Mulch Calculator – How Much Mulch Do I Need?

The final touch when preparing your garden for landscaping is to add mulch. This is the material which helps preserve the soil’s moisture prevent the proliferation of unwanted plants or weeds. It also improves the aesthetic value of the area. If you’re asking yourself “How much mulch do I need?”, use this mulch calculator.

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How to use the mulch calculator?

A mulch calculator is a convenient tool you can use to determine how much mulch do I need for a particular project. This mulch calculator is really handy because it gives you a wealth of information. Here are the steps to use this online tool:

  • For the first part, enter the values of the Length, Width, and Depth. You can also enter the values of the Area and the Depth. After that, the calculator generates the Volume Needed automatically.
  • For the second part, enter the value of the Bag Size (ask your supplier for this) and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu to get the total number of Bags Needed.
  • For the third part, enter the value of the Bag Weight and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu to get the value of the Total Weight.
  • Finally, enter the value of the Bag Price to get the Total Cost.

How much mulch do I need?

Mulch is a type of material that’s usually organic in composition which you spread around to enrich or insulate the soil. This could consist of decaying bark, compost, leaves, and other materials. But there are inorganic types available too. Here are some of the benefits of using mulch in your garden:

  • A plot covered with mulch makes it harder for water to escape through evaporation because it prevents the sun’s rays from reaching the soil. On the other hand, too much mulch may also prevent water from reaching the soil.
  • As an insulator, mulch can retain heat lost during cold temperatures and this keeps the plants warm, especially at night.
  • Mulch improves the productivity of the soil.
  • Garden experts like having mulch spread around because it prevents the growth of weeds since the seeds don’t receive sunlight after sprouting; thus, hindering their development.
  • When properly spread, mulch can aesthetically improve the landscape. You can choose from many types of mulch in form and color that’s suitable for any setting.

Now that you know the benefits, you may still ask yourself, “How much mulch do I need?” You can find this out using this mulch calculator. But you can also solve for this amount manually. Just follow the steps below:

  • Take the measurement of the length and the width of the layer of mulch. For discussion purposes, let’s assume a length of 10 yards and a width of 5 yards.
  • Solve for the area to cover entirely with mulch.

A = L x W = 10 x 5 = 50 square yards

  • If the area covered is of some odd geometric shape, you can solve for the area and directly enter this into the mulch calculator. Using the calculator is much easier for different shapes.
  • Decide on the thickness of your layer of mulch. Let’s assume a depth of 2 inches.
  • To obtain the volume of required mulch, multiply the value of the area by the depth. You must first convert the depth into yards:

D = 2″ = 2/12(3) = 0.056 yards

V = A x D = 50 x 0.056 = 2.8 cubic yards = 75.6 cubic feet

  • This is the volume for your required mulch for a 10-yard x 5-yard plot with a 2″ mulch layer. This is the same value that the mulch calculator will give you.

How many bags of mulch in a yard?

The bag sizes of mulch depend on what kind of mulch you choose. The standard of the industry for mulch bags is 2-cubic-feet. By computation, 1-cubic-yard is equal to 27-cubic-feet. From this, you need fourteen bags for every cubic yard.

Use a mulch calculator to determine how many bags of mulch you need for your garden works. Upon determining the volume through the aforementioned steps, you can get your order in the bag size department. Calculating is the easy part.

Divide the volume needed by the volume contained in one bag. Based on the result, you can even keep the results for the next season’s gardening project. You avoid wastage and maintain a stock that is actually required.

How much does a bag of mulch cover?

You can have a choice of having either an organic or inorganic mulch. The former is much cheaper and each bag can cover a bigger area. But the inorganic type is lighter and easier to handle. One downside of this type is that you need to replace the mulch on a regular basis.

  • Wood mulch
    These usually come in bags of two cubic feet. For best results in suppressing moisture retention and weed growth, the recommendation is to install a thickness between 2 – 4 inches. Therefore,
    A single bag which you install at a depth of 2″ covers 12 square feet.
    A single bag which you install at a depth of 4″ covers 6 square feet.
  • Straw mulch
    This is usually the mulch used in seed germination for plants like grass. It’s available in either 2.5-feet or 1-cubic-foot bags. Apply the straw mulch at a depth of 1-inch. This allows sunlight to still reach the seeds so they can germinate properly. Too much mulch depth can reduce or prevent germination. For this type, each bag covers:
    A 2.5-cubic-feet bag can cover about 500 square feet.
    A 1-cubic-foot bag can cover about 200 square feet.
  • Compost mulch
    This is another type of organic mulch which you can evenly spread on top of the desired area. It’s available in 1 or 2-cubic-foot bags. Here are the estimated coverage values of each bag:
    A 1-cubic-foot bag can cover around 6 square feet at a depth of 2″.
    A 2-cubic-foot bag can cover 12 square feet at a depth of 2″.