The cost of new topsoil can vary depending on where you purchase it and the quantity you need. The national average cost of topsoil is $600, including professional spreading. Most homeowners spend between $250 and $1,000 for their topsoil needs.
You can buy topsoil by the yard or by the bag, costing you between $10 and $50 per cubic yard or $2 to $5 per bag. Some companies offer discounts for bulk purchases, so it might be cheaper to buy topsoil in bulk if you’re working on a large project.
Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil composed of organic matter, minerals, and other materials. It is typically dark in color and rich in nutrients, making it ideal for planting gardens and lawns. Topsoil can improve soil quality or create new beds from scratch.
In this article:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Topsoil vs. Other soil types
- Cost by location
Average topsoil costs in 2023
|National average cost||$600|
|Typical price range||$250 – $1,000|
|Extreme low-end cost||$100|
|Extreme high-end cost||$2,000|
Topsoil is an essential part of any landscaping project. The typical range of a topsoil project falls between $250 and $1,000, with the national average being $600 for standard-size garden beds, including delivery.
Several factors will affect the cost of your topsoil project, including:
- The size of your garden beds
- The type of topsoil you choose
- The amount of topsoil you need
- The distance the delivery company has to travel
If you’re working on a big project, buying topsoil from a landscaping company is best. Topsoil price per cubic yard ranges from $10 to $50, or you can buy a whole dump truck full of topsoil for $150 to $500 per truckload*, depending on the quality and quantity of topsoil you need.
*Note: A truckload capacity is typically 12 to 15 cubic yards.
|Topsoil average cost per yard||$10 – $50|
|Topsoil average cost per truckload||$150 – $500|
|Topsoil average cost per bag||$2 – $5|
For example, high-quality topsoil free of weed seeds and rich in nutrients will be on the higher end of the price range. Topsoil that is lower quality and contains more rocks, twigs, and other debris will be less expensive.
Larger projects that require organic topsoil at 4 inches deep can cost upwards of $2,000 when you include materials, labor, and delivery. On the other hand, if you need just a small amount of topsoil for a potted plant or small garden flower bed, you can find bags of topsoil at your local home improvement store for $2 to $5 each.
Additionally, if you’re willing to spread the topsoil yourself, the overall project costs will be lower. Generally, you can expect to pay as little as $100 for the tools and materials to cover a small area.
Topsoil cost estimator by area size
The larger the garden beds, the more topsoil you will need and the higher the project cost will be. Most landscape companies can deliver topsoil to your home, and many will even spread it for an additional fee. On average, homeowners spend between $10 and $50 per cubic yard of topsoil nationwide.
Most garden beds are between 4 and 8 inches deep. One cubic yard of topsoil covers about 80 square feet at 4 inches deep and 40 square feet at 8 inches deep. So, for a typical standard-size lawn of 1,000 square feet, you would need approximately 12.5 cubic yards, or 17 tons, of topsoil to cover the entire lawn at 4 inches deep. This would cost you between $125 and $625 in total.
|Amount of topsoil||Approximate coverage (at 4-inch depth)||Average cost|
|5 cubic yards||400 square feet||$50 – $250|
|10 cubic yards||800 square feet||$100 – $500|
|15 cubic yards||1,200 square feet||$150 – $750|
|20 cubic yards||1,600 square feet||$200 – $1,000|
|25 cubic yards||2,000 square feet||$250 – $1,250|
|30 cubic yards||2,400 square feet||$300 – $1500|
To determine the size of your garden beds, you’ll need to measure the length, width, and depth. Once you have those measurements, use the following formula to calculate the cubic yards of topsoil you need:
- length (in feet) x width (in feet) x depth (in feet) / 324* = cubic yards of topsoil needed
*Note: 1 cubic yard of topsoil can cover 324 square feet when spread out 1 inch deep.
Other factors that affect cost
In addition to the size and type of your garden beds, there are a few other factors that will affect the cost of your topsoil project, including:
Type of topsoil
Here are the most common different types of topsoil and how much they cost:
Topsoil is a critical factor in any gardening project, as it’s the foundation that will determine how healthy your plants will be. Sandier soils are generally less expensive, while soils with a higher clay content will be more expensive.
But you can’t only think about price – you have to choose the type of soil best suited for the plants you are trying to grow. Learn more about the different types of topsoil below.
