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After using bagged mulch I'll never go back to bulk!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by MnLefty, May 4, 2011.

  1. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    After finishing a 25 yd job yesterday using bagged mulch I don't believe I'll ever use bulk mulch again. I know there are pros and cons to both and differing opinions, and much has to do with the cost. For us we were able to get bagged cedar for $2.48/2ft bag which put us right around $35/yd, almost exactly what we pay for bulk. The bags were much easier to unload from the truck, haul, place and spread. No spills, no cleanup, no worry about running short or what to do with the extra since the bags are so easy to store. We laid ~25 yds yesterday in under 9 hrs with 2 guys, and that includes 3 man hours lost to trips to for additional pallets. It was a rush job so I didn't have time to investigate delivery, but I found out after the fact delivery with spider is only $50+$5/pallet. We get a very nice rate for our mulch jobs, so when we start closing in on 2yds installed per man hour we are making some serious $$.

    Not trying to start a debate over bulk vs. bagged, just sharing our experience.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    Good for you, bagged mulch is well over $5 per bag in my part of CT. So its not economical to use bagged mulch for bigger jobs.
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638


    For me the cost difference does not make up for the labor cost of wheeling it all around properties. Charge what you need to charge, bagged or not and make some money!! Here the difference is not enough to make up for the labor spent hauling bulk around on most jobs for me.
  4. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    we share the same ideals for mulching. we have used about 2.5 semi loads so far which is 50 pallets of 60 bags each=3000 bags.

    we find it way easier to manipulate and store.
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Some will disagree as to the cost differences. Here a yard of hardwood mulch is the same price as buying 9 3cu.ft. bags=32.00. The prices at lowe's are more and come in 2cu.ft. bags for the same product. The quality of the mulches will vary drastically but when it comes to cedar and cypress, bags are the same price. We cannot get cedar in bulk anyway.
    It all depends on your methods of delivery, labor, and disposal.
  6. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    I only use bag mulch. Easy to transport around the lawn and it only costs like $2 per bag here in North Florida. I buy it from Walmart. LOL. They always have the cheapest mulch and usually have several pallets of different types
  7. VanAllen's Lawn Service

    VanAllen's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    I live an hour away lol. Walmart landscaping ftw!
  8. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Not ashamed to admit my mulch came from Menards. I was pleased with the quality, actually seemed to be a little finer grind than what we get in bulk, which in the cedar had way too many large chunks that looked like they missed the shredder.

    I'm just happy to have found something that works this spring. Between a late cold start and a bunch of rain days coupled with early snow last fall that snowed out a week's worth of fall cleanups it's really been a struggle this spring.
  9. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    The other thing I found is that it is much easier for us to keep tabs on how much we're using along the way and place bags all around the yard in one shot, then be able to get in a groove of spread spread spread.

    When we wheel bulk around it tends to be haul, spread, haul, spread and it's much tougher to know how much is left on the pile and estimate if we're spreading thin or thick.
  10. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    we haul it with a 30% extra so if we need more we have it and we bill it by the bag for the install and it beats playing with tarps and cleaning up under the trailer when we get done ......all the work is in the beds no lost time . we will be able to store close to 12,000 bags inside our building and not have to worry about theft or rain bag is a win win

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