Construction Calculators

Topsoil Calculator

If you're planning to plant a garden this season and you're wondering how much topsoil you'll need, our topsoil calculator can give you an estimate in the format you prefer.


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Table of contents

Density of soil
How much is a ton of soil?
How much is a tonne of soil?
Ton vs. tonne and tons vs. tonnes
If you're planning to plant a garden this season and you're wondering how much topsoil you'll need, our topsoil calculator can give you an estimate in the format you prefer (suitable for North America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and others). Just input the dimensions of the area you want to cover, and our calculator will spit out the corresponding amount of topsoil needed.
To use our soil calculator, you'll need to know the standard soil density for your region. This density is 100 pounds per foot square (1600 kilograms per square meter). However, since this density may be different depending on the precise topsoil mixture you purchase, we'll also provide a calculator that uses a blended soil density of 60 pounds per foot square (1300 kilograms per square meter). To use this calculator, enter the estimated number of pounds of topsoil you will need, and the soil density will be calculated.
  • Use either geometric formulas or measurements to estimate the volume of topsoil needed based on the plot and layout of the land. If you are going to use plans or measurements, be sure to convert them to square feet or hectares.
  • You will need to know how much weight the soil can hold before you can determine its density. The standard density of topsoil is around 100 lb/ft^3 (1600 kg/m^3).
  • For soil weight, multiply the volume by density.
  • Volume calculation can be a bit tricky when the area to be calculated is irregular. In this case, it's helpful to divide it into several regularly-shaped sections and then calculate their volume and topsoil requirements. Finally, you need to sum up these values to get the total volume. Luckily, our tool makes this process a lot easier by providing a one-click copy function.
    To buy topsoil, you first need to find a store that carries it. It can be found in big retail stores as well as specialized stores, and in bulk by the ton from companies specializing garden supplies. Once you've found a store that sells it, the topsoil calculator will help you estimate how much you need and make it easy to compare bulk ordering versus buying by the bag.
    In order to figure out how many bags you will need, you'll need to know how much soil the bag will yield. For example, a 1-cu-ft (1 cubic foot) bag of topsoil might yield 20 liters or 25 kg. Traditionally, topsoil producers do not have a set convention for marking their products, so you may receive a bag that is marked volume, e.g. one cu ft, or weight, say, 40 lbs (20 liters and 25 kg or 0.9 short tons and 2.2 tons for the metric system).
    In order to make sure you're getting the most out of your topsoil purchase, always remember to account for the margin of error by purchasing 5-6% more topsoil than estimated by our calculator. This way, you'll be sure to have enough topsoil to get the most out of your landscaping project.
    Make sure to account for the margin of error when measuring topsoil. For example, if the terrain is uneven and there is a distance between points, you'll need to purchase between 5-6% more topsoil than estimated. This way, you'll avoid running out in the event that the actual measurements are higher or lower than what was projected.


    According to scientists, the quality of topsoil is one factor that can affect a plant's ability to survive and grow. Topsoil is the layer of soil on the earth's surface that's between 2 inches (5.1 cm) and 8 inches (20 cm) deep. This layer is essential for providing plants with vital nutrients, so it's important to maintain its quality. The soil happens to be the most important place on Earth for bioactivity - decomposition, excrements, and all the other things that happen when we're alive. It has the right conditions for most life and has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms. In addition to this, the soil is composed of a mix of mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air.
    Soil is good at sustaining its own weight and holding other substances in place, such as water. It usually has a good bearing capacity, which means it can support external loads up to a point. The strength of soil structure decreases with the presence of organic matter, meaning it can bear less weight. In floodplain agriculture, ditching and draining both control floods and decrease the amount of water available for downstream users. This practice has both positive (widening and deepening of soils, increasing production) and negative (dewatering decreases soil organic matter, leads to greater erosion, decreases available oxygen) impacts on the environment.

    Density of soil

    Soil density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (the weight of a cubic foot of soil is equal to the weight of .0236 pounds of soil). Density is usually reported in kilograms per cubic meter (or, for metric users, kilograms per cubic centimeter). So, for soils in the United States, the standard measurement is pounds per cubic foot. Packed in a cardboard box, our soil will have a density of 100 lb/ft3 (1600 kg/m3). This means it's moderately damp, consolidated soil. When it arrives, the soil will be loose and have a much lower density of 75 lb/ft3 or 1200 kg/m3. This means a larger vehicle will be necessary to transport it.

    How much is a ton of soil?

    A typical ton of condensed soil is around 3/4 cubic yards or 20 cubic feet. When measuring soil, it is important to take into account the moisture level. Placing a ton of soil in a dry area will not have nearly the same weight as when placing the same ton of soil in a humid area.

    How much is a tonne of soil?

    A tonne of soil typically weighs around 0.625 metric tons and occupies about 0.625 cubic meters. It will hold more or less water depending on its composition and how wet the soil already is.

    Ton vs. tonne and tons vs. tonnes

    Make sure you are using the correct unit when measuring weight. The ton (metric ton) is the standard unit and is equivalent to 1000 kg. The ton is only used in the United States, so be careful not to confuse it with the ton (short ton). The ton (short ton) is used in the U.S. and is equal to 2000 pounds. The two main prices for soil typically differ by a few dollars per bag, but the difference can add up to a significant number if the amount of soil purchased increases.
    John Cruz
    Article author
    John Cruz
    John is a PhD student with a passion to mathematics and education. In his freetime John likes to go hiking and bicycling.
    Topsoil Calculator English
    Published: Sun Jan 15 2023
    In category Construction calculators
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