Unscreened topsoil is the least expensive type of topsoil, as it has not been processed or filtered in any way. This type of topsoil is taken directly from the ground and can contain rocks, sticks, and other debris.
Unscreened topsoil is best used for projects where you will add amendments, such as compost or fertilizer, to the soil. The price tag for unscreened topsoil typically ranges from $10 to $25 per cubic yard.
Screened topsoil has been filtered to remove rocks, sticks, and other debris. This topsoil is ideal for projects where you want a smooth, uniform surface, such as a garden bed or lawn. Screened topsoil typically costs between $20 and $40 per cubic yard.
Organic planting mixes
Organic planting mixes are a type of topsoil that contains compost and other amendments, such as manure or peat moss. This type of topsoil is ideal for raised garden beds, as it provides the perfect environment for plant growth. The average cost of organic planting mix is $30 to $50 per cubic yard.
Landscape mix (50% sand)
Landscape mix is a type of topsoil with 50% sand and 50% organic matter. This topsoil is ideal for projects where you need good drainage, such as planting trees or shrubs. Landscape mix typically costs between $25 and $40 per cubic yard.
Screened loam and super loam
Screened loam and super loam are types of topsoil that contain a mix of sand, silt, and clay. These types of topsoil are ideal for gardening projects, as they provide the perfect environment for plant growth. The average cost of screened loam is $17 to $25 per cubic yard, while the average price of super loam is $30 to $50 per cubic yard.
Black dirt is a type of topsoil that is high in organic matter. This topsoil is ideal for gardens and lawns, providing the perfect environment for plant growth. The average cost of black dirt is $15 to $25 per cubic yard.
Organic compost is a type of topsoil made from decomposing organic matter, such as leaves and grass. Browns and greens are the two main types of organic compost, each with unique benefits.
Organic compost is ideal for gardens and lawns, as it helps improve drainage and aeration while also providing plant nutrients. The average cost of organic compost is $20 to $40 per cubic yard.
Additionally, you can compost kitchen scraps and leaves to create your compost at home. This is a great way to reduce waste and save money on topsoil.
Mushroom compost is a type of topsoil made from decomposing organic matter, such as straw and manure. While mushroom compost is excellent for gardens, it is essential to note that it can be very high in salt content. As a result, mushroom compost needs to be used with caution.
The average cost of mushroom compost is $20 to $45 per cubic yard.
Leaf compost is a type of topsoil that is made from decomposing leaves. Leaf compost is ideal for gardens and lawns, as it helps improve drainage and aeration while providing plant nutrients. The average cost of leaf compost is $15 to $30 per cubic yard.
You can also create your leaf compost at home by collecting leaves in the fall and allowing them to decompose over the winter. The compost can be used in topsoil or as mulch.
|Topsoil type||Average cost|
|Unscreened||$10 – $25|
|Screened||$20 – $40|
|Organic planting soil w/ Manure (OPS)||$30 – $50|
|Landscape mix (50% Sand)||$25 – $40|
|Screened loam||$17 – $25|
|Super loam||$30 – $50|
|Black dirt||$15 – $25|
|Organic compost||$20 – $40|
|Mushroom compost||$20 – $45|
|Leaf compost||$15 – $30|
If you need help with your topsoil project, you can hire a professional to do it for you. For professional spreading and grading services, you can expect to pay $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the size of your project.
If you plan on buying topsoil in bulk, you may be able to get a discount on delivery fees. For example, many companies offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Otherwise, you can expect to pay $100 to $200 for topsoil delivery, depending on where you live and how much topsoil you need.
Remember that yard access, as well as the type of terrain, can also affect delivery prices. If your project site is challenging to access, you can expect to pay more for delivery.
There are a few related services that you may need in conjunction with your topsoil project. These services include:
Grading is the process of leveling out an area of land. This is often done in preparation for a landscaping project. On average, grading services cost $800 to $4,000 per project, depending on the size of the area and the type of terrain.
Land clearing is the process of removing shrubs, trees, large rocks, and other obstacles from a plot of land so the land can be used for something.
It can be a difficult and time-consuming task, so it is best to hire a professional to do it for you. Depending on the size of your project, land clearing can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in total.
