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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Soil

Soil Cost


How Much Does Soil Cost?

 
low costLow: Often Freeaverage costMedium: Top Soil Can Run $12-$18 a cubic yard + $15-$60 Delivery
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Large quantities of soil are usually sold by the cubic yard. One cubic yard spread out 1 inch thick covers about 324 square feet. To cover 500 square feet with three inches of soil, you'll need 4.52 cubic yards.

Typical costs:

  • If you can haul it yourself, dirt may be available for free from construction or excavation companies, or for a nominal charge if you need it delivered. However, it's best if you examine the dirt before accepting it, as it's likely to have a lot of debris in it. Some companies sell "clean" or screened fill dirt for $8-$15 a cubic yard, or $40-$75 for five yards to spread it 3+ inches deep over a 500-square-foot area (20x25 feet).
  • The cost of topsoil depends a lot on location. In some areas of the US topsoil sells for about $12-$18 a cubic yard, with a delivery charge of $15-$60 depending on amount and distance (and delivery may be free with larger loads of 10 yards or more), for a total cost of $75-$150 for five yards, delivered. However, in other parts of the county topsoil averages $20-$30 a yard, plus delivery charges of $50-$200 or more (depending on weight and distance), for a total cost of $150-$350 for five yards delivered. Typically lower-quality topsoil is at the lower end of the scale, and the more yards you order the less it will cost per cubic yard.
  • Topsoil is also sold in bags, at $2-$5 a bag. It takes roughly 18-20 bags to make a cubic yard, or $36-$100. That works out to about $180-$500 for five yards; typically, bags of topsoil are only used for extremely small areas.
Related articles: Sod, Lawn Aeration, Drip Irrigation, Sprinkler System, Landscape Design

What should be included:
  • Topsoil is simply the top layer of soil, usually 2-6 inches deep and containing concentrated organic matter and microorganisms. Most plants concentrate their roots in this top layer of soil and obtain most of their nutrients from it. However, there are no laws regulating the content of what is sold as "topsoil." Bagged topsoil may simply be a blend of composted bark or peat and sand. The easiest way to evaluate topsoil is by looking at it and feeling it. Good topsoil is a rich dark brown color, and will crumble through your fingers without too much clumping. Utah State University Extension provides guidelines[1] for topsoil quality.
  • Typically topsoil is spread about 3-5 inches thick for laying new lawn sod or turf; 8-12 inches deep to fill a vegetable garden; and 12-18 inches deep for raised planting beds.
Additional costs:
  • If you're buying a large amount of topsoil, you might want to spend $12-$20 for a soil test kit[2] , available from a home improvement center or for a small fee (or sometimes free) from your local agricultural cooperative extension office.
Shopping for soil:
  • To locate free or low-cost soil in your area, search the listings at FreeDirt.com[3] . You can also post a sign in your area saying "Clean fill dirt wanted" with your phone number, or visit local construction sites and ask about fill dirt. Ask about quality and be sure to inspect the dirt before accepting it.
  • Home improvement centers such as Home Depot[4] and Lowe's[5] usually sell topsoil by the bag, although it may not be available during the winter months.
  • Search for state or regional associations[6] of the American Nursery and Landscape Association for referrals to local garden centers and landscape firms
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Leveling my Property
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Choco2 in Jefferson, NJ.Posted: June 26th, 2015 01:06PM
Property is just shy of a acre. Placed ad on craigslist for clean fill dirt wanted for free! I received 19 tri axels loads of dirt so far for FREE! As of today, I think I still need 5-6 more loads to finish!
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goning to built a 6 acre lake 10 ft deep great dirt and all free.
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: B Walker in jackson, TN.Posted: August 8th, 2014 10:08PM
6 acres 10ft deep in jackson tn great dirt no rock and clean and free , digging a lake, [email protected] or call 615-293-4569
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Fill dirt
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Dirt in Olney, IL.Posted: March 12th, 2014 03:03PM
Company needs 44,000 yards of fill dirt. We were wanting a pond built that will b about 1 acre in size and 11 ft. Deep Should we also charge for the dirt? If so how much? Thanks
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Topsoil Nashville, TN
Amount: $225.00 total
Posted by: hoover513 in Nashville, TN.Posted: June 13th, 2012 03:06PM
Hoover Trucking & Topsoil has clean topsoil for $225 for 20 yds.
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Compost
Amount: $10.00 total
Posted by: gardengreenthumbs in Petoskey, MI.Posted: April 12th, 2012 02:04PM
Compost from a local tranfer station is $10.00 per cubic yard. I only bought a 1/2 cubic yard because I was afraid that a 1 cubic yard wouldnt fit. I am using it for my new raised vegetable garden beds.
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fill and top soil
Amount: $70.00 total
Posted by: wolfmanjack in indianapolis, IN.Posted: February 20th, 2012 10:02AM
Needed 14 yards for playset area for children (also slight elevation), came across landscaping company that happened to be taking dirt from a site that day. Soil was free, delivery was $35/truckload. It took two truckloads. Ask around, you may luck out.
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Topsoil
Amount: $225.00 total
Posted by: hoover7127 in Nashville, TN.Posted: July 30th, 2011 06:07AM
Hoover Trucking sells topsoil in Nashville, TN for $225-250 for 20 yds. [email protected]
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fill & top soil
Amount: $2,000.00 total
Posted by: Sanman in Waterford, NJ.Posted: December 20th, 2010 07:12PM
fill $125.00 for 16 yards top soil $225.00 for 16 yards. The seller did not travel more than 4 miles to deliver. Did get fill from the neighbor for about $75.00 for 6-7 yards.
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Top Soil
Amount: $210.00 total
Posted by: bobswife in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ.Posted: July 30th, 2010 06:07AM
Screened top soil 10 cu yards, delivery included
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External Resources:
  1.  extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/AG-SO-02.pdf
  2.  www.lowes.com/cd_Testing+and+Improving+Your+Soil_1258058669_
  3.  www.freedirt.com/
  4.  www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreFinderView?langId=-1&storeId=10051&cat...
  5.  stores.lowes.com/lowes/cgi/index?design=default&lang=en&mapid=US&svv=true&fname=&snum=1...
  6.  www.anla.org/index.cfm?area=&page=Content&categoryID=35
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