View Full Version : When mulching are smaller barrows better?

robert payer
06-09-2002, 06:34 PM
Hope that I might get some insite on a mulching matter. Some years ago we started to use the Jumbo wheel barrows. 8-10 Cubic footer with dual wheels. Our current process and routine is to pitchfork with wide forks putting piles in the shrub beds. These large barrows are difficult to get into planted beds . Years ago with the small barrows we use to just dump small piles here and there amoung the shrubs working our way out. I had recently asked an employee if they had any ideas on improving mulching production? His suggestion was to start to use smaller wheelbarrows so that we no longer need to pitch fork piles here and there. Just dump your way out of the beds. Seems some what logical.
Larger barrows are obvious in transporting.

Question: What is your mulching procedure?
Is my co-worker correct with smaller barrows being better?

Please, any advise is welcome and appreciated!

06-09-2002, 07:56 PM
In the small tight areas with lots of plants I shovel some mulch in and then with my hands spread them around the plants and shrubs. With the larger areas I like to just fill up the small wheelbarrow and dump it wherever I need it. That's always worked well for me I guess. I'm doin a mulch job tomorrow actually. When it's on an incline, I shovel it on to a tarp and bring it to the beds so I don'y have to worry about losing control of my wheelbarrow. You can pull like 4 times as much mulch on a tarp than in a wheelbarrow.

robert payer
06-09-2002, 08:15 PM
Lawn Kid,

Thank you for your response. I see that you are also from Cleveland. What suburb? What is your business name?

06-09-2002, 09:12 PM
If you have lots of mulching to do, consider using bagged mulch. You can move 5 cu yds on a pallet in one trip with a skid steer with a forklift. Another alternative is to have the mulch blown in with a mulch-blower. There are lots of ways of doing this task, and not just one answer.

robert payer
06-09-2002, 11:07 PM

Thank you for your post.

Is there really 5 cubic yards of mulch on a single pallet of bagged mulch?

06-09-2002, 11:46 PM
Yup. 45 bags per pallet. Each bag is 3 cu feet, so 9 per cu yard.

06-10-2002, 12:00 AM
I guess there might be advantages to bagged mulch.....

but anyway we go to the local nursury and buy mulch by the yard/scoop, we buy it for like 15 dollars a scoop, preetty cheap compared to bagged mulch, but i agree bagged mulch would be better for transportation to the flowers beds from the trailer, we take a large sized wheelbarrow full dump it into an open space in the beds and spread it out with a garden rake then place it close as we can to plants and shrubs....

06-10-2002, 12:12 AM
When bought by the full tractor-trailer load, the price becomes more competitive. The savings are in the labor because the product is moved more quickly and handled less. Also, you can move a lot of mulch on a mowing trailer when it is bagged. Just remember to tie it down properly.

06-10-2002, 05:29 AM
I have used the 10 cf wheel barrows with 2 wheels and normal wheel barrows. I'll take a small one any day. It fits where it is going, better control dumping, and you can hold it level crossing a hill. Where I am bagged mulch is cost prohibitive.
By the way, 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.

06-10-2002, 11:54 AM
It all depends on the jobsite. Smaller for more confind areas and larger for the more open areas.

06-10-2002, 05:20 PM
Ooops, I see, 3 cuft per bags x 9 bags...sorry.

robert payer
06-10-2002, 07:39 PM
So far it would apear that there is a time and place for both small wheel barrows and large ones. We were caught in the habit of always using the big barrows and it often slows us down. Who would think? Better transport, but time is lost in beds with shoveling among shrubs where large barrows do not fit.

Wonder how many others have been lost in this habit?

Any other mulching thoughts are welcome!

06-10-2002, 10:20 PM
Hey guys,

My mulch crew goes out w/ 3 - 10 cu ft barrows and 2 - 6 cu ft barrows. Each as previously explained has its own niche. For loading, use a 10 tine ensilage fork. You can easily fill the large barrows w/ 12 forkfulls, and the smaller ones w/ 5-6. For putting in beds, use small barrows for narrower areas and large barrows for more open areas. Use a long handled fork to knock piles down and manuver mulch around shrubs. For ground covers, small annuals, perennials, or through azaleas and similar shrubs, load your long handled fork and shake mulch off over aforementioned plants - its a real time saver. You should never have to use your hands for mulching - you're losing $$ if you do. If you can't get it smooth enough w/ a fork, use the back side of a spring rake and drag out the lumps. And don't forget to "lock in" the border.
One last tip - if you maintain the properties you mulch, have your crews cut the bed edges w/ the trimmer as well as trim along the edge. It keeps that clean, manicured look.


robert payer
06-11-2002, 07:11 PM
Today we tried using both she small and large barrows together.
All went very well with good production. Able to just dump and go with the little barrows.

Does any one know of a single wheel barrow larger than 6 cubic feet? Like a narrow 8 Cube. Where can it be bought?

Thanks guys and gals for all your help here!