for soil microbes to form a living soil.
  • No debris: Quality topsoil is free of rocks, branches, building materials, plastic, etc. Debris can damage gardens.
  • Neutral pH: Topsoil pH between 6.5-7.0 supports the widest range of plants. Extremes below 5.5 or above 7.5 indicate issues.
  • No weeds: High weed seed content leads to endless weeding. Reputable suppliers provide weed-free soil.
  • Moist but not soaked: Excessive mud indicates poor drainage. Ideal moisture allows soil to form clumps.

Getting topsoil from an established garden or landscape area often provides the best quality. Blends amended with compost tend to be higher quality than plain subsoil.

Tips for Working with Topsoil

Here are some top tips for managing topsoil:

  • Order extra – it’s easier to have leftover than run short.
  • Mix in 1-2 inches of quality compost for added nutrients.
  • Blend existing soil and new topsoil when planting beds or lawns to ease transitions.
  • Spread topsoil in thin layers (2-3 inches) and slowly build depth for best results.
  • Lightly tamp each layer with a water-filled lawn roller to compact soil and eliminate air pockets.
  • Water thoroughly after spreading to help settle soil.
  • Let newly spread soil rest for 2-3 days before planting or seeding.
  • Wear a dust mask when handling dry soil to avoid inhaling particles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pounds are in a yard of topsoil?

On average, a yard of pure topsoil weighs between 2500-3000 lbs or 1.25-1.5 tons. Moisture content and soil composition affect the exact weight.

How much does wet topsoil weigh per yard?

Wet topsoil can weigh 300-500 lbs more per cubic yard compared to drier soil. Exactly how much extra weight moisture adds depends on the soil and moisture level.

Is clay or sandy soil heavier?

Clay soil is heavier, weighing 1.5-1.75 tons per cubic yard. Sandy soil weighs around 1 ton per cubic yard since sand particles have less mass than clay.

What is the lightest type of topsoil?

Sandy topsoil weighs the least, around 1 ton per cubic yard. Sand particles have the lowest density. Increasing organic matter also lightens soil.

How many cubic yards of topsoil in a dump truck?

Dump truck capacities vary, but a typical small dump truck holds about 6 cubic yards of topsoil. Larger trucks may haul 10+ cubic yards.

Can you put topsoil over existing soil?

Yes, adding a 4-6 inch layer of fresh topsoil over the existing soil can improve gardens and lawns. Blend the layers together to avoid sharp transitions.

How deep should topsoil be for planting?

Aim for at least 4-6 inches of quality topsoil for lawns and gardens to give plant roots ample room to develop. More depth is better.

How much does filling a raised bed cost?

The soil to fill a 3×3 foot raised bed 1 foot deep costs $10-20. For a 3×6 foot bed, expect to pay $20-40. Organic mixes cost more than basic topsoil. Prices vary based on location.

Should topsoil be compacted?

It’s best to lightly compact topsoil in thin layers using a water roller. This eliminates large air pockets while still allowing room for air and water circulation that plants need. Avoid excessive compaction.

Can too much topsoil hurt plants?

Extremely deep topsoil over shallow-rooted plants can hold excess moisture and lead to root rot. For most gardens, there’s no such thing as too much high quality topsoil if drainage is adequate.


Knowing the average weight of topsoil per cubic yard or foot makes estimating and planning garden, lawn, and landscaping projects much easier. The exact weight varies based on soil composition, organic matter, and moisture content. While sandy soils weigh around 1 ton per yard, clay soils weigh up to 1.75 tons. Loamy soils with a blend of particle sizes are ideal for most uses at 1.25-1.5 tons per cubic yard. Investing in high quality topsoil with ample organic matter provides the ideal environment for growing thriving plants. With the right amount and quality of topsoil, you can achieve gardening and landscaping success.


How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Determining the right amount of dry dog food to feed your pup can be confusing. Every dog has unique nutritional needs based on factors like size, age, activity level, and metabolism. However, there are some general guidelines to follow when figuring out how much kibble your dog needs each day.

Basic Feeding Guidelines

Most dog food bags provide a feeding chart or table as a starting point. This recommends amounts based on your dog’s weight and life stage (puppy, adult, senior). These are rough estimates, but provide a good baseline.

Some typical daily dry food amounts are:

  • Small breed adult dog (5-20 lbs): 1/4 to 1 cup
  • Medium breed adult dog (21-50 lbs): 1 to 2 cups
  • Large breed adult dog (51-90 lbs): 2 to 3 cups
  • Giant breed adult dog (over 90 lbs): 3 to 5+ cups

Puppies and nursing mothers need two to three times more than these amounts to support growth and milk production. Senior dogs tend to need 20-30% less food.

