How Much Does Topsoil Cost in 2024?

While topsoil costs an average of around $618, most homeowners spend between $262 and $1,015 for their topsoil needs.

Typically dark in color, the uppermost layer of soil, called topsoil, contains organic matter, minerals, and other nutrients — making it ideal for planting gardens and lawns. Topsoil costs between $2 and $5 per bag or around $10 to $50 per cubic yard.

Most homeowners spend between $262 and $1,015, depending on factors like location, project size, type of topsoil, and labor costs. While the national average cost of topsoil is around $618, it already includes the fees for delivery and professional spreading.

Average topsoil costs in 2024

National average cost$618
Typical price range$262 – $1,015
Extreme low-end cost$108
Extreme high-end cost$2,142

A vital part of any landscaping project, topsoil can help improve the quality and health of the soil in your new lawn or garden beds. While the national average cost of topsoil is around $618 for standard-sized garden beds, the typical range of most topsoil projects fall between $262 and $1,015, including delivery.

Several factors can affect the cost of your topsoil project, such as:

  • Type of topsoil
  • Size of your project
  • Amount of topsoil needed
  • Delivery distance and fees

If you have a big project, it’s best to buy topsoil from a landscaping company, as they usually offer discounts for bulk purchases. Depending on the quality, bulk topsoil typically costs between $10 and $50 per cubic yard or around $100 to $750 per truckload.

Note: A truckload capacity is typically 10 to 15 cubic yards.

Topsoil average cost per cubic yard$10 – $50
Topsoil average cost per truckload$100 – $750
Topsoil average cost per scoop (½ yard)$8 – $25
Topsoil average cost per bag$2 – $5

Low-quality topsoil containing rocks, twigs, and other debris will be less expensive. On the other hand, high-quality topsoil free of weed seeds and rich in nutrients will be on the higher end of the price range.

Larger projects requiring organic topsoil can cost around $1,500 or even more when you include the cost of materials, labor, and delivery. On the other hand, if you only need a small amount of topsoil for a few potted plants or a small garden flower bed, you can buy topsoil by the bag at your local home improvement store for around $2 to $5 each.

Pro tip: Don’t buy topsoil by the bag if you need a large amount, as you can end up paying around $68 to $170 per cubic yard.

Topsoil cost estimator by area size

Farmer holding soil in hands close up. Farmer is checking soil.
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One cubic yard of topsoil covers about 81 square feet at 4 inches deep and 40 square feet at 8 inches deep. If you have several garden beds or a large area to cover, your overall project cost will be higher since you’ll need more topsoil.

Considering that most homeowners spend between $10 and $50 per cubic yard and most garden beds are at least 4 inches deep, here’s a sample computation of how much topsoil costs based on area size:

Amount of topsoilApproximate coverage (at 4-inch depth)Typical cost range (excluding labor)
5 cubic yards400 square feet$50 – $250
10 cubic yards800 square feet$100 – $500
15 cubic yards1,200 square feet$150 – $750
20 cubic yards1,600 square feet$200 – $1,000
25 cubic yards2,000 square feet$250 – $1,250
30 cubic yards2,450 square feet$300 – $1,500

So, for a standard-size lawn of 1,000 square feet, you would need approximately 13 cubic yards (18 tons) of topsoil to cover the entire lawn at 4 inches deep. You can expect to spend around $130 to $650 for the topsoil, depending on the quality.

To get an idea of how much you’ll have to pay for the topsoil, you must first determine the size of your garden beds. Measure the depth in inches, length in feet, and width in feet. Once you have these measurements, use this calculator to determine how many cubic yards of topsoil you need and how much they cost:

Topsoil calculator

Other factors that affect cost

In addition to the project size, a few other factors can affect the total cost of your topsoil project, including:

Type of topsoil

One of the most important factors in any gardening project is the type of topsoil used. Of course, higher-quality topsoil will be more expensive. Sandier soils are generally more affordable, while soils with higher clay content can be more costly.

But you can’t only think about price – you must choose the type of soil best suited for the plants you are trying to grow. Here are the most common types of topsoil and how much they cost:

Type of topsoilAverage price per cubic yard (excluding labor)
Unscreened topsoil$10 – $28
Screened topsoil$20 – $40
Organic planting soil (OPS) with manure$30 – $50
Landscape mix (50% sand)$25 – $42
Screened loam$17 – $25
Super loam$30 – $50
Black dirt$15 – $25
Organic compost$20 – $42
Mushroom compost$20 – $40
Leaf compost$15 – $30

Unscreened topsoil

Since unscreened topsoil has not been processed or filtered in any way, it is the least expensive type of topsoil you can buy. It’s taken directly from the ground and can contain rocks, sticks, and other debris.

