How Much Does a Cubic Yard of Compost Weigh

In gardening and landscaping, knowing the weight and volume of compost is key. It helps in making plans and applying it well. You might have asked, how heavy is a cubic yard of compost? This seems simple, but the actual weight changes based on different things. Let's explore why the weight of this soil booster varies.

Understanding Compost Weight and Volume

The weight and size of compost can change due to various reasons. This includes the stuff used, how it's composted, and how wet it is. For instance, compost from things like milk, eggs, or plants varies in how dense it is. How long it's been composting and how much it's broken down also changes how heavy and big it is.

The amount of water in the compost makes a big difference in its weight. Compost is usually wet, anywhere from 30% to 50%. Depending on this, a cubic yard of it can weigh from 700 to 1400 pounds. The average is around 1000 pounds.

Different composts have different sizes and weights, too. Compost with more weight in a set space, like manure, will weigh more by the cubic yard than others. Dairy-based compost, for example, can be pretty heavy — about 1200 to 1400 pounds per cubic yard.

Compost Type
Moisture Content
Weight per Cubic Yard
Average Compost
700-1400 lbs (1000 lbs average)
Dairy-based Compost
1200-1400 lbs
Manure Compost
1200-1400 lbs

It's key to know what makes compost heavy or light. This is vital for anyone planning to use compost in their garden or farm. Knowing this can save money and make compost use better.

Calculating the Weight of a Cubic Yard of Compost

Finding out how much a cubic yard of compost weighs is key for planning and budgeting. The weight can change based on what the compost is made of and how damp it is. But, we can use some rules of thumb to guess the weight.

Most experts say a cubic yard of organic compost weighs between 1,000 and 1,600 pounds. If it's a mix of soil and compost, that weight goes up to 2,200 to 2,700 pounds per cubic yard.

It's good to remember that the process of making compost can lessen its volume by 40-50%. So, the final amount of compost you get might be less than when you started.

To make it easier to picture, think about this:

  • One bag of compost that's a cubic foot in size usually weighs about 40 pounds.
  • A full-size pickup truck can carry about 3 cubic yards of compost when it's heaped up.
  • A smaller pickup truck holds about 1 ½ cubic yards of compost.
  • It takes around 7 to 12 wheelbarrow loads to move 1 cubic yard of compost.
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When figuring out how much compost you need for a job, look closely at the details. For example, the usual advice is to mix compost with soil at a 25% compost to 75% soil ratio. How much compost you need will change based on the garden's or lawn's size and the depth you plan to spread it.

Dry Weight (lbs/cu yd)
Wet Weight (lbs/cu yd)
2,000 - 2,700
2,700 - 3,300
Bark Mulch
Woodchip Mulch

Knowing about the weight and volume of compost helps gardeners and people who work on landscapes. It lets them plan better, make sure the soil is right, and smartly deal with compost orders and moving it.

Compost Composition and Weight Variations

What makes up the compost, like its materials, really affects its weight and how tightly packed it is. If you use things like dairy or manure, you’ll get a heavier compost. But if you use mostly veggies or leaves, it will be lighter. How broken down the materials are and how wet they are also make a big difference.

If your compost has lots of things with nitrogen, like food waste or animal poop, it will weigh more. But if it has more stuff that's carbon-rich, like wood and leaves, it will weigh less.

The amount of water in the compost also changes how heavy and big it is. Wet compost will be heavier by the yard than dry compost. The more it breaks down, the denser it becomes, making it heavier.

The key things that impact a compost's weight and density include:

  • The materials you use (such as dairy, manure, or plants)
  • How much water is in it
  • The level of breakdown

Gardeners and farmers might find this info useful. It can help them figure out the right amount of compost they need for their land. This way, they get the most out of this great soil booster.

How Much Does a Cubic Yard of Compost Weigh

A cubic yard is how we measure compost. It's a common unit in gardening and landscaping. The weight of a cubic yard of compost changes based on what it's made of and how dense it is.

Organic compost usually weighs between 1,000 to 1,600 pounds per cubic yard. But a mix of soil and compost might weigh 2,200 to 2,700 pounds. This difference is because various materials can have a lot or a little weight in the compost.

The weight of compost can change during the composting process. When organic matter breaks down, it can reduce in volume by 40-50%. This makes the compost lighter by weight.

