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How much does a yard of topsoil weigh?
When landscaping, preparing a new garden, or planning to plant new plants, you will need to use topsoil.
Mostly, topsoil is sold in cubic yards, that’s why it’s important to know how much a yard of the soil weighs.
Knowing the weight of the topsoil helps one determine the load that can be handled by a trailer or truck without causing any damages to the vehicle.
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This will also assist you in determining how much of the topsoil you’ll need.
However, the weight of topsoil will depend on the moisture content and the nutrients and other materials that make it up.
What Is Topsoil?
Dirt is divided into two types, namely: fill dirt and topsoil.
Fill dirt is found just below the topsoil and has a lower amount of organic matter.
Topsoil is the outermost layer of dirt on the earth’s surface, mostly 4 to 12 inches from the surface.
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It has the highest amount of organic matter, minerals, nutrients, air, and water.
Topsoil also contains a lot of nitrogen, carbon, and other essential nutrients that support plant growth.
However, the amounts of organic matter differ on different soils.
Organic matter settles in varying ways depending on the conditions, e.g., roadbeds.
Topsoil’s structure changes once the soil becomes dehydrated.
Once dehydration occurs, its volume reduces, which leads to wind erosion.
Plants need topsoil to grow fast and healthy, thanks to its richness in vital nutrients and organic matter.
When landscaping, preparing a garden, or planting trees, it’s recommended to use topsoil.
What Determines The Weight Of Topsoil?
As I earlier mentioned, the weight of topsoil varies in different soil samples.
Some factors will determine how heavy the topsoil will be.
Let’s get started:
· Soil Components
Soil usually contains some amounts of nutrients, minerals decomposing organic matter, and living organisms.
Its components determine the weight of one cubic yard of topsoil.
E.g., a cubic yard of dry clay soil will weigh less than a cubic of dry sandy soil.
· Wet or Dry
More soil moisture means that the soil has more water, thus a higher weight than dry soil.
The moisture helps in holding the soil together, adding more weight.
For instance, if you buy a cubic yard of topsoil during winter, it will be heavier than the one you buy during summer.
The best time to buy topsoil will be summer since it has less or no moisture in it.
· Blended or Straight
Sometimes the soil is sold mixed with woodchips and compost.
Compost adds more nutrients to the soil, while drainage improves drainage levels.
Soil that has been mixed with these materials will have different weights.
A cubic yard of topsoil weighs approximately 2000 pounds, while a cubic yard of woodchips only weighs around 1,000 pounds.
When compost is mixed with wood chips, the total weight of the topsoil will be lower.
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How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh?
As earlier mentioned, how much a yard of topsoil weighs will depend on its composition and moisture content.
Wet soil has more moisture meaning that it will weigh more than dry soil.
Topsoil containing a lot of tiny rocks and sand weighs more than that containing wood chips.
On the other hand, commercial topsoil is mostly sifted to remove any debris or rocks.
This means that sifted soil weighs less than un- sifted soil.
Now, how much does a yard of topsoil weigh?
A yard of topsoil can weigh from 1000 to 2000 pounds or even more depending on its components and moisture level.
Due to the weight, you can plan with the company to deliver the topsoil for you.
How to Determine the Amount of Topsoil You’ll Need
The initial step when determining the amount of topsoil you need for your project is finding the dimensions of your space.
Find the length, width, and height of the space, then convert them into feet.
Multiply the three dimensions to get the number of cubic feet.
Once you get the volume in cubic feet, divide by 27 to convert the number into cubic yards.
Converting into cubic yards is important since most topsoil sellers sell in of cubic yards.
How to Measure Topsoil
There are different methods one can use to determine how much topsoil you need.
One cubic foot is equivalent to 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches, while a cubic yard is the same as 27 cubic feet.
For instance, how many cubic yards will a flower bed measuring 8 inches deep by 12 feet long by 12 feet wide need?
The first step is converting the dimensions to feet, i.e. (8” divided by 12” =0.67 foot)
Now multiply the dimensions to get the volume in cubic feet (0.67 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet= 96.48 cubic feet)
Divide the 96.48 cubic feet by the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard to get the number of cubic yards
One cubic yard equals to 27 cubic feet, so we divide the 96.48 cubic feet with 27 (96.48 divided by 27= 3.57 cubic yards.
So you will need 3.57 cubic yards of topsoil for your flower bed.
There is also a second method where you convert all the dimensions into yards.
First, convert the dimensions from inches to yards (8” divide by 36” =0.22 yards)
Convert the dimensions in feet to yards by dividing by 3(12’ divide by 3= 4).
Multiply all three dimensions to find the cubic yards needed (0.22 x4x4 = 3.52 cubic yards).
If you don’t have the time to do the calculations manually, you can use online calculators found in any search engine.
On How Much Does A Yard Of Topsoil Weigh
Now you’ve some clue on how much does a yard of topsoil weigh.
Always remember that the weight depends on the components making up the soil.
Ensure you buy the best quality you can afford to get better results.
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The best time to buy topsoil is summer when it is dry.
Use the online calculators to find the exact amount of topsoil you’ll need for your space.
Before using the calculator, ensure you know the exact dimensions of your space.