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How Much Soil & Dirt Do I Need to Fill a 10 Gallon Pot?

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Gardening has been a basic need for thousand of years, but it’s also very popular as a hobby. In the age of urbanisation, container gardening is becoming trendy, and in some places, it’s the only way to grow some plants. But choosing the suitable pot size and soil for planting is always tricky. This article will explain how much soil and dirt you need to fill a 10 gallon pot.

Soil & dirt to fill a 10 gallon pot

1.5 cubic feet of dry soil will be enough for a 10 gallon pot. It may look a bit less, but the soil expands more when added water. Make a few holes under the planting container so the excess water can get out of your pot. Don’t compress the soil too much while planting.

Most people are starting to live in the cities, but gardening as a hobby is something people can never give up. The soil of towns is usually not so healthy, and they are hard to control if you are not a full-time gardener. Container gardening is suitable if you just want to enjoy gardening without hassle.

First, let’s answer the main question. So, you have a 10 gallon pot but don’t know how much soil you need for the pot? It is a prominent issue for beginners, and even experienced gardeners often misjudge the necessary soil required for a container.

1.5 cubic feet of soil will be suitable for 10 gallon container. One cubic foot of soil means imagining a compressed soil cube 1.5 feet in length, width and height.

Soil is quite heavy, and the right amount of soil is needed to plant. So, if you buy a large amount of potting soil, you may compress the soil in the pot to use all the soil. But that’s not the right way to use the soil. Soil needs some portion of air to keep the plant and soil health.

Healthy soil is soil rich in nutrients and diverse microbial communities. Bacteria, fungus and protozoa make the soil nutrition easily accessible for the plant and keep the energy cycle growing. But in the pot, the microbial community can thrive due to temperature and moisture changes.

Compressing the soil too much will cause the plant to grow poorly, and the plant will not get the full advantage of the microbial community.

How much soil you need for your 10 gallon pot also depends on the soil type. If the soil has more sand or clay, it will shrink after some days. Note that garden soil is not suitable for container planting. Potting soil is recommended as it is more refined and no harmful microbes are in the potting soil.

The plants of ground and plants of pot have some differences you need to know. The plant of the ground is usually stronger, and they have higher resistance to harmful insects and disease as garden soil has a large variety of microbes.

But container plants are less resistant to disease and microbes as container usually does not inhibit a large number of microbes. So harmful bacteria and fungi can easily infect the container plants. That is why you must use refined fresh potting soil before growing plants in the container.

Check out how much soil you can use for your 10 gallon container in different parameters.

Cu. ft. of soil:

1.5 cubic feet of dry soil will be enough for a 10 gallon container.

Pound of soil:

One gallon of soil can be 9-12 pounds depending on the soil type.

Quarts of soil:

About 40 quarts of soil will be enough for a 10 gallon container.

How to calculate how much potting soil I need?

Planting pots and containers come in different sizes and shapes. It is confusing to calculate the necessary amount of potting soil you need. Here is our guide to calculating the amount of soil you need for your container.

For squire pots:

Multiply the height, width and length and divide the result by 800. You will get the number of litres of soil you need for your container.

For round pots:

Squire the diameter, multiply the result by height and then divide the result by 1800. This is how you will get the number of soil in litters for a round-shaped container/

For unknown shapes:

Do not calculate the amount of soil for weird or unknown shapes of potting containers. Instead, try to guess the amount of soil you need. Get a little more if you have doubts.

If you have extra soil left after planting your plant, you can always grow more in the rest of the soil. Look for other containers in your kitchen or store room. You can use plastic containers, ice cream boxes or unused bags to plant more plants.

How much soil is in a bag of potting soil?

Different brands of potting soil companies sell their soil. But most of the companies have 4,8, and 16 quarts bags and 0.5, 1 and 1.5 cubic feet bags. So if you have a 10 gallon pot for planting, you should choose 1.5 cubic feet of potting soil.

Do you need to add anything else to your planting container? A common myth is putting gravel under the pot can increase the water drainage and benefit plants in many ways. People have been doing this for ages.

But recent studies suggest that gravel under the planting pot has no benefit and can increase the water saturation, leading to root rot.

How many bags of soil or dirt are needed for a 10 gallon pot?

If you choose 1.5 cubic feet potting soil bag, only one is enough for your 10 gallon planting container. But if you can’t find a 1.5 cubic foot bag, choose three 0.5 cubic feet bags.

Plotting soil has the right amount of nutrients and texture that help grow most plants without any issues. But the soil cant support the plant forever. Once a plant outgrows its pot, you should change it and apply fertiliser to balance the nutritional properties of the soil.

What size is a 10 gallon plant pot?

Usually, typical round 10 gallon pots have 14.5 inches in width and 11.75 inches in height. But that’s not necessarily true for every 10 gallon plant pot. The size may vary depending on the shape of the pot. A pot with less width and more height can also contain 10 gallons of soil or vice versa.

Choose the size you like the most that fit into your place well. A larger pot is not often suitable for every plant, and more width can cause space issues.

Getting the correct pot size is essential for planting as smaller pots can stunt a plant while a bigger pot holds water for longer, leading to root rot.

How many plants can I put in a 10 gallon pot?

One medium plant and two small plants are suitable to plant in a 10 gallon pot. If you are planting small chilli plants, you can plant two, but only one tomato plant will be ideal for a 10 gallon tank.

If you are planting onions or similar plants, you can grow many of them in a 10 gallon pot. However, do not plant them too closely. Keep some gaps so they can get nutrition equally.

If you plant a more giant plant species like a lemon tree in a 10 gallon pot, you will have to change the pot once the plant outgrows the pot.

What can I grow in 10 gallon grow bags?

There can be a large list of plants that you can plant in 10 gallon bags or pots. Here are some popular plants to grow in a 10 gallon tank.


You can grow several potato plants in 10 gallon planting containers.


One tomato plant can be planted in a 10 gallon grow bag. Make sure the tomato plant is suitable for planting in a pot.


Carrots can grow easily in 10 gallon grow bags.


You can plant one eggplant in a 10 gallon planting container.

Garlic and onions:

Garlic and onions can be grown in 10 gallon grow bags or pots.


If you have something that a cucumber plant crawls, it can be an excellent choice for 10 gallon pots.

Final thoughts

A 10-gallon tank can be filled with 1.5 cubic feet of soil. 1.5 cubic feet potting soil bags are often available in the nurseries or online. One should not use garden soil in the planting pot. Potting soil has the right balance of nutrition, drainage and aeration, which helps pot plants to survive.

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