Tailoring to Your Dog’s Needs

While the feeding chart amounts provide a starting point, every dog has unique nutritional needs. Several factors impact exactly how much dry food your pup should get:


Puppies and seniors require very different amounts. Puppies need more food for growth. Seniors need less due to lower activity levels and slower metabolisms.

Size & Breed

Larger breeds obviously require more food than tiny breeds. But some breeds also have faster metabolisms than others of the same size.

Activity Level

Dogs who get more daily exercise or are highly active need increased portions to fuel their energy demands. Inactive pets need less.

Health Concerns

Issues like obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis and certain gastrointestinal diseases require specialized diets and portions.

Metabolism & Appetite

Some dogs are naturally “hard keepers” with fast metabolism while others gain weight very easily. Appetite also varies.


Dogs who spend lots of time outdoors in cold weather may need extra food for warmth. Hot climates may decrease appetite.

Diet Type

Higher protein, grain-free, or prescription diets may require feeding different amounts than standard kibble.

Fine Tuning Portions

Determining exact daily dry food amounts for your unique pup takes some fine tuning. Here are tips:

  • Start with bag guidelines then watch your dog’s weight. Increase or decrease from there if needed.
  • Split into two or three meals rather than one large portion.
  • Weigh portions on a kitchen scale for accuracy.
  • Adjust amounts based on appetite and whether your dog acts hungry/full.
  • Consult your vet if uncertain about the ideal amount.
  • For puppies and kittens, weigh weekly and adjust food as they grow.

With a little tweaking guided by your dog’s needs, you can settle on the perfect daily dry food feeding amount to keep your pup happy and healthy! Just be sure to transition slowly between amounts to avoid GI upset.

Common Feeding Questions

How often should I feed my dog?

Most adult dogs do best with two meals per day. Puppies may need three or four feedings. Some owners prefer free-feeding dry food available at all times.

Should I feed dog food in the morning or night?

Feeding in both the morning and evening works well. You can also ask your vet what timing may work best for your dog based on their unique needs.

Is it bad to switch dog foods frequently?

Sudden dog food switches can upset digestion. Transition gradually over 5-7 days if changing formulas by mixing the old and new.

Can I mix wet and dry dog food?

You sure can! Mixing wet canned food into dry kibble adds flavor and moisture. Reduce dry amount accordingly if also feeding wet food.

Following basic guidelines tailored to your dog provides a great starting point for determining proper daily dry dog food amounts. Pay attention to your pup’s body condition and adjust as needed to keep them happy, healthy and well-fed!


What are the helpful touch typing exercises?

Touch typing involves typing without looking at the keyboard. It is a crucial skill every computer and smartphone user should learn. Here are some of the most helpful typing exercises and drills to master touch typing:

1. Finger exercises

  • Lift each finger up and down to develop independent finger control.
  • Press down fingers in different sequences and combinations.
  • Fan fingers out then back in.
  • Gently shake and loosen hands and wrists before practice.

2. Proper typing posture

  • Sit tall with back straight, feet flat and elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  • Position keyboard at elbow level.
  • Keep wrists neutral, not bent up or down.
  • Relax shoulders, don’t hunch up.

3. Row drills

  • Practice typing each row of keys using proper fingers.
  • Focus on accuracy, not speed.
  • Try rows without looking first, then verify hands are in correct position.

4. Finger location drills

  • Close eyes and find home row “F” and “J” keys with pointer fingers.
  • Place each finger on its assigned home row key without looking.
  • Feel the slight bumps on “F” and “J” keys to orient hands.

5. Key drills

  • Type each key 5-10 times focusing on correct finger and release.
  • Pay attention to commonly confused keys like “b” and “n”.
  • Type tricky 3-4 letter combinations like “was”, “for”, “and”.

6. Word drills

  • Type short common words over and over again.
  • Say each word aloud as you type it.
  • Let hands learn the patterns.
  • Increase word length as skills improve.

7. Paragraph drills

  • Practice typing full paragraphs of text from books or online articles.
  • Reinforce skills by typing longer pieces of writing.
  • Aim for accuracy first, speed will come later.

8. Speed drills

  • Time typing tests for 1 or 2 minutes to check speed.
  • Type quotes, lyrics or familiar passages as fast as possible.
  • Compare speed over time