When it comes to purchasing soil for the garden, people either overspend or end up returning to the garden shop to buy some more. Either way, it’s money and effort wasted. But things need not be so if you use a soil calculator to help you calculate the amount of garden soil you might need.
How to use the soil calculator?
Starting a garden in itself is a huge task. It’s an expert’s job but that should not deter you to plan a garden. You need to consider a lot of factors and one of the most important is how much soil to use. This soil calculator is a handy tool you can use to find out just that. It’s also known as a garden soil calculator, a soil volume calculator or a cubic feet calculator for soil and here are the steps to use it:
- First, enter the value of the Length and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- Then enter the value of the Width and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- Next, enter the value of the Depth and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- After that, enter the value of the Area and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- The next thing to enter is the value of the Volume Needed and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- Then enter the value of the Density and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- Finally, enter the value of the Weight Needed and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
- After entering all of these values, the soil calculator will automatically give you the values of the Price per Unit Mass, Price per Unit Volume, and Total Cost.
How do I calculate how much soil I need?
One of the most asked questions when going into an adventure in gardening is “How much soil should I buy?” This is best answered if you have established the required volume of soil. You can do this by using the garden soil calculator or by performing the following steps:
- Determine the width and length of the area you plan to cover with the soil. Let’s assume a width W = 10 yards and a length L = 20 yards.
- Calculate the area by simply multiplying the value of the length and the width. In this case
A = L x W = 20 x 10
The computation yields an area A = 200 yd².
In cases when the area is of a unique shape, manually calculate the area and enter it directly into the soil volume calculator.
- Next, decide on the depth or thickness of your garden’s topsoil layer. For this, let’s assume this value to be D = 0.5 yards.
- Multiply the depth with the area to get the volume:
V = 200 x 0.5 = 100 yd3.
This is the volume of soil needed to cover an area that has a length of 20, a width of 10 and a depth of 0.5 yd. You can check the accuracy of this value using the cubic feet calculator for soil.
How much dirt do I need for a raised bed?
How much soil to purchase depends upon the depth and size of your garden bed. However, many of us aren’t sure about how high to make the raised bed. Here, you need to consider the types of plants you plan to grow. For instance, some plants could be deep-rooted but some require only a shallow soil to cover the roots completely.
If you plan to raise different types of plants, it would be a logical decision to select a bed height which works for the plants with the deepest roots. This also accommodates the short-rooted ones. Here are some pointers to consider when it comes to raised bed height required to grow some of the more popular vegetables, flowers, and herbs:
Plants that grow best on raised beds which are 6″ high
- other types of annual flowers
Plants that grow best on raised beds which are 12″ high
- Brussels sprouts
- summer squash
- sweet peas
- Swiss chard
- borage calendula
- and everything on the list of the 6″ high raised bed
Plants that grow best on raised beds which are 20″ high
- sweet potatoes
- winter squash
- and everything on the list of the 6” and the 12” raised beds
The soil in raised beds eventually breaks down over time. But you don’t have to completely replace the soil in the raised garden to maintain its vibrancy, bounty, and beauty. Just add some soil revitalizer before planting for the growing season.
How do you measure for topsoil?
As long as you have the required measurements, you can use the soil calculator to determine the correct amount of topsoil needed for your garden. You can also use the following steps as your guide. A bit of important information, a cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet.
- Square feet measurements
Determine the area you plan to cover in square feet. Multiply the length and the width of the area which needs topsoil. The unit of measurement here is feet. If you aren’t able to get a perfect measurement, just round the value off to the nearest foot.
After getting these dimensions, multiply the length and the width to get the area in square feet.
- Depth measurement
Now that you’ve solved for the area, you have to decide on the depth and this depends on you. Express the depth in inches.
Multiply the value of the area by the depth using inches as your unit of measurement. Then take this new value and divide it by 324. This gives you a measurement in cubic feet.