For anyone who may need a quick refresher, try thinking of mulch as an insulator that also happens to double as decoration.
Mulch helps your soil retain its moisture—about 20 percent more than would exist without the mulch—and that’s beneficial for any sort of garden or landscape growing. Mulch also helps to insulate plants, and it does an excellent job of keeping weeds from growing.
How to Calculate Mulch Coverage
As mulch suppliers in Chester County for the past 23 years, we’ve certainly learned a thing or two about how best to apply mulch, whether for a large corporate landscaping project or a small home garden. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to calculate the amount of mulch you’ll need for your landscaping project. Here’s how it’s done:
First, figure out the square footage of the area in which you plan to add mulch. That’s done by multiplying the length and the width. For example, a space that’s 20 feet long and 10 feet wide will have 200 square feet.
Next, multiply your area’s square footage by the depth of mulch you plan to use. A depth of anywhere between 2 and 3 inches is standard, although you’ll probably find that most professional landscapers feel most comfortable recommending a depth of 3 inches of mulch. You’ll then divide that number by 324. Using our example, where the square footage is 200 and we’ll be mulching 3 inches deep, you’ll multiply 200 by 3 for a total of 600. Dividing 600 by 324 gives us 1.85 cubic yards.
Because bags of mulch generally come in bags of 2 or 3 cubic feet, you’ll next need to use your cubic yardage figure to find out how many cubic feet you’ll need to cover. That’s easy enough to do: Just multiply your cubic yardage by 27, which is the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard. Our example area that contains 1.85 cubic yards, for instance, contains 49.95 cubic feet. If the bags you’re purchasing contain 2 cubic feet of mulch each, you’ll need about 25 bags (49.95 divided by 2) to complete the job.
Cubic Yard … Cubic Feet … Help!
If you aren’t used to measurements being calculated in yards—or for that matter, anything cubic—buying the proper amount of mulch in bags can be mighty tricky task indeed. Your best bet is simply to remember that at three inches deep, one cubic yard of mulch will cover 100 square feet. (And remember: Multiplying the length and width of a plot will give you its square footage.)
As luck would have it, there’s even a simpler math equation you can use to deduce the amount of mulch a project will need, and it’s one many landscapers have sworn by for years. First, figure out the square footage of the area you need to cover. Dividing the square footage by 100 will give you the number of cubic yards you’ll need to purchase.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Mulch?
For a subject as seemingly simple and mundane as mulch, figuring out exactly when, where, and how to apply it—and, as you’ve no doubt learned in this article, how much of it you need to apply—can be a surprisingly complicated affair.
But thanks to our five-acre landscaping supply facility and the top notch customer service exemplified by our drivers, getting the supplies you need will be the least of your worries if you work with Woodward Landscape Supply. We offer Hardwood Mulch, Premium Black Mulch, Root/Bark Mulch, and Playground Mulch. Learn more about the differences of each here, or click here to learn about the various uses of mulch.
And of course, we’d love to meet you in-person at our Phoenixville, PA retail store; you can find our store’s hours of operation and contact info here.