# mulch calc

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by ajordan193, Apr 4, 2006.

1. ### ajordan193LawnSite Senior Memberfrom WNYPosts: 460

I have tried using the measuring wheel to calculate how much mulch is needed. I've done it on a few properties that in recent years i know how much mulch it usually takes and the calculator seems to be a lot more. Maybe i'm doing something wrong...any suggestions?

-Andrew

2. ### daveintoledoLawnSite Silver Memberfrom northwest ohioPosts: 2,587

there are several mulch calculators available....even one at thisoldhouse.com hahaahhahaaa

3. ### wski4funLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Needham, MAPosts: 323

after a few jobs I was able to eye it. If it is more than one truck load, I have it delivered minus a few yds. I go there with a load of mulch in my truck so if I need more I have it and if I needed less I'm not stuck shoveling it back on the truck. If you spread the mulch yourself you should be able to figure out how far a yd will go pretty quick. Always over estimate a little and never drop a full load unless you are positive you will use it all. Also remember that around bushes and flowers you should use less but will take longer to spread.

5. ### ajordan193LawnSite Senior Memberfrom WNYPosts: 460

heres an example below of what i am talking about. When estimating not everything is square or circular so how do you make up for the difference? Now what i have been doing is making everything into rectangles and going from there does this sound right?

-Andrew

6. ### crabLawnSite Senior Memberfrom earths edgePosts: 633

try this,break things down into squares or rectangs as you did.[good thinking]i always add a little extra in odd shaped places.now as you know lentgh times width equals square feet,then multiply by desired thickness & devide by cubic yards.here is an example based on youre multch being 2 inches thick.1200square feet times 0.17=204 divide this by 27 and you get 7.555 or 7&half yards total.the decimal conversions for are as follows in inches 2=0.17 3=0.25 4=.0.33 5=0.42 6=0.50.doubt you will be going thicker than that.i use this to calc a lot of big construction jobs, trust me it works.just be sure to get the squares as close as possible.good luck.

7. ### ajordan193LawnSite Senior Memberfrom WNYPosts: 460

thanks for your reply and information, i'm still new in the world of estimating and get frustrated sometimes on how to figure things out and if my price is in the ballpark or not. Last thing i want to do is drive customers away from my prices. Thanks again

-Andrew

8. ### wski4funLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Needham, MAPosts: 323

Another way to go about it is to ask them to trust you. When I first started out I didn't know how long anything would take me even if I did know how many yards it took. Not wanting to lose money or price myself to high I explained to the customer that I was new to bidding but not new to landscaping. I would charge them for the mulch I used plus a hourly rate. I would tell them that I do a good job and can do it in a time that most others can. I would also explain the scams that some companies do and I wouldn't consider ever doing that. I have a profesional image and am clean cut so most people appreciated the honesty and could see the logic even though I couldn't give them an exact price. Thoughs are the kind of customers you want anyways. Got most of my first clients simply by being honest and asking them to trust me. You have to be sincere though and don't take advantage of that trust.

9. ### LB1234LawnSite Gold Memberfrom Central JerseyPosts: 3,210

I would take my measure wheel and run it along the bed. Then multiple by 4'. I wouldn't be breaking that one up into rectangles.

10. ### PSUturfLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Madison, WIPosts: 663

For a bed like you showed in the picture I would measure from the driveway to the tree, roughly through the middle of the bed. Take two or three measurements from the house to the lawn. Multiply the average of those by the first measurement. That's your square footage. 1 yd of mulch per 110 square feet at a depth of 3". If I have a little extra I spread it around to get rid of it. If you come up a little short make sure that area near driveway and lawn have enough in case homeowner pokes around.

Remember 1 yard covers 110 sq ft at 3" depth. If you are topdressing you should reduce your application depth. I frequently get called to give an estimate for remulching beds only to find that they have 5" or 6" of mulch already. That's not healthy for the plants.