How to estimate mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by AMW Landscaping, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    I do it by wheelbarrow loads. Is there any more efficient way to figure out how much mulch to quote a job for?
  2. walkerway

    walkerway LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I price my mulch jobs by the cu. yd. Figure your area to be mulched, for example 155' long x 4' wide x 2" thick =1240 divide by 324 to change that to cu. yd. = 3.8 cu. yd. Now I charge between $60 - $100 a cu. yd. installed depending on the type of mulch, difficulty of the job etc. This includes edging, weeding, labor, and delivery. So 3.8 yd x$75 = $285
  3. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Im good on getting my price. I need a better way of figuring out all the bulk material I will need. Figuring the area can take a wile, especially if there are lots of beds that are all different shapes and sizes. I know that there is about 4 to 5 wheelbarrow loads per yard(for my size wheelbarrow) and i have a good idea of how far each load gets me. What do you guys use to figure out the material you need?
  4. BowmanR

    BowmanR LawnSite Member
    from IA
    Messages: 12

    Measure them and always get more than you need. You can't go wrong using that formula. It doesn't matter what shape they are, if its a circle bed, you can measure the square outside that circle, same with oval/oval with 2 trees in it and same with hexagon full hostas.

    Bed 1 - 10ftx15ft - 150ft2
    Bed2 - 10ftx10ft - 100ft2 = 475 ft2
    Bed 3 - 15ftx15ft - 225ft2

    I want to mulch these beds with mulch at 3 inches thick and from the square footage above I will need 4.4 yards of mulch to do this. Since I know I underestimated a couple beds and over estimated 1 of the beds I will need a bit more than that to make up the difference and prefer to be safe so I would get 5 yards to do the job. I KNOW I have enough to do the job now, I KNOW I won't need to make another trip because I underestimated. WORST case scenario I have a bit left over to do with what I please.

    Figuring an area should only take a few minutes. Anything less than actually measuring your square footage is just guessing and will lead to lost money.
  5. walkerway

    walkerway LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I usually use my measuring wheel and write down the measurements, then calculate up how much mulch I need. You get good at it real quick.
  6. shane772

    shane772 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    What about digging out to be able to put down 2-3" of mulch? What do you do with what you dig out?
  7. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Why would you dig it out? You just put the mulch on top. I always put down 2-3 inches of mulch right on top of the dirt.
  8. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 44,983

    I eye ball my mulch jobs, done it enough times that I can look at beds and add the yards up as I walk around. I'm usually accurate within a yard or few.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Google landscape mulch calculator. There are a few on the web. Just enter the bed size and depth and it will tell you the number of yards, 2 cuft bags, or 3 cuft bags you will need.

    The hardest part is the measuring of the beds. I normally figure 3" depth to make sure I have enough.
  10. gardiner

    gardiner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    same here .. does your prep hours come in around the same as yards you come up with ?

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