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How Much Soil for a 5 Gallon Pot? (Plus Other Sizes)

If you’re looking to plant a garden, you’ll need to know how much soil to get for your pots. Here’s a quick guide on how much soil for a 5 gallon pot you will need, plus several other common container sizes.

How much soil for a 5 gallon pot?

Learn How Much Soil for a 5 Gallon Pot Is Adequate in Gardening

In this section, you’re going to learn about how much soil for a five-gallon pot is sufficient while growing various plants. We’ve chosen to start with a standard size pot that you will find in most nurseries.

Filling a ceramic pot with soil
Not all containers are equal

Soil Mix Measurement for a Five-Gallon Pot

So, let’s find out how much soil will fill a five-gallon pot. This will help you to gauge how much soil medium you will need to purchase.

Basically, a five-gallon pot is equal to 887.73 cubic inches with a diameter of 10¾ inches and a height of 11 inches. 

About 0.7 cubic feet of soil mix will be sufficient to fill a five-gallon pot. It’s the rule of thumb you should go with.  

So what about the soil mix itself? Isn’t it necessary to know what ingredients make a quality soil mix for container gardening?

Well, it is. A proper measure for a soil mix should be a blend of: 

  • Compost (shrubs, flowers, vegetables, earthworm castings, organic nutrients, etc.) 
  • Perlite 
  • Coconut coir or peat moss 
  • Vermiculite 

Make sure you keep the amount of each ingredient at a proportionate rate in the mix. If you’re able to do so, your plants will receive proper water retention, aeration, nutrition, etc., by preventing soil compaction. 

Measuring Soil Mix for Different Gallon Sizes (1- to 10- Gallon Containers) 

Let’s say you’re planning to expand your garden beyond the patio or window. And you’re thinking about growing fruits and vegetables in that lonely backyard or garden space. 

Now the question is how many pounds of soil do you need in order to fill different containers like 7 or 10 gallons? It’s vital to know the answer since you may sometimes consider using various gallon sizes for growing different fruits, herbs, and veggies. And naturally, different plants require different space and soil quantities. 

So let’s get to know first some available sizes of gallon pots that are suitable for home gardening. 

1- to 10- Gallon Types and Sizes 

The following information on the available gallon types and sizes will benefit you in choosing the right pot for your planting needs: 

  • 1-gallon pot: 7 inches in height, 6.5” in diameter
  • 2-gallon pot: 8.5” inches in height, 8.75” in diameter
  • 3-gallon pot: 9.6” inches in height, 11” in diameter
  • 5-gallon pot: 11” inches in height, 10.75” in diameter
  • 7-gallon pot: 11.5” inches in height, 14” inches in diameter
  • 10-gallon pot: 16” inches in height,  17” inches in diameter

How Much Soil for Different Gallon Types and Sizes 

Like we’ve mentioned in the beginning, we’ll share with you the required soil mix for different gallon sizes. So let’s take a look at how the appropriate measurement of soil mix for one to ten gallon (available sizes) types looks like: 

Gallon Size Height DiameterSoil Mix Qty. (approx.)
17”6.5”0.15 cubit feet
28.5” 8.75”0.3 cubic feet
39.6”11”0.46 cubic feet
511”10.75”0.77 cubic feet
711 ½ ”14”1 cubic foot
1016”17”1.5 cubic feet

There you have a definitive sheet for various soil mix measurements for gallons from one to ten. These are the most common sizes so we should have you covered.

Use this handy soil calculator to help you determine how much soil to purchase for your next gardening project.

Potting Soil Calculator

Best Soil Mix for Container Gardening

Credit: Wraxly Home & Garden via YouTube – click here to watch directly on YouTube

For optimal results, choose a quality growing medium to grow healthy plants in containers. Soil from the ground often has too much clay content, which can impede root growth and cause other problems.

Potting mix or soil is the best choice of soil for your gallon pots. It has a loose and lightweight content to it which ensures proper growth of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. 

For your convenience, we’re sharing the key qualities to look for in a high-quality potting mix or soil mix for container gardening. Here’s what to keep an eye out for in a good soil mix for container gardening:

  • The potting mix should be able to retain water.
  • It should provide necessary nutrients to your plants. 
  • It must be loose and light enough to allow enough oxygen and air circulation.   
  • Check if the soil bags are soft and lightweight, not damp or tight. 
  • Check for ingredients, including ground pine bark, peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, fertilizer (small amount), etc. 
  • Look for wetting agents (limestone, for instance) to keep the bark and moss from drying out. 
  • You may look for organic potting soil that’s suitable for indoor and outdoor gardening

When it comes to potting mix for container gardening, the key is to find one that drains well and has plenty of nutrients. Your flowers and fruits will thrive with sparkling colors and aromatic fragrances when you use a quality potting mix.

Bottom Line 

Now that we know how much soil is needed for various sized pots, it’s time to get to work! Put on your wide-brimmed gardening hat and get started. With a little bit of planning and effort, you’ll have a beautiful garden in no time.

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