How much does compost cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does compost cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does compost cost?

$20 – $50cost per cubic yard (materials)
$75 – $225cost per cubic yard (delivered & installed)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$20 – $50 cost per cubic yard (materials)

$75 – $225 cost per cubic yard (delivered & installed)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Sarah Noel
Written by
Sarah Noel
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Compost cost per cubic yard

Compost costs $75 to $225 per cubic yard delivered and installed. Bulk compost prices are $20 to $50 per yard, or $30 to $70 per ton for materials alone. A 40-to-45-lbs. compost bag costs $3 to $10 and covers 6 to 24 square feet at 1” to 2” deep.

Compost cost per cubic yard
Cubic yards Average cost
1 $20 – $50
2 $40 – $100
3 $60 – $150
4 $80 – $200
5 $100 – $250
10 $200 – $500

Bulk compost prices

Bulk compost costs $3 to $10 per bag or $20 to $50 per cubic yard, excluding delivery fees. Discounts are available for purchasing in larger quantities depending on the seller’s location.

Cost of bulk compost
Compost quantity Area covered in square feet (1” layer) Average material price
Bag (40 – 45 lbs.) 6 – 12 $3 – $10
Cubic yard 200 – 325 $20 – $50
Ton 335 – 540 $30 – $70

*Compost weight varies based on its density and moisture content.

Compost prices by depth

Compost prices are $0.03 to $0.75 per square foot depending on the depth of the layer. The recommended thickness changes based on the installation purpose. An accurate compost estimate will list the depth of the compost applied.

Compost price by depth
Depth Cost per 1,000 SF Purpose
0.5 inch $30 – $125
  • Naturally fertilizing an established lawn
  • Nourishing a recently aerated lawn
  • Using compost as mulch
1.0 inch $60 – $250
  • Prep for sowing a new lawn or installing sod
  • Amending old soil
2.0 inches $120 – $500
  • Adding to a raised garden bed
  • Prep for sowing a new lawn in depleted ground
  • Mulching around plants in dry climates
3.0 inches $180 – $750
  • Prep for in-ground garden
  • Adding to holes before tree planting

*Prices excluding delivery and installation.

Compost prices per yard by type

Compost prices are $20 to $50 per cubic yard on average depending on the ingredients. Vermicomposts or worm castings cost $200 to $500 per cubic yard.

Compost price per yard by type
Compost type Average price per cubic yard
Leaf compost $15 – $30
Mushroom compost $20 – $35
Organic compost $20 – $50
Vermicompost $200 – $500

*Prices excluding delivery and installation.

Hands holding a plant sprout and compost dirt.
Hands holding a plant sprout and compost dirt.

Cost factors for compost installation include:

  • Composting facility – Municipal or county compost services sell compost at a cheaper rate than smaller private businesses.

  • Quality – Laboratory-tested and certified high-quality compost costs more.

  • Installation – Evenly spreading compost over a lawn or garden costs $15 to $25 per cubic yard. Landscapers charge $50 to $100 per hour on average.

  • Depth – Thicker layers of compost require more materials and labor. Most people use at least a 1” layer, but 3” to 4” is necessary for some projects.

  • Tilling – Tilling compost into 6 to 8 inches of soil costs $0.70 to $2.00 per square foot.

  • Access – Delivery and installation costs are higher for steep slopes or difficult access.

  • Blower truck – Installing compost with a blower truck adds $40 to $100 per cubic yard on large properties. A $500 minimum fee applies.

  • Soil blend – Purchasing a blend of compost and soil costs $30 to $70 per cubic yard.

  • Biochar compost – A blend of biochar and compost costs $80 to $125 per cubic yard.

  • Delivery – The cost of delivery is $40 to $150 for 1 to 2 cubic yards minimum. Costs depend on the quantity, vehicle, and travel distance.

  • Rush services – Same-day or next-day compost delivery is sometimes available for an extra fee.

Compost FAQs

How big is a yard of compost?

  • A cubic yard of compost spread 1” thick covers 324 square feet, or it covers 100 square feet at 2” to 3” deep.

  • A cubic yard of compost is 3’ wide x 3’ long x 3’ tall and weighs 1,200 to 1,250 lbs.

  • A full-size pickup can carry 2 to 3 cubic yards of compost.

How much compost do I need?

You need enough compost to cover the square footage of a lawn or garden at the recommended thickness.

To determine how much compost you need:

  1. Multiply the lawn width by its length to calculate total square footage.

  2. Multiply the total square feet by the compost depth in inches.

  3. Multiply that by 0.0031 to get the number of cubic yards needed.

How deep should the compost be for a lawn or garden?

Compost should be 1 to 4 inches deep and mixed into 6 to 8 inches of soil for most garden applications. For lawns, rake 0.25 to 0.50 inches of compost into holes left from aeration. Raised beds shouldn’t contain more than 25% compost.

What is the difference between compost and mulch?

The difference between compost and mulch is that compost adds nutrients to the soil, but mulch is a top dressing. Mulching services install both mulch and compost. Mulch costs $15 to $65 per yard.

  • Compost is decayed organic material that feeds plants and boosts soil quality.

  • Mulch keeps soil moist, limits weed growth, and improves the appearance of garden beds. Natural mulch decomposes over time, but long-lasting synthetic mulch doesn’t.

Getting bulk compost & delivery estimates

When searching for compost delivery near you, be sure to:

  • Collect 3 detailed estimates from companies with at least 5 years of experience.

  • Confirm that the company has a business license, liability insurance, surety bond, and DEQ permit if required in your state.

  • Look for STA compost with laboratory-confirmed ingredients.

  • Make sure organic compost has OMRI certifications.

  • Check online reviews of the compost facility on Google and HomeGuide.

  • Remember that low prices may indicate poor-quality compost.

  • Don’t make the final payment until after the compost installation.

Questions to ask

  • What types of compost blends are available?

  • Can I see compost samples at your facility?

  • How do you ensure no pesticides, herbicides, or toxins are in this compost?

  • Where did this compost come from, and what does it contain?

  • Are bagging services available?

  • Do you screen your compost to remove rocks and debris?

  • Has your compost received quality certifications?

  • How often should I apply compost?

  • What is the best thickness for compost installation?

  • Can I plant in pure compost?

  • How much compost should I use around the types of trees and bushes I have?

  • Do you install compost with a blower or compost spreader?

  • How much space does your delivery or installation truck need?

  • Do you charge extra for delivery and installation?

  • Is there a minimum order amount of compost for pickup or delivery?

  • Where do you dump the compost?

  • How should I prepare for delivery?

  • Do I need to be home when you arrive?

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