The cost of bagged top soil is $1.25 for 40lbs. Loose top soil is $32 + $25 for delivery from the nursery. I just want to make the best financial choice.
What is the source of the nursery's bulk topsoil? Topsoil is what's scraped from the property of a developement, so wherever the developement is, that's the topsoil it supplies. Topsoil can be clay, sand, gravelly, or a mix of these. Bagged topsoil is sifted and separated, the pea gravel goes in one bag, the river rock in another, the sand in another and topsoil in another.
Bulk topsoil sits out in the rain and gets wet and can have weeds seeds blown into it. When it is dry it weighs an average of 1 ton (2000 pounds). The $32 is for one cubic yard, or 27 cubic feet. The bags are generally 1/2 cubic foot, so one cubic yard is 54 bags. 50 bags = 1 ton.
At $1.25 per bag, times 54 bags, you pay $67.50 plus tax for clean, sifted, weed-free, quality topsoil + $25 delivery for a total of $92.50.
At $32 for a yard of generic topsoil, +$25 delivery you pay $57.00.
The only way the bulk yard of topsoil has any positive financial value is if it's being used to fill in where a swimming pool or other non living thing will contact it. If you're planting anything in the topsoil, go with the bags, get 36 bags of topsoil, and 9 bags of compost mix. Most mixes come in bags of 2 cubic feet, 9*2 is 18, 18+36 is = to 54 bags or 1 yard.
The compost should at least have worm castings, forest humus, and mycorrhizae (soil fungus that supercharges your plant's ability to uptake nutrients).
A 40 lb bag is probably about 1 cubic feet of tightly packed top soil. So it would take 27 bags to make 1 Cubic Yard of tightly packed top soil. It would take fewer bags to make a loose cubic yard.
It depends on a couple of things other than doing the math.
I would start out with doing the math and purchasing 75% of the answer you came to, if this is a practical question and not one from school, that is.
Soil in the bag is often packed extremely tightly and may have a high moistue content, which makes it extremely difficult to come up with an answer that is 'one size fits all'.
And one person's loose soil may be another's 'still needs hoeing' soil.
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I d get the bulk topsoil. if you re making garden beds lay down layers of leaves, soil newspapers, soil, sticks, soil cardboard, soil. you can purchase red wiggler earthworms for $30/pound(5000 worms) add to soil, a single earthworm eats 3x it s weight in refuse a day and turns it to worm casting which is the most nutrients enriched soil on earth..
You cannot figure yards from weight. Look on the bag to see what percentage of a cubic yard is in the bag and then simply do the arithmetic.
A 40-lb bag of topsoil holds approximately .75 cubic feet of topsoil.
So, 1 cubic foot of soil weighs approximately 53.3 lbs (depending on moisture content).
1 cubic yard (27 cubic feet) of topsoil would weigh approx 1440 lbs. That would be (36) 40-lb bags.