How to Calculate Topsoil Quantity


If you are doing a lawn or garden project, you may need to calculate the quantity of topsoil required for the job. It can be especially frustrating when you are in the middle of a project and realize that you do not have enough of something. Therefore, it is important to double check your measurements so that you have it right when you go to buy your topsoil. Good measurements will help to ensure that your project goes smoothly.

Step 1

Use your tape measure to take a full measurement of the length of the area to be covered by topsoil. Have a friend hold one end of the tape measure steady while you do this.

Step 2

Write that number down on a piece of paper. Do not wait until you have completed all your measurements. Write it down right away so that you know the number is correct.

Step 3

Measure the width of the area to be covered by topsoil. Write that number down on the same piece of paper.

Step 4

Multiply the two numbers to get the total area you will need to cover with topsoil. If you are in a hurry, you can use a calculator.

Step 5

Calculate the depth of the soil that you will require for this project. To do this, divide your desired depth (as measured in inches) by 12 in order to convert it to feet. If you want 3-inch-deep topsoil, divide 3 by 12. For 4-inch-deep topsoil, divide 4 by 12.

Step 6

Multiply the number you got as your total area by your desired soil depth in feet. This will tell you how many cubic feet of topsoil you will require.

Step 7

Divide the number of cubic feet of topsoil you will need by 27 in order to convert this number to cubic yards. Most vendors selling topsoil use cubic yards as their measuring standard.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pen and paper
  • Calculator (optional)


  • Guzman's Greenhouse: Calculators
Keywords: calculate topsoil quantity, cubic yards topsoil, cubic feet topsoil

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.