Where do you buy mulch (bulk or bag?)

Lawnmowerguy23

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisiana
I am learning about how to lay mulch and price it. Where do you buy your mulch for mulch jobs? Home Depot?

It's $1 per cubic foot of bagged mulch at my Home Depot:


And it's $360 per 5 cubic yards of mulch ($2.6 per cubic foot):


Granted the bulk mulch has delivery for free but still that is really expensive, right? Isn't bulk supposed to be the cheaper option? lol.

I watched a youtube video where someone said he charges $75 per yard plus labor. That seems like a pretty good (maybe a tad low) price point. But for a 5 cubic yard job, that's $375 plus like 25 an hour for labor which would come out to $125 in labor. Really I wouldn't be making any money if I paid $2.6 per cubic foot. But 5 yards of mulch weighs about 1800lbs which is a lot to put on a trailer and tow so delivery would really help. But there's no delivery available on that bagged mulch.
 
OP
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Lawnmowerguy23

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisiana
Also I guess I will ask it here; What do I do if a flower bed is just absolutely covered with weeds from years of neglect? Should I pull all the weeds, then mulch? Or just hit it with string trimmer to the dirt then rake/bag then mulch? Or can I hit it with roundup or something like that, then mulch?
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Of your three options- Roundup would be the easiest and the best, however if you are not licensed you cannot apply chemicals. If you're asking this question I suspect you're not licensed so this option is out.

The second best option would be pulling them and then mulching.

The worst option would be string trimming them down to the dirt and then mulching this does nothing about the roots and the weeds will grow back through the mulch. This answer assumes you will not be using weed cloth.

If you use a high-quality weed cloth you could throw it right over the weeds and then mulch. It will choke them out. I don't like using weed cloth, as it is unsightly when it inevitably becomes visible and makes for much more work removing and remulching in the future.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
Bagged mulch is ok, some guys use tons of it. Bulk mulch from a local mulch place should be far cheaper than that HD price for 5 yards. I get dyed brown mulch for $30/ cubic yard. Most places around me are around $40-$50/cubic yard.
 
OP
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Lawnmowerguy23

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisiana
Of your three options- Roundup would be the easiest and the best, however if you are not licensed you cannot apply chemicals. If you're asking this question I suspect you're not licensed so this option is out.

The second best option would be pulling them and then mulching.

The worst option would be string trimming them down to the dirt and then mulching this does nothing about the roots and the weeds will grow back through the mulch. This answer assumes you will not be using weed cloth.

If you use a high-quality weed cloth you could throw it right over the weeds and then mulch. It will choke them out. I don't like using weed cloth, as it is unsightly when it inevitably becomes visible and makes for much more work removing and remulching in the future.
Thanks. Nah I don't have my license yet, but I'm going to.

I have read that the weed fabric really doesn't do anything for mulch jobs except look ugly when the mulch falls off of it. So I'm gonna stay away from it unless I learn otherwise. My mom had used fabric at one point and it kept weeds at bay for maybe 6 months. Then little weeds here and there started coming up. Now it's like it's not even there.

So for mulch jobs, typically you'd have to pull weeds as well? What about removing the old mulch? What should I charge for that stuff?
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Thanks. Nah I don't have my license yet, but I'm going to.

I have read that the weed fabric really doesn't do anything for mulch jobs except look ugly when the mulch falls off of it. So I'm gonna stay away from it unless I learn otherwise. My mom had used fabric at one point and it kept weeds at bay for maybe 6 months. Then little weeds here and there started coming up. Now it's like it's not even there.

So for mulch jobs, typically you'd have to pull weeds as well? What about removing the old mulch? What should I charge for that stuff?
In most places it's illegal to spray without a license. Check your local laws.
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Thanks. Nah I don't have my license yet, but I'm going to.

I have read that the weed fabric really doesn't do anything for mulch jobs except look ugly when the mulch falls off of it. So I'm gonna stay away from it unless I learn otherwise. My mom had used fabric at one point and it kept weeds at bay for maybe 6 months. Then little weeds here and there started coming up. Now it's like it's not even there.

So for mulch jobs, typically you'd have to pull weeds as well? What about removing the old mulch? What should I charge for that stuff?
Ideally the weeds should be dead or removed by the roots. If not they'll push through.

If the homeowner was to spray the weeds themselves....

As far as pricing. Take an educated guess on how many manhours you think it will take. Multiply that by the hourly rate you'd like to make. Then figure out material costs. Add material plus labor theres your bid.

Regarding labor cost. You're using hourly only to give yourself an idea how long it will take and what to charge. You are not submitting the bid hourly.


For example- if you think it will take 8 hrs and you want $50 an hour. Your bid is $400plus materials, not $50 /hour plus materials.

That way if it only takes you 6 hours you'll still make your $400 vs only making $300.


Regarding material cost- I typically sell the materials to homeowners at retail pricing, and pocket the difference between that and what I actually pay for it.
 
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