More Mulching Considerations
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Here are a few more things to consider when ordering mulch:
When you calculate cubic yards for a landscaped area, remember that the mulch you spread may be a little more fluffed up than it was when it was buried in a 17 yard tractor truck trailor. When they load up an 18 wheeler trailor with mulch, it compresses a lot, so what they may call 20 yards ends up more like 25 yards by the time you spread it all out. I've learned this from experience. It depends on what kind of mulch you're using too. Bottom line, if you're ordering mulch by the dump-truck load, you may want to cut your estimate just a little bit to make sure you don't order too much.
Pine straw: for pine straw mulch, I use the bales that are about 5'x2'x2'/ I'm not sure what the exact measurements are, but they're exactly the same as an old square bale of hay. I've found that one bale covers about 50 square feet if it's a brand new mulch job, and about 80 square feet if it's a re-mulch over existing pine straw.
Ground covered areas: When you are calculating square footage of a bed, keep in mind how much mulch you can put around particular plants. For example, if you calculate a bed being 300 square feet, but most of it is juniper or jasmine or monkey grass, then you can't put much mulch in there, so maybe multiply your square footage by maybe .5 or something. It's a huge guessing game, but it helps me keep from over estimating.
I hope some of this information helps.