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How Deep Is Your Mulch?


This year you’re going to do it. You’re going to mulch everything! Mulch gives your property a beautiful, classy look and benefits the plants and bushes, too. Applied properly, it can reduce your garden work this summer and support your plants when it gets cold. But you need to know how deep to apply it. Too little, and it won’t do the job. Too much, and you may harm the plants. Bagged or Delivered The decision of bagged versus delivered begins by determining how much mulch you need then how many bags of mulch equal a yard delivered (to compare cost). As a rule of thumb, you’ll need 14 2-cubic-foot bags to be equal to about 1 cubic yard of bulk mulch. This will cover an area of 8’ x 20’ at a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

At around $3.50 per 2.0 cubic foot bag, 14 bags cost about $50, plus your tax, gas, and time. You might bet that was a big financial saving when compared to delivered. But I wouldn’t. Plus, applying bagged mulch, it’s a lot of work! By the time you’ve hauled and spread out the 10th or 12th bag, you’re going to dreaming about professional landscapers.

Delivered, you may get a cubic yard of mulch for $50 (plus tax and delivery), but not every dealer will deliver only 1 cubic yard and, if you get too much at once, that mulch may rot in your driveway (it last longer in those plastic bags). The delivery driver will dump the mulch, most likely, on your driveway. So, instead of dragging a bag over to the area, you fill a wheelbarrow and push that to the area, dump it, and spread it. It’s still labor-intensive. If you need to know how much you need in total, Google “mulch calculator.” Measure the length and width of the area you need to mulch and determine how deep the mulch needs to be. For depth, use 1 to 2 inches for annuals and perennials and 3 to 4 inches for bushes and trees.

Before You Start:

  •  -Remember to edge the area you’re going to mulch for a neater look.
  • -Pull all weeds before you mulch.
  • -Loosen any compacted soil, then rake it to an even surface (or you’ll have bumpy-looking
  • -Place mulch down evenly but keep it away from the roots of all plants and trees. If it packs in against
    roots, it can eventually damage the plant or tree.
  •  -Know your individual plant needs, especially perennials. For instance, boxwood has shallow
    roots, so do better with no more than 1 inch of mulch.


As I weighed the work (mulching is only fun when it’s over) versus the cost, I found myself leaning toward hiring someone to do the mulching. I realize that those who are a gardener by heart and love everything to do with landscaping will think I’m crazy, but I have a minimum amount of free time and a lot to mulch. Frankly, I’d rather book a landscaper online and spend my time playing with my dog in my beautifully landscaped yard.

Get Your Free Mulch Quote!


Posted on March 24, 2021

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