How much does 2 yards of dirt cover?

When it comes to landscaping projects like building a garden or filling in holes, it’s important to know how much area different amounts of dirt will cover. Dirt is often measured and sold in cubic yards, but it can be difficult to visualize exactly how much ground area a yard of dirt will cover when spread out.

In this article, we’ll look at how much area 2 cubic yards of dirt covers when spread out to various thicknesses. Knowing the coverage area for 2 yards of dirt will help you determine how much dirt you need to buy for your specific project.

What is a Cubic Yard of Dirt?

A cubic yard is a unit of volume that refers to the amount of space taken up by a cube with each side measuring 1 yard (3 feet).

One cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet. When we talk about cubic yards of dirt, this refers to the volume of the dirt itself, not the amount of space it takes up when piled into a mound.

Here are some facts about 1 cubic yard of dirt:

  • Weighs approximately 2,000 to 3,000 lbs depending on soil composition
  • Measures 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet
  • Covers 324 square feet 1 inch deep
  • Fits in the back of a standard full-sized pickup truck

Knowing the volume and coverage of 1 cubic yard of dirt provides a useful reference point for estimating how much dirt you need for a project. Since you asked specifically about 2 cubic yards, let’s look at how much ground area that amount will cover.

How Deep to Spread 2 Cubic Yards of Dirt

When spreading out dirt over a yard or garden area, you’ll need to decide how deep you want the layer of dirt to be. Some common dirt depths include:

  • 1 inch – Use for topdressing lawns or existing garden beds
  • 2-3 inches – Good for establishing new lawns or shallower garden beds
  • 4-6 inches – Recommended depth for new vegetable and flower gardens
  • 12+ inches – Needed when fully replacing soil in a garden or for deeper planting

The depth you choose depends on your specific project. Deeper layers provide more space for plant roots to establish themselves, while shallower depths work well for minor topdressing and leveling tasks.

When calculating coverage area, it’s best to plan for at least 2-3 inches of dirt if you’re establishing a new lawn or garden. This provides enough depth for most plants to thrive. Of course, you can always add more dirt later for deeper beds and holes as needed.

Ground Area Covered by 2 Cubic Yards of Dirt

Now let’s look at the ground area that can be covered by 2 cubic yards of dirt spread to various depths:

2 Cubic Yards Spread 1 Inch Deep

  • 1 cubic yard covers 324 square feet at a 1 inch depth
  • 2 cubic yards = 2 x 324 square feet = 648 square feet

Therefore, spreading 2 cubic yards of dirt 1 inch deep will cover an area of 648 square feet.

2 Cubic Yards Spread 2 Inches Deep

  • 1 cubic yard covers 162 square feet at a 2 inch depth
  • 2 cubic yards = 2 x 162 square feet = 324 square feet

So 2 cubic yards will cover 324 square feet when spread 2 inches deep.

2 Cubic Yards Spread 3 Inches Deep

  • 1 cubic yard covers 108 square feet at a 3 inch depth
  • 2 cubic yards = 2 x 108 square feet = 216 square feet

Spreading 2 cubic yards of dirt 3 inches deep will cover approximately 216 square feet.

2 Cubic Yards Spread 4 Inches Deep

  • 1 cubic yard covers 81 square feet at a 4 inch depth
  • 2 cubic yards = 2 x 81 square feet = 162 square feet

Therefore, 2 yards of dirt will cover 162 square feet if spread 4 inches deep.

How Much Square Footage is in 2 Yards?

To summarize the coverage for 2 cubic yards of dirt:

Depth Square Feet Covered by 2 Cubic Yards
1 inch 648 square feet
2 inches 324 square feet
3 inches 216 square feet
4 inches 162 square feet

As you can see, the deeper you spread the dirt, the smaller the coverage area. Spreading 2 cubic yards just 1 inch deep covers over 600 square feet, while spreading it 4 inches deep covers just 162 square feet.

Planning Your Dirt Needs

To determine how much dirt you need for your project, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the length and width of the area you want to cover to find the square footage.
  2. Decide how deep you need to spread the dirt based on your plans.
  3. Divide the total square footage by the coverage for your desired depth.
  4. Round up to the nearest whole cubic yard.

