Amount of top soil to purchase

Asked June 9, 2017, 4:59 PM EDT

How much top soil do I need to cover an 830 square feet, 1 feet deep? How many 40 lb bags? How many cubic feet? How many cubic yards?


2 Responses


1 foot deep of topsoil is very deep and may mat down unless amended with some compost. If you would like to consult about your project, please give MSU Extension Garden Hotline a call(888-678-3464), or write back to us with some details on where this will be applied, and what will be grown.

In answer to your question:

I used the "Method 1" formula in the calculator link, below:

830sq feet X 1 ft deep = 830 cubic feet.

830 sq ft X 12 inches deep X .0031= 30.88 cubic yards

Here is Darren Bagley's calculation, who also consulted on your question, for topsoil in 40lb bags---

"You may also wish to get a topsoil/compost mix, depending on what you are growing. You may wish to purchase topsoil/compost in bulk from a landscaping company, rather than in bags. When you acquire topsoil/compost, you might wish to ask for references, just like you do for any other professional service.

A 40-lb bag of topsoil is about .75 cubic feet (or ft3).

830 ft2 X 1 foot deep = 830 ft3

830 ft3/.75 ft3 = 1106.66 bags of topsoil."

Note that the 40 lb bag volume varies somewhat depending on moisture content.

Calculator: link:

Thank you for using Ask an Expert.

Hello again,
Some other helpful facts from Mr. Bagley-
A full size pickup truck holds about 2.5 cubic yards. A dump truck holds between 10 and 14 cubic yards.