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Mulch Calculator

This home depot mulch calculator makes it easy to answer a common question when you are adding the final touches to your landscaping job – “How much mulch do I need?”. Use our mulch estimator to get the answer and save yourself from having to make another trip to the garden center!

If you stay with us longer, we will also answer some cardinal questions concerning mulch, like “What is mulch?”, “How many bags of mulch are in a yard?”, “How much does a bag of mulch weigh?” and “How much does garden mulch cost?”.

We will also provide you with the mulch definition, talk about the advantages of different mulch colors and discuss various types of mulch. Did you know that mulch (playground mulch, to be more specific) can protect not only your plants but also your children? For a more curious reader, we have also prepared examples of many mulch alternatives.

What is mulch? – mulch definition

Mulch is a material that we put on soil to preserve its moisture, prevent the growth of unwanted plants or weeds, and improve the aesthetic value of the covered area. Home depot mulch is usually made from wood chips, but there are many other types of mulch and mulch alternatives. It is much harder for water to evaporate from soil covered with mulch as it prevents the sunlight from reaching the soil surface. However, a mulch layer that is too thick may also make it impossible for rainwater to soak into the ground. Thus, a typical mulch layer should be about 2 inches.

Mulch also retains heat that would be lost during cold nights and keeps your plants warm. Overall, mulch improves soil productivity. Gardeners like mulch for its ability to prevent the growth of weeds, as their seeds are left without sunlight after sprouting, halting their development. What’s more, many people like to use mulch in their gardens to make the landscape more beautiful. Mulch is available in many forms and colors, so it is suitable for any setting.

Types of mulch

Mulch Calculator:

Many materials are traditionally used as mulch, and there are also lots of mulch alternatives. Here, we present the characteristics of different types of mulch:

  • Woodchip mulch – it is created when tree branches or larger stems are chipped. Cedar mulch and cypress mulch are examples of such products. Cedar mulch tends to be a little reddish but can be easily dyed into various other colors. Cypress mulch is very attractive for its blond color. Woodchip mulch can also be made by processing used packaging pallets. As you may have guessed, this version is much cheaper.
  • Wood bark mulch – this is made from tree bark. The advantages of bark mulch is its natural color and look. Bark fragments are very irregular, and the degree of randomness can create random interesting shapes and figures. By selecting pieces of bark mulch of specific sizes, you can change the speed of its decay. The smaller the chips of bark mulch are, the faster they will decompose.
  • Straw mulch – well known for its ability to retain heat. You can use it to protect your plants (for example, vegetables) from the cold. Straw mulch is also very cheap and easily exchangeable. As it is available in many different colors, you can create some gorgeous compositions with it.
  • Sawdust mulch – probably the most economical choice. Its particles are tiny and delicate so they may be vulnerable to some weather conditions. Furthermore, an owner of a garden mulched with sawdust mulch will need to add some nitrogen (maintaining the correct ratio) to the sawdust mulch mixture. Otherwise, it will not decompose or, even worse – steal the nitrogen from your plants!
  • Plastic mulch – used mainly in large-scale plants growing. Every plant has its own hole in the plastic cover through which it can grow.
  • Rubber mulch – made from recycled tires. It has enormous insulating properties. Soil mulched with rubber mulch will stay warmer for a much longer time. It will also be better moisturized. Rubber mulch is also a perfect choice for children’s playgrounds. Because of that, it is often called playground mulch. Thanks to its elasticity, playground mulch can absorb more energy and therefore protect your child from getting hurt when they fall on the ground.

Which mulch color to choose? Black mulch, red mulch or maybe brown mulch?

After we have chosen one of the types of mulch, we need to select a color that matches the style of your yard. There are three main mulch color types available:

  • Black mulch – its color lasts for a very long time, and it looks very nice with green foliage. If your house has grey or white walls, it is the mulch for you. However, it may not be a good choice for delicate plants in areas with a high chance of many hot days over a year. Black mulch retains more heat which can lead to your precious flowers overheating.
  • Brown mulch – it works very well with red brick houses. Any plant will appear charming, as brown mulch looks very natural. It is so universal, and you cannot really go wrong with it. The only downside is that its color loses intensity over time and may require renovation.
  • Red mulch – it looks elegant and exquisite. Because of that, it is often used in public areas and business zones. In a backyard setting, it will go well with light plants and rocks or gravel. Be careful, though, as red mulch may stain your pavement!

How much mulch do I need?

The first step in any mulching endeavor is establishing the volume of mulch needed. This is the volume of the desired mulch layer, and, in the case of the most typical rectangular area, you can determine it in the following way:

  1. Find the length and the width of the mulch layer. For example, we can assume that its length is l = 6 yd and width is w = 3 yd.
  2. Calculate the area that you want to cover with mulch by multiplying the length by the width. In our case, A = 6 × 3 = 18 yd². You can also type the area of the mulch layer directly into the mulch estimator if you want to cover an area of some more sophisticated shape. We’ve got calculators to help you find the areas of many different geometric figures, such as a hexagon or a pentagon.
  3. Determine the thickness (depth) of the mulch layer. Let’s say it’s d = 2 in.
  4. Multiply the area and depth of the mulch layer to obtain its volume:18 yd² × 2 in (0.056 yd) = 1 yd³ = 27 ft³.
  5. The volume of mulch required is equal to the volume of the mulch layer. Our home depot mulch calculator will display this value for you.

In our calculator, you can input a predetermined area without having to calculate it. If you don’t know the area, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! You can use the calculator to do the estimations mentioned above in this paragraph and even choose a different shape if you’re not going for a rectangle. To do so, use the advanced mode.

How many bags of mulch are in a yard?

Bag sizes vary according to the type of mulch, but the industry standard is two cubic feet. One cubic yard is twenty-seven cubic feet, so there are fourteen standard bags in each cubic yard.

With our home depot mulch calculator, you can calculate the number of bags that you need to buy for your project. Input the volume of the mulch bags you intend to buy into the Bag size field. Our mulch estimator will use the value for the amount of mulch needed and divide it by the volume of one bag. This will allow you to find how many bags of mulch you should buy.
Now, you know not only how many bags are in a yard but how many bags are in your yard!

How much does a bag of mulch weigh?

A standard two cubic feet bag of wood mulch weighs around 20 pounds. But watch out! Its weight will increase when it’s soaked with water. If you acquire the weight of one bag of mulch, our mulch calculator will help you find the weight of any number of bags.

To calculate the weight of all the bags of mulch you need, type in the weight of one bag. This mulch calculator will use the number of bags of mulch required for your project and give you the total weight of the mulch. Please keep in mind that you should round the estimated number of bags up if it is not a whole number.

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