Let’s look at a quick example:

Say you need to cover a new garden bed that is 8 feet wide by 12 feet long, so the area is 96 square feet. You want to spread the dirt 4 inches deep.

From the table above, we know 2 cubic yards covers 162 square feet at 4 inches deep.

To cover 96 square feet at that depth, you would need approximately 0.6 cubic yards of dirt. Rounding up, you should plan to get 1 cubic yard.

The more accurately you can measure your space and desired depth, the better you’ll be able to calculate how much dirt to purchase. It’s always smart to buy a little extra so you don’t run short halfway through your project.

Factors That Affect Dirt Volume

When estimating dirt needs, keep in mind that a few factors can alter the volume in a cubic yard:

  • Soil composition – Sandy soils tend to be less dense and compact than clay soils. A cubic yard of sandy dirt may cover more area than heavier clay dirt at the same depth.
  • Moisture content – Wet soil is denser than dry soil. 1 cubic yard of dry dirt will be lighter and fluffier in texture than the same volume of moist dirt.
  • Compaction – Compacting soil reduces air pockets and makes it denser. Compacted soil weighs more per cubic yard.

These factors mean that dirt volumes are not always exact. There is some natural variation depending on soil makeup, moisture levels, and compaction. The coverage estimates here assume average soil conditions.

Delivery Options for Bulk Dirt

Once you know roughly how much dirt you need, you’ll have to arrange for delivery or transport. Here are some options:

  • Bulk delivery from landscape supply companies – They can bring 1-5 cubic yards on a dump truck and deposit it wherever needed on your property. Delivery fees apply.
  • Rent a truck – Rent a pickup or small dump truck to haul dirt yourself from a bulk seller or landscaping supplier.
  • Shovel into a trailer – If you only need less than 1 yard, you may be able to shovel dirt into a rented trailer depending on supplier policies.
  • Bagged dirt – Purchase individual 1 cubic foot bags for very small projects. More expensive per yard than bulk dirt.

For larger landscaping jobs, bulk delivery is the most affordable and convenient option. Ordering in bulk saves money over bagged product. Just remember to overestimate your needs slightly to have extra on hand.

Spreading and Leveling Dirt

Once your dirt is delivered, use tools like a shovel, rake, and garden hoe to spread and level it. For larger areas, a skid steer loader or tractor with a front bucket can save labor.

Here are some tips for spreading dirt effectively:

  • Remove debris like rocks and roots from the soil surface first.
  • Add dirt in layers if greater than 6 inches deep, compacting between layers.
  • Use a rake and shovel to distribute dirt into corners and sides.
  • Level and smooth the dirt with a landscaping rake.
  • Use a tamper, roller, or flat board to compact final layer if needed.
  • Apply seed or sod to new lawn areas or plant other landscaping.

Take time to spread and level dirt carefully. This creates an even surface for good drainage and aesthetic appeal in lawns and gardens.

Uses for Excess Dirt

It’s common to have some dirt leftover after spreading it. Here are some ways to use extra soil:

  • Create raised garden beds and berms for planting.
  • Fill low spots and holes in the yard.
  • Build up an area to create a gentle slope for drainage.
  • Protect newly planted trees and shrubs by mounding soil around the base.
  • Blend into existing soil around plants to improve nutrition.
  • Use around yard decor like boulders and landscape timbers to build interest.

Consider saving any extra high-quality topsoil and compost to incorporate into gardens and planting beds later. Leftover subsoil can fill non-planting areas.

Buying the Right Amount of Dirt

When planning a landscaping or gardening project, understanding cubic yard dirt coverage for the area and depth needed is crucial. This guide provides the key information to help you buy the right amount of dirt for your unique job.

With 2 cubic yards of dirt covering 162-648 square feet depending on spread depth, you can calculate how much soil you need based on your specific space and soil needs. Plan for a slightly generous amount, and your project will proceed smoothly from delivery to spread.

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