# How much is a yard of mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Paul Andrews, Aug 5, 2001.

1. ### Paul AndrewsLawnSite Memberfrom Shawnee, KansasMessages: 9

I know this may seem like a dumb question but I have only been doing lawn maintence and have no experience in landscaping :

How many cubic yards of mulch does it take to fill up a long bed pickup even with the top of the truck bed?

I have a chance to bid on replacing some mulch at one of my commercial accounts that I only maintain the grass at and if someone could answer my question it would be easier for me to figure how much mulch I would need. Is there a standard square footage that a yard will cover so many inches deep? I don't want to pass this bid up becasue it might lead to a total maintence contract . Thanks for your help

2. ### Evan528LawnSite Silver Memberfrom Montgomery County, PA.Messages: 2,144

About 2.5 yards will fill up a standard 8ft bed. you can fit 3 mounded. I have no mathatical equation to determon how many yards youll need. Ive been doing this for enough years to be able to just look at the job and see how many yards it will require.

3. ### BRLLawnSite Bronze Memberfrom Somerset, NJMessages: 1,211

There are 27 cubic feet in one cubic yard. So my 8 ft pick up holds 2.2 cubic yards if it is filled to the top of the sides. Mounded would probably 3 like Evan528 said. You can do a search in this forum to find a few good threads on how to determine how much mulch is needed for the job.

4. ### Randy ScottLawnSite Bronze Memberfrom WisconsinMessages: 1,915

There is a website Gardening.com that has a calculator on it for you to figure out cubic yards and square footage and so forth. When I need to measure for mulch I measure the length of all the beds and the width, then decide how deep I want it, usually 2 or 3 inches. I put these numbers in that cost calculator and waala, instant yards. Obviously there are variables such as plant area and you need to kinda take the average as far as width because of how landscape beds are irregular in shape. It works pretty good although it is a little bit of a guessing game. The more you do it the more experience you will get. About 9 out of 10 times I get it right. Shoot a little high if unsure, it's better than eating a couple yards. To get an exact volume of your pickup truck go out and measure the length x width x depth and that will give you how much it will hold. My shortbox truck measures roughly 80in.(6.6ft.) x 65 in.(5.4ft.) x 20 inches which calculates out to 2.2 cubic yards.

5. ### bamLawnSite Senior Memberfrom .Messages: 261

If your going to mulch the job properly, you need to know the square footage of the beds and about how much of that space is taken up by plant material...If the bed has an irregular shape it is usually easiest to square it off.

When using pitchforks and wheelbarrows to spread mulch, like a double shredded hardwood mulch, a laborer averages a thickness of 1.5"-2".

A cubic yard of material is 3x3x3 or 27 sq ft.

Depending on how large this commercial site is a local bulk supplier may be able to deliver it to the site for you...Run the numbers first...Figure how many runs it would take with your pickup and remember that you would have to hop in and out of your truck to get all the material out, while the delivery method would dump the material at the site, and you would just have to wheelbarrow to and from the pile, as long as there is easy access and room for a pile. Also keep in mind if you overestimate there will be material left on the ground.

The final thing you should think of is applying a preemergent herbicide to prevent weeds from breaking thru and making your nice job look poor. Of course you need an applicators license and suppliers like Lesco would be able to help you choose a product such as snapshot 0.5G or a liquid material.