Weight (lbs/cubic yard)
Weight (kg/cubic yard)
Premium Garden Blend Soil
River Stone
¾ Crusher Run
Top Dressing Soil
Screened Mushroom Compost
Limestone Screenings
Premium Compost
Black Bark Mulch
HPB (High Performance Bedding)
Ultra-Blooming Blend Soil
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Keep weight changes in mind for your gardening or landscaping plans. You may need more or less compost or soil than you think depending on what type you choose.

Compost Application Rates and Weight Considerations

When you apply compost to a garden or field, you must think about how much to use. It's important to know that the right amount can vary a lot. The rates can start at 1 ton per acre and go all the way up to 20 tons per acre.

This depends on what you're growing, the type of soil, and more. The amount you use affects the soil's health a lot. It changes the amount of organic matter, nutrients, and how well the soil keeps water. More compost is usually better for your plants and the soil. But, using too much can actually hurt them.

The weight of the compost is another thing to think about. A cubic yard of compost can weigh between 800 and 1,200 pounds. How much it weighs changes based on how wet it is and what it's made of.

This makes spreading compost hard work, especially in big or far-flung areas. So, it's smart to plan ahead to make the job easier.

To use compost well, it's a good idea to:

  • Do a soil test to see what your soil needs.
  • Figure out how much compost to use based on the test results and what you want to achieve.
  • Think about the compost's weight and how you'll get it where it needs to go.
  • Mix the compost into the soil so it helps your plants and stays put.

By thinking through how much compost to use and how heavy it is, you can get better results for your plants and soil.

Compost Delivery and Transportation Factors

Sourcing and buying compost for gardening or farming means thinking about how it's delivered. The cost of delivery and transport depends a lot on how heavy and bulky the compost is. This means you need to know what affects these factors.

The cost of getting compost delivered can be from $50 to $150. This depends on how far it needs to go. For example, a small truck might charge $55 to $125 if it's traveling 1 to 45 miles. A bigger truck could cost $100 to $160 to go up to 25 miles. You usually have to pay before it's delivered, using a credit card. This is something to keep in mind when planning your budget.

The amount of compost in a cubic yard changes depending on what's in it and how wet it is. Usually, a cubic yard of dry topsoil weighs between 2,000 to 2,700 pounds. This gives you a general idea of how much compost might weigh. But, things like how much organic material there is, the type of soil, and if there's debris change the weight. This change can affect the cost and what kind of transport you need.

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The right tools are very important when moving compost because of its weight and size. Picking the right trucks or containers helps keep everything safe and in good condition. Working with experts can really help, especially for big projects or in hard-to-reach areas.

Knowing about the things that impact compost delivery and transport helps gardeners and farmers. It lets them make smart choices when buying compost. This way, they can have an easy and affordable process to help with their gardening or farming.

Benefits of Using Compost in Gardening and Farming

Compost is the result of decomposed organic matter. It is rich in nutrients. Compost offers many benefits to gardeners and farmers. By mixing it into the soil, they help their plants grow better. This leads to more crops and supports sustainable farming.

Compost helps the soil hold more water and air. It adds organic matter to the soil. This stops the soil from getting too hard and helps fight erosion. The soil gets better for plants because of the microorganisms and earthworms it attracts. They break down the compost, making its nutrients ready for plants.

Compost is a great, slow-acting fertilizer. It slowly gives plants the nutrients they need. This is safer than using too much synthetic fertilizer. Compost can also balance the soil's acidity. It makes sure plants can use the nutrients effectively.

  • Improves soil structure and water-holding capacity
  • Provides a natural, balanced source of essential nutrients
  • Supports the growth of beneficial soil microorganisms and earthworms
  • Helps to regulate soil pH for optimal nutrient availability
  • Reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
  • Contributes to increased crop yields and overall soil health

Using compost can make gardening and farming better. It leads to more sustainable and productive ways of working the land. No matter if you have a small garden or a big farm, compost is key. It helps you have healthy soil and grow plenty of food.


The weight of a cubic yard of compost varies a lot. Organic compost typically weighs 1,000-1,600 lbs, while soil/compost blends are heavier at 2,200-2,700 lbs. Factors like its composition, decomposition level, and moisture content play a role in this difference.

When using compost on farms or gardens, think about the suitable amount. This amount might be between 1 ton and 20 tons for each acre, based on what you're growing and other elements.

The cost of getting compost to your site and moving it around matters too. Knowing how much compost weighs and its size helps use it better. This way, gardeners and farmers can pick the right amount and get the most from compost.

The interest in compost keeps growing, which makes knowing its weight and size more important. Using what we know can help gardeners and farmers get better soil, healthier plants, and farm in ways that help the planet.

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