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View Full Version : Mulch bag vs by the yard


baja4wd
02-02-2006, 06:34 PM
How many bags of hardwood mulch does it take to equal a yard of bulk much? I need to install 5 yards & was looking at the ease of install with the bags, just wanted to get a round number for the amount needed to make a yard. My math came out to roughly 14 bags to make a 1 cubic yard?

echovalley
02-02-2006, 06:36 PM
9 3cubic foot bags =1yrd

mrbray101
02-02-2006, 07:04 PM
a cube yard is 3x3x3, 27 cubic feet. So like echovalley said 9 3cu ft. backs or like you said 14 2cu ft. bags. In my opinion, anything that is a smaller job like 5 yards it is actually easier using bags. A lot will argue this and say it is more expensive but I think that the convinience is worth it...just carry the bag and slice it open and dump it out. hardly even have to use a rake or shovel for the job.

lawnmaniac883
02-02-2006, 07:06 PM
I agree with this one, have a similar dilemma myself. Guy wants alot of pine bark delivered/spread, need to measure still but I am leaning towards the bags. Main reason is I dont have a place for the mulch to be dumped and a short bed wont carry much more than 2 yds.

LawnScenes
02-02-2006, 07:15 PM
I'd rather use the bags also. And I push them usually in mulching bids. Although more expensive, it's pretty easy to sell. Seems to me bags save a lot more time also. No filling up a wheel barrow or loader bucket, taking it where you need it, then emptying and spreading it. With a guy or two carrying bags and a guy or two cutting them open and spreading them you can get a good bit of mulch done fairly quickly.

baja4wd
02-02-2006, 08:12 PM
Much thanks everyone, gotta tell you I nailed down my first commercial account with a national hotel chain. Signed the deal last week & the mulching, color is the first step. I had just been a cut & blow residential & worked for multiple home builders sprucing up and maintaining the new sale homes. Really excited and look forward to the landscaping part. Thanks

YardPro
02-03-2006, 07:43 AM
we did a time survey last year and found that it was cheaper for us to use bags...


we were paying $24.00/yard for bulk.... and $28.00/yd for bag... BUT the bad laid SOOOOOO much faster.... no cleanup, easier to transport, and we knew exactly how much went out at eash home... no guessing....

We have since found a source that we buy an 80 yd tractor trailer for $1k... so for our larger properties we have gone back to bulk.

ProMo
02-03-2006, 07:57 AM
I use bagged 1 pallet=5yds

tcls83
02-03-2006, 06:02 PM
In my opinion, most bagged mulch (Home Depot) looks nasty and it's not as natural looking. I think the garden center's mulch by the yard is a lot higher quality of mulch. Yes, the bagged mulch is easier to put down, but bagged mulch seems more suitable as a band-aid or for a very small area. In my opinion the red mulch is the worst looking to me, It is almost a flourescent pink, gross! Well to be honest with you, I've never been a fan of red mulch, and most of my clients around here agree also. But I've seen their bark mulch though, and that actually does seem like a pretty decent quality mulch for bagged mulch.

My suggestion is to get the mulch by the yard if you want to make your work look really nice. The extra labor time should weigh evenly with the money you save.

alwaysgreener
02-03-2006, 06:15 PM
How many bags of hardwood mulch does it take to equal a yard of bulk much? I need to install 5 yards & was looking at the ease of install with the bags, just wanted to get a round number for the amount needed to make a yard. My math came out to roughly 14 bags to make a 1 cubic yard?


Now I don't want to sound mean..But it say your in busines for 15 years is this right??

drsogr
02-03-2006, 10:28 PM
I never realized how yards equated to bags. I guess it makes since that 9 bags would equal a yard. I pay $3.85 a bag for 3 cu. ft. Its pretty good quality stuff though. Its not the same stuff you buy at home depot, walmart, or lowes. I have no interest in buying it in bulk by the yard. I have always put it down by bags. The only company that sells quality mulch by the yard charges $30 a yard. The additional cost is definitely worth the convience. I am also looking into buying several pallets at a time to get cheaper prices.

baja4wd
02-03-2006, 11:31 PM
15 years, cutting only, I passed all landscaping to another individual that does interior & exterior. I did some small jobs last year, installing beds etc. bag mulch only, made some decent money; so this year I opted to try the commercial end with full service. I recently setup with a local wholesale nursery & supply house to purchase all materials. I did decide on going with 5 yards bulk / $22 yard was more feasible then buying the bags. Hope this answers your inquisitive question alwaysgreener.

baja4wd
02-03-2006, 11:44 PM
alwaysgreener / Very nice website you have there, hardscape section looks interesting, looks like a nice way to branch out. Around here people still haven't picked up on the garden ponds, water fall etc. They still try to beat you down to nothing for your services.

