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How much mulch do I need to order? Use These 4 Steps to Measure Mulch.

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How much mulch do I need to order? Use These 4 Steps to Measure Mulch.

In this guide you will learn exactly what you need to know about how much mulch to order.

It’s true, as gardening season fast approaches....

Homeowners and lawn care professionals alike will be caring for their landscapes. 

One great method for re-energizing the appearance of your property. Is simply adding a fresh layer of mulch to your flower beds, around trees, and other areas of the lawn. 

But before you can jump in and start mulching. You need to know how much to buy before you do. 

And that is what we are about to look into!

Let’s dive in!


Simplifying the Mulch Buying Process

Since so many different types of mulch are readily available. One important question that homeowners and landscape professionals need to ask is, 

“How much mulch do I need?” 

Calculating the correct amount of mulch can be easily done with a few tools. That most individuals have laying around the house.

To help answer this question, only a few items are necessary:

  • A pen, 

  • a piece of paper, 

  • a tape measure, 

  • and a calculator. 

With these items in tow and our step-by-step instructions below. Any professional or novice green-thumber can calculate the perfect amount of cubic yards needed to mulch and revitalize any property.

Keep in mind:

When purchasing mulch, most nurseries and home improvement stores will sell material in the unit measurement of "cubic yards". 

How much mulch is in a cubic yard?

For reference one cubic yard covers 324 feet.


Step One: Determine square footage

Measure the length and width of the areas that need mulch. 

If you have multiple beds, measure them one by one, and add the total together.

Once you have those measurements, multiply the numbers together to find the square footage. 

For example, if one of the areas needing to be mulched is 20 feet by 30 feet. The square footage is 600 feet. 

Perform this measurement for all of the areas needing mulch and add those numbers together to ascertain the total square footage.

Sample Math

20 ft x 30 ft= 600 square feet

Step Two: Choose the depth

Next, determine the thickness of the mulch. In most gardens and flowerbeds. 

A range of 2 to 3 inches thick is a perfect depth for mulch for most applications. 

However, for beds and areas that are heavily infested with weeds and/or grass. More mulch will be needed to keep those unwanted species from thriving. 

In this case, anywhere between 6 to 8 inches of mulch may need to be used. 

Be careful! Layering mulch any higher than 8 inches traps more heat causing certain types of mulch to become highly flammable.

Step Three: Calculate all the numbers

Take the total square footage of the mulching areas and multiply that by the depth of the mulch needed. 

For example, if the square footage is 600 feet and the depth desired is 3 inches, 600 x 3= 1800. 

After that calculation, divide 1800 by 324 (remember 1 cubic yard covers 324 feet).

Then, round up to the nearest whole number to find out how many cubic yards should be purchased. 

Sample Math

1800/324=5.55, so 6 cubic yards of mulch are needed. 

Here is that math one more time:

3 inches of mulch X 600 square feet=1800

1800/324 (1 cubic yard covers 324 ft) – 5.55 cubic yards

Want a simpler solution? Click here to find a mulch calculator.

Step Four: Double check the math

Remember the old adage, “Measure twice, cut once?”.

The same applies when purchasing mulch. 

It’s best to double check your math. A slight, miscalculation or one incorrectly entered number. 

Can mean an unnecessary return trip to the nursery or home improvement store. 

Wasting valuable mulching time and/or money for overage!

Mulch offers a lot of benefits including:

  • A clean, consistent look for most properties,
  • Mulch reduces loss of water from the soil through evaporation
  • Acts as a protective layer to keep unwanted weeds from sprouting,
  • Prevents certain pests from flourishing, 
  • Adds needed nutrients to the soil. 

Bottom Line

Calculating the correct amount of mulch can be easily done with a few tools that most individuals have laying around the house and by performing some simple math. Of course, you could always use fall leaves as mulch instead. But you won't get that clean look of wooden mulch.

Making sure that you purchase the correct amount of mulch is relatively easy and can save headaches, time, and money. 

By following these 4 simple steps. You can rest assured that you are not over buying or under buying the mulch needed to make your property the envy of the neighborhood.

If you need a lawn care professional to take over your mulching this year, then reach out to the pros at GreenPal.

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