Unscreened topsoil, which usually costs around $10 to $28 per cubic yard, is best used for projects where amendments like compost or fertilizer will be added to the soil.

Screened topsoil

If you want a smoother and more uniform surface for your lawn or garden bed, you may use screened topsoil instead. Typically costing between $20 and $40 per cubic yard, this type of topsoil has been filtered to remove rocks, sticks, and other debris.

Organic planting mixes

The average cost of organic planting soil (OPS) is around $30 to $50 per cubic yard. Organic planting mixes contain compost and other amendments, such as manure or peat moss. This type of topsoil can provide the ideal environment for plants in a raised garden bed.

Landscape mix (50% sand)

Most landscape mixes consist of 50% sand and 50% organic matter. This topsoil costs between $25 and $42 per cubic yard and is ideal for projects that require good drainage, such as planting trees or shrubs.

Screened loam and super loam

For gardening projects, you can never go wrong with loam soil. Screened loam and super loam both contain a mix of sand, silt, and clay – providing the perfect foundation and environment for plant growth.

The typical price of screened loam is around $17 to $25 per cubic yard, while the average cost of super loam is between $30 and $50 per cubic yard.

Black dirt

High in organic matter, black dirt is another type of topsoil you can use for your lawn and garden beds. You can expect to pay an average of around $15 to $25 per cubic yard of black dirt.

Organic compost

Made from decomposing organic matter like leaves and grass, organic compost costs around $20 to $42 per cubic yard. This type of topsoil can help improve drainage and aeration while also providing plant nutrients.

Browns and greens are the two main types of organic compost, each with unique benefits. If you want to reduce waste and save money on topsoil, you can DIY create your compost at home from kitchen scraps and fallen leaves.

Mushroom compost

Costing between $20 and $40 per cubic yard, mushroom compost should be used with caution. It’s made from decomposing organic matter like straw and manure. But while you can use mushroom compost for your garden, it can be very high in salt content.

Leaf compost

This type of topsoil, made from decomposing leaves, costs around $15 to $30 per cubic yard. If you want to make the leaf compost yourself, you can collect leaves in the fall and wait for them to decompose over the winter.

Delivery costs

If you plan on buying topsoil in bulk, your landscaping company may be able to give you a discount on delivery fees. Otherwise, topsoil delivery can cost between $80 and $170, depending on where you live and how much topsoil you need.

Remember that yard access and the type of terrain also can affect delivery costs. So, expect to pay more for delivery if your project site is challenging to access.

Labor costs

You can hire a professional to help with your topsoil project. Depending on your project size, the cost of professional spreading and grading services can be anywhere from $60 to $125 per hour.

Ask the landscape company who delivered your topsoil if they also can spread it for an additional fee.

You may want to consider a few other services you may need in conjunction with your topsoil project. Also, ask your contractor if you can get a discount for packaged services. Some of the services you may need include:

Land grading

If you’re preparing for a landscaping project, you may need land grading as well. It can help create a level surface and improve drainage for your garden, preventing water pooling and surface runoff. Land grading costs depend on the size of the area and the type of terrain.

Soil testing

With soil testing, you can determine the nutrient content of your soil. You’ll know which type of topsoil or amendments you need for your project. Once you get the results of the soil test, you’ll know whether you simply need to apply lime, add fertilizer, or replace the topsoil entirely.

If you need to add fertilizer, you can expect to spend around $103 to $343, depending on the type of fertilizer and other factors.

Land clearing

Small boulders or large rocks, overgrown or unwanted shrubs and trees, and other obstacles can clutter and take up space in your yard. If you’d rather use that area and transform it into something usable and visually appealing, land clearing services can help.


If you need to remove existing topsoil from your garden, you can hire a professional for the job. On average, excavation costs around $60 to $200 per cubic yard. But if you need to dig up a large area of your land to prepare it for a new construction project, you can expect to pay between $1,400 and $6,100 for professional excavation services.

Flower bed installation

A colorful garden can be pleasing to look at, but only if the flowers are neatly planted and well-organized. That’s why most homeowners choose to install garden beds for better layout, design, and placement of flowering plants. Professional flower bed installation costs as low as $480 or around $1,100 to $3,175, on average.

Seeding or sod installation

After spreading new topsoil, you may want to cover it with greenery as soon as possible. For an instant lawn, you can opt to lay down pre-grown grass. Professional sod installation costs between $1,048 and $2,992, depending on factors like grass type and labor costs.

