Automatically calculate the amount of soil you need in both imperial and metric units. This soil calculator shows the amount for both bulk and bag purchase and can be used for any type of material including topsoil, compost, mulch, and gravel. Automatically calculates the soil needed – give it a try to see how easy it is.
Enter Your Dimensions:
The Bulk Soil You Need:
The Bagged Soil You Need:
0.75 cu. ft. bags (21L)
1 cu. ft. bags (28L)
1.5 cu. ft. bags (42L)
2 cu. ft. bags (57L)
1 cu. yard bags (800L)
1 cu. meter bags
25 liter bags (25 quarts)
35 liter bags (37 quarts)
50 liter bags
500 liter bags
750 liter bags (1 yard)
Instructions for Calculating Soil Quantity
You will need three measurements; the length and width of the area you want to fill, as well as the depth. Enter these values at the top of the page. Change the units to match your measurements. The soil calculator automatically calculates all of the other values.
Measuring Raised Beds
Measure the length, width and depth (height) as for any other area. Since soil settles over time, add an inch or two to the depth value to allow for settling. If you have several beds, you have two options for the calculations.
Measure One Bed and Multiply
Measure one bed and calculate the soil needed for it. Then multiply the quantity needed by the number of beds you have.
Measure All Beds at Once
Measure the length and depth for one bed and enter those values. Measure the width of one bed and multiply that number by the number of beds you have. Enter this number for the width. The calculations will then give you the total amount needed for all the beds.
Example: Say you have four beds that are all 8 feet long, 1 foot deep and 3 feet wide. Enter the length as 8 ft., the depth as 1 ft. and the width as 12 (4 X 3) ft.
Measuring Irregular Areas
If the area is irregular due to curves, imagine a rectangular shape on top of the area such that the area of the actual bed is about the same size as the rectangle. Then measure the imaginary rectangle and use its measurements.
If the area has straight sides but consists of different sized rectangles, measure each rectangle and use the calculator above to get the amount of soil for each area. Then add them together to get the total amount of soil needed.
For example: For the area shown below, measure Area 1 and use the calculator to get the amount of soil needed. Repeat with Area 2 and then add both quantities together to get the total amount of soil you need.
What is a “Yard”?
The word “yard” is used as a short form for “cubic yard”. It is also the place where kids and dogs play 🙂
Soil vs Compost vs Mulch
Mixing Soil Types
If you are building a new bed you might want to buy several different ingredients and mix them together. A good mix for a new bed is a combination of top soil and compost. If you are buying more than one type of material, measure the whole area and calculate the total amount of material needed. Then split the amount as a %.
Example: Assume the soil calculator indicates you need a total amount of 8 yards of material, and you want 25% compost and 75% top soil.
You then need 25% of 8 yards compost, or 2 yards (0.25 x 8) and 75% of 8 yards compost, or 6 yards (0.75 x 8).
To better understand bagged garden soil have a look at What is Bagged Garden Soil?
Soil Recipe for Raised Bed Gardens
There are many different recipes for raised beds some of which are based on real soil and others that are based on soilless soil mixtures. This video provides details for selecting the best soil for raised beds.
More Information About Garden Soil
Here are some more articles about soil.
These are videos about soil and mulch.