Soil testing is a type of test used to determine the nutrient content of the soil. This information can be used to determine which type of topsoil or amendments you need for your project. Soil tests typically cost between $14.50 and $100 per sample.
Excavation is the process of digging up an area of land. This is often done to remove existing topsoil or to prepare a site for a new construction project. The cost of excavation services is typically $60 to $200 per cubic yard of dirt.
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
If you decide to go for the DIY method to save money, you’ll still need to factor in the cost of materials and equipment. For example, a cubic yard of topsoil on its own typically costs between $10 and $50. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of a shovel, rake, and other tools.
|DIY tools & equipment||Average cost|
Even if your project requires excavation, you can rent a Bobcat or other type of excavator to do the job yourself. However, excavating topsoil can be difficult and time-consuming.
For professional topsoil delivery and spreading services, you can expect to pay $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the size of your project. If the area you need to cover is small and doesn’t require any additional prep work such as grading, excavating, or clearing, DIY can be easy and worth it.
Topsoil vs. Other types of soil
Topsoil is the top layer of your soil, usually going 4 or 8 inches deep. It contains more organic matter than lower soil layers, making it richer in nutrients and better able to hold water. It’s also lighter and airier, allowing plant roots to penetrate it easily.
Is the above description what you’re looking for? If not, here are some other soil elements that might suit your needs:
Fill dirt is a type of soil that is lower in nutrients and organic materials than topsoil. It is often used to fill in large holes or to create a level surface for a new construction project. It is comprised of sand, silt, and clay particles. The average cost of fill dirt is $5 to $15 per cubic yard.
Usually, for gardening projects, you can use fill dirt underneath a layer of topsoil. This will help to improve drainage and prevent your plants’ roots from coming into contact with the lower, less nutrient-rich soil.
Sand is a soil particle that is larger than silt but smaller than gravel. The average cost of sand is between $15 and $40 per cubic yard.
Sands are composed of various minerals such as quartz, feldspar, mica, and more. The texture of sand varies depending on its composition. It can be fine, like in beach sand, or coarser, like in mortar.
The main benefits of sand:
- Improves drainage
- Aids in aeration
- Helps to loosen clay soils
Mulch is a layer of material, usually organic, that is spread on top of the soil. It helps to protect plants from extreme weather conditions, retain moisture, and keep weeds at bay. Mulch is typically made from bark, wood chips, leaves, or straw.
Both mulch and topsoil have their benefits but are used for different purposes. Topsoil is applied to garden beds to improve drainage and add nutrients, while mulch is applied on top of the soil to protect plants and help retain moisture. The average mulch cost is $45 to $130 per cubic yard.
|Topsoil||$10 – $50|
|Fill dirt||$5 – $15|
|Sand||$15 – $40|
|Mulch||$45 – $130|
Cost of topsoil by location
Topsoil costs vary depending on your location. You can generally expect to pay between $10 and $50 per cubic yard of topsoil, including delivery.
If you live in a rural area, you may be able to find topsoil for as little as $10 per cubic yard. However, if you live in a more populated area, such as a city or suburb, the cost of topsoil may be closer to $50 per cubic yard. The main factor that affects topsoil prices is the distance it needs to be delivered.
This depends on the dimensions of your project. A general rule of thumb is that one cubic yard of topsoil will cover an area of 10 feet by 10 feet to a depth of 3 inches.
The average topsoil cost is between $10 and $50 per cubic yard, or $150 and $500 per truckload, including delivery. You can also purchase topsoil by the 1/5-yard scoop at an average price of $10 to $25, including delivery.
Topsoil has many benefits, but the three main ones are that it helps retain moisture, provides nutrients for plants, and helps to improve drainage. Topsoil is also essential for preventing erosion and keeping soil from becoming compacted.
Since one ton of topsoil is equivalent to 0.75 cubic yards, or 20 cubic feet, the cost of topsoil would be between $7.50 and $37.50 per ton, depending on where you live.
There are approximately 34 bags of topsoil in a cubic yard.
Topsoil is an essential part of any gardening or landscaping project. It helps retain moisture, provides plant nutrients, and improves drainage. The average cost of topsoil is between $10 and $50 per cubic yard, including delivery charges.
For an exact price quote, it is best to contact a local landscaping company or topsoil supplier. They will be able to give you a more accurate estimate based on your specific location and project requirements.
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
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