If you don’t mind waiting for grass to grow and mature, you can choose to overseed instead. Hiring a professional for overseeding costs as low as $90 or around $1,122 on average. You also can spread grass seed over your existing lawn to address thinning areas and fill in bare patches.


From planning the layout to implementing your tailored design, professional landscapers can help enhance the beauty of your front or backyard. Typically, landscaping services also include addressing drainage issues and adding hardscape features like pathways or patios.

Other types of soil replacement

Topsoil can be more in demand and expensive than other soil types because it contains more organic matter and can better hold water. But if your project doesn’t call for nutrient-rich soil, you may choose sand, fill dirt, or mulch instead.


Composed of various minerals like mica, feldspar, and quartz, sand is way smaller than gravel but larger than silt. It can help loosen clay soil, improve drainage, and relieve soil compaction. This soil particle costs between $15 and $42 per cubic yard. Depending on its composition, the texture of sand can be as fine as beach sand or as coarse as mortar sand.

Fill dirt

If you only need to fill in large holes to create a level surface for a new construction project, you may use fill dirt instead. It only costs around $5 to $18 per cubic yard, as it’s lower in nutrients and organic materials than topsoil.

Fill dirt contains sand, silt, and clay particles. You can use it to fill the space under the layer of topsoil. Apart from improving drainage, it also can help prevent the roots of your plants from coming into contact with the less nutrient-rich soil underneath.


Topsoil and mulch are both beneficial to your garden, but they have different purposes. Applying topsoil to garden beds can help improve drainage and add nutrients. On the other hand, adding mulch on top of the soil helps retain moisture, keep weeds at bay, and protect plants from harsh weather conditions.

While mulch costs around $3.25 to $6.50 per bag, most homeowners spread a layer of mulch over their topsoil. This garden essential is usually made from organic materials like leaves, bark, straw, or wood chips.

Pro cost vs. DIY cost

If you want to save money on your topsoil project, you can go with the DIY method. However, you’ll still need to factor in the cost of all the necessary tools. Plus, you must be willing to spend time transporting and spreading the topsoil yourself.

Some of the tools and equipment you’ll need for the job include the following:

DIY tools and equipment rentalAverage cost
Garden gloves$12
Garden trowel$11
Bobcat or skid steer rental$300 per day
Trailer or truck rentalDump trailer: $50 per day
Pickup truck: $72 per day
Dump truck: $75 per day
Total DIY cost$494 – $519

Even if your project requires excavation, you can rent a Bobcat, skid steer, or other type of excavator to do the job yourself. However, you must consider that excavating can be difficult and time-consuming. Plus, you’ll need to rent a truck or trailer to transport the topsoil. Renting them can raise the DIY cost from $144 to around $494 to $519.

If you hire a landscaping company, you may need to add around $60 to $125 per hour for professional topsoil delivery and spreading services. For small areas that don’t require any additional prep work like clearing, grading, or excavating, DIY can be easy and worth it.

Cost of topsoil by location

Apart from the factors mentioned above, topsoil costs also can vary significantly based on your geographical location. The soil quality, extraction methods, and transportation expenses may differ depending on where you live.

If there’s an abundant resource for topsoil in your region, the cost may be lower due to ease of accessibility and availability. On the other hand, if you live in an area with scarce topsoil and increased demand, you might experience higher prices due to logistical challenges.

FAQ about topsoil

What are the main benefits of topsoil?

Essential for optimal plant growth, topsoil offers the following main benefits:

  • Provides plants with essential minerals and nutrients
  • Improves drainage and root development
  • Promotes moisture retention
  • Prevents soil compaction

How many 40-pound bags of topsoil are in a cubic yard?

Considering that a 40-pound bag of topsoil covers around 0.80 cubic feet, you would need around 34 bags of topsoil to fill a cubic yard.

How many cubic yards of topsoil do I need for my flower bed?

It depends on the dimensions of your flower bed and the depth of topsoil you want. If you need 6 inches of topsoil for a flower bed that’s around 5 feet by 10 feet, a cubic yard of topsoil will be enough. Anything bigger or deeper than that will need more than a cubic yard of topsoil.

Get the best topsoil for your garden

While topsoil costs an average of $618, or around $262 to $1,015, it’s an essential part of any gardening or landscaping project. It helps improve drainage, retain moisture, and provide plant nutrients.

To get an exact price quote, contact a local landscaping company or topsoil supplier today. They can give you a more accurate cost estimate based on your project requirements and specific location.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Image Credit: Unsplash

Melanie Joseph

After discovering her passion for writing through her beauty blog, Melanie left her engineering job in California, became a writer, and never once looked back. When she isn't writing, she loves dipping in the pool, tending to the garden, or doing simple home improvement projects.