# cubic feet and pounds of top soil

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by R., May 25, 2005.

1. ### R.Well-Known Member

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I want to put 25 cubic feet of topsoil on some raised beds. However, the bags of top soil come in 40 pound bags and do not state how much cubic feet the bag is. Anyone know how many cubic feet a 40 pound bag of topsoil is? Or how many bags I need?
Thank you.

2. ### Alice In TX/MOMore dharma, less drama.Supporter

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Measure the bag and do the math. Topsoil varies in volume depending on moisture content, type of material used to create it, etc.

Much of the so-called topsoil available is manufactured from a peatmoss based mix.

3. ### beowoulf90Well-Known MemberSupporter

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I would need to know the size of the bag in order to figure it out. I need the length, width and height of the bag, then I can figure out how many bags. You can also do it your self, take the length of the bag in inches x the width in inches x the height in inches this will give you total cubic inches. Now divide the number of cubic inches by 1728, this will give you cubic feet.

1728 cubic inches = 1 cubic foot

4. ### R.Well-Known Member

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That is a good start. I go to the store today. I will measure the bags and figure it out.

5. ### Cabin FeverLife NRA Member since 1976Supporter

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The other responses above are correct. We had just bought some 40# bags of moist topsoil this weekend. The bag label said that it contained 1 cubic foot. Upon measuring the bag, its volume does calculate out to about 1 cu.ft.

As a soil scientist, I would not recommend using 100% of the bagged topsoil for your raised beds. In order to provide a friable soil, with good tilth and drainage, I would suggest blending the bagged topsoil with the same volume of sand.

6. ### mtmanWell-Known Member

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im glad you said that thats good to know and would be a little cheaper allso

7. ### moopupsIn Remembrance

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Working from the weight end its 100 pounds per cubic foot for dry sand, 125 for moist, peat (dry) is about 25.

8. ### Running ArrowMember

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The "bagged" soil, manure, etc. is often too heavy consistency used alone for proper plant growth. Always need to cut it with at least equal volume of clean sand or compost or something else. Bagged manure is often too hot to use alone and in very much quantity in spite of what the label says.

If you live close to a Nursery or Sand & Gravel place, check with them for selling you some materials in bulk (via Cubic Yard measure). If you have a pickup or small (5 x 10' or so) trailer, could probably haul around 1/2 CYD of sand or 1 CYD of soil without overloading them. Cost will be much less than the bagged stuff.

Bagged Peat Moss (not the brown sphagnum peat) is usually the "asphalt" of the peat pile. Dense, heavy, few nutrients.

Get what you pay for in soil, media, mixes. A/K/A the "3 Bags for \$5.00" stuff.

9. ### Running ArrowMember

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Get a cardboard box 12 x 12 x 12" and measure your media in it. Level full = 1 cu. ft.