YardPro
02-04-2006, 08:16 AM
In my opinion, most bagged mulch (Home Depot) looks nasty and it's not as natural looking. I think the garden center's mulch by the yard is a lot higher quality of mulch. Yes, the bagged mulch is easier to put down, but bagged mulch seems more suitable as a band-aid or for a very small area. In my opinion the red mulch is the worst looking to me, It is almost a flourescent pink, gross! Well to be honest with you, I've never been a fan of red mulch, and most of my clients around here agree also. But I've seen their bark mulch though, and that actually does seem like a pretty decent quality mulch for bagged mulch.

My suggestion is to get the mulch by the yard if you want to make your work look really nice. The extra labor time should weigh evenly with the money you save.


it all depends on the manufacturer...here the bag we buy looks exactly the same as the triple shredded mulch we buy in bulk from the local mulch yard...

i also hate the red mulch and REFUSE to install it. Costs me a lot of business though.... lots of homeowners have no taste

SPLC
02-04-2006, 09:23 AM
Red mulch is trash, pine mulch looks the best IMO. Of course pine costs the most. I buy all my stuff by the yard, bags are hard to find locally for me and there's so much waste involved with bags. All the plastic, etc.

And yes, homeowners by and large have terrible taste. That is where you come in, convince them what will look best, do the job, and prove yourself right. It's all about sales.

Green Fields
02-06-2006, 11:31 PM
I too like the bags for smaller jobs and might make the switch to anything under 15 yds I'll use bags. Its so much easier and if I can save time getting that stinky, migraine producing crap on the ground and make it up by cutting another lawn then it all evens out. I get a 3cu for 2.90 and its real nice stuff the problem is that the bulk guy costs about $15 yd, not that nice but he gives you 6 yds for the price of 5 so big jobs you really make out. anyways in I'm charging $50 a yd whether I use bags or not, might go up to $55 a yrd if I dont go up on mow price due to gas prices. dont want to lose a customer over a 2/3 dollar when I can get them back during the year on other options.

rmland
02-18-2006, 07:08 AM
Please folks consider the waste involved here. Plastic is a petroleum product, our landfills are full and this stuff does not degrade over time. I try to buy bulk whenever I can. That's my hippie liberal pitch for the day!!

YardPro
02-18-2006, 08:27 AM
lol,
ever hear of recycling??????

you mow with a human powered mower????, or a propane one???
your truck run on alternative energy????

drsogr
02-18-2006, 09:44 AM
Please folks consider the waste involved here. Plastic is a petroleum product, our landfills are full and this stuff does not degrade over time. I try to buy bulk whenever I can. That's my hippie liberal pitch for the day!!

LOL I am guessing the mower man and the hippie man dont work together too well. Pushbroom do to sound pollution, push mower to gas emission, hand clippers to trim the grass. Man it would be hard to make a good living being a hippie.

mslawn
02-18-2006, 03:03 PM
Please folks consider the waste involved here. Plastic is a petroleum product, our landfills are full and this stuff does not degrade over time. I try to buy bulk whenever I can. That's my hippie liberal pitch for the day!!

:hammerhead:

bicmudpuppy
02-18-2006, 05:58 PM
This is one of "those" discussions. It is a plus for you if you can have it objectively, no matter what your position. Bulk mulch prices vary drastically from area to area. If hardwood is what is being bid, I have to go bulk. I prefer bags for all the reasons already listed, but double shredded hardwood can be had for $15-16/ yard. Switch to a premium product I would prefer to sell, and bags become cheaper, no matter how I do the math. Cypress is costing $25/yd bulk and I can buy 2cu' bags for $2/bag if I buy in pallet quantities. So, a 27 cu' yard costs me $27. Now if you happen to have access to one of those bulk yards who measure a bulk yard at closer to 35 cu' or even 40 (I know, that is a yard and a half, but if it is a 5 yard truck and they call it 3 yards heaped over.......), maybe bags don't win. For cedar, bags are cheaper without the added convienence. Bags go down faster and cleaner than bulk, and they transport easier. Keep them on shrink wrapped pallets and still use the loader, but with forks instead of a bucket. Watch that mulch fly off the truck/trailer and into those beds. A three man crew with a loader/forklift will lay 6 yards of mulch an hour very easily. And spend very little time cleaning up. People forget that bags doesn't have to mean wheel barrows. If you can do it with a large material bucket for bulk, you can use a set of forks and do it faster still using palletized bags.

LANDSCAPER30
02-18-2006, 07:33 PM
I personally would NEVER install bagged mulch. It simply doesn't pack as well as the brown shredded nursery mulch I put down. When we put down mulch, we simply dont push it around and rake it out. It is put down by pitch fork and patted down flat. This keeps the beds from looking all "bumpy" Our mulch after install looks flat as glass.