How To Determine How Much Mulch Is Needed

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

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    No real need to make rocket science out of a simple thing. Remember this is for estimating only. The fact of the matter is you can not put down mulch at a perfect 3 or 4 inches over a large area. I always add in more mulch just to be sure we have enough.
  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    The calculations aren’t rocket science, but some people prefer not to do the math and so they use cheat sheets. Cubic area adds depth and is three-dimensional; square footage is two-dimensional without depth. Some people have a tough time visualizing this, and when you throw in cubic yards instead of feet, that throws in another curve.

    For those of you who fret over this, give the calcs a try because the more you do it the more clear and second nature things will become.
  3. Wolfie's L&L

    Wolfie's L&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    YES! Finally a site I can go to to figure out how mulch I am going to need! Its like a godsend for my non-mathmatically inclined self. :rolleyes:

  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I made up a formula'd spreadsheet on exel. feel free to download and use it. it is protected so the only values you can adjust (unles you unprotect it) are the blanks for length, width and depth.

    had to zip it to attach, let me know if it doesnt work, I can email it if anyone really wants it that bad.

    Attached Files:

  5. Ray@LebanonTurf

    Ray@LebanonTurf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

  6. shaughnessylawn

    shaughnessylawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    u can cover 80 sgf. @ 4inchs thick 160sgf @ 2inchs thick so on so on all u have to do is fing the sgure feet
  7. Hodge

    Hodge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    Or from the same site:

  8. old dog

    old dog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Add 10% until you get good at it.Coming up short is always more costly than having payup a
    bit left over .Use it at your house or give it to a helper.Or stockpile a little for later
  9. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    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.

  10. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Messages: 1,456

    Generally when determining the amount, i put mulch thought into the equation.


    I know my attempt at humor sucks....

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