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How To Determine How Much Mulch Is Needed

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by 1MajorTom, May 29, 2004.


    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,475

    here is the template to use to figure out how much material you need for a job.

  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Sheshovel, I just noticed that in your example you didn’t convert your mulch depth over (one way or another) to feet, rather than inches. Your 9 yards of mulch would be way too much for an area of 10’ x 8’ (80 s.f.).

    Instead of multiplying feet by inches 10’ x 8’ x3” lets go with common units, therefore 10’ x 8’ x .25’ or 20 cubic feet. Now convert the 20 cubic feet to cubic yards by dividing by 27 (20 / 27 = .74 cubic yards). So, one yard will do for this small area.

    Attached Files:

  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    OOPS sorry dident catch that my bad.
    You know I know how to fiqure out how much mulch I need?I look at the space,don't need to measure anymore,just eyeball it.
  4. chadwhick

    chadwhick LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    So, what if there is already old mulch down? do you rake it a little to freshen it up or clean all the old stuff out or just lay new mulch right over it? and how deep does the mulch need to be?
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Probably depends upon the situation. I've never removed old mulch, but if the client wanted dark mulch put down where "bleached" or "blonde" bark is, or vice versa, then I'd probably have to - in as much as I'd hate to. You surely would have to figure that into your bid!

    If you're trying to cover up different colored mulch, you better plan on spreading it a bit on the thick side... probably at least a few inches of it. You may be able to hide it with a thin layer, but as soon as you try to freshen the new mulch you'll uncover the old.
  6. justinslawncare

    justinslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    no need to take old mulch out unless u have been doing the same landscape for a few years and it is thick(6-7 inches). then just take some out add a little bit of new in with the old let it sit for a day or two then go back and but brand new on top 1.5"-2" thick(total should be about 3-4") just a little tip i found.
  7. fourseasonlawns

    fourseasonlawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    all these equations are for the perfect world.

    Have you asked for only one cubic yard of mulch, but the tractor has a three cubic yard bucket on it. the driver of the tractor scoops about 1/3 of a bucket full and dumps it on your trailer.

    Or, the tractor has a single cubic yard bucket, and one employee fills that bucket to max capacity spilling mulch everywhere, and the next day a different employee uses the same tractor and bucket, but shakes and bounces that bucket, till you only get the bare minimum out of that bucket.
    in all three instances you paid for only one cubic yard, but you get three different amounts of mulch.

    I guess no one has any kidney shaped beds either, they are all perfect squares or rectangles? What about the circular beds with the tree in the center?

    A good landscaper should know and/or have all the formula's necessary to complete a bid or project or test, but also there is some guesswork involved as well, once you land the job and actually have to get out there and do the work.

    It sure will eat into that bottom line if you have to go back for one bag or one wheel barrow full of mulch to finish the job.
  8. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    no you guys are all screwed up , you will need th square root of pie multiply that by 365 days divided by the -ooops that might be my alimony payment , ill get back to you
  9. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 627

    Yea definately, I figure out the cu.yds with math first to give some guidenance, then I'll finish the bid with a guess as to how much I acutally need...
  10. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    So just how do you figure the area for a circle?

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