Each spring, laying new premium mulch can be one of the most difficult chores for homeowners. There’s a lot to do, but none of it’s beyond your abilities. Between the two of us, we can help you take better ownership of your lawn and astutely answer the question, “How much mulch do I need?” When you have mulch down to a science like we do, you might even take pride in your landscaping abilities. Whether your lawn is an amorphous blob or a perfect rectangle, we can help you become a good enough mathematician to meet your needs.
How Do I Calculate How Much Mulch I Need?
For general landscaping, you probably have rectangular plots, and you might be trying to figure out how much mulch you need per square foot. If your plots have unique shapes, you needn’t be exact in your calculations. Simply overestimate by pretending that all plots are exact rectangles. Having too much mulch is better than having too little because you’ll have to reinforce the layer eventually. Along with the depth of mulch, you’ll need to discern the dimensions of your plots.
How Deep Should My Mulch Go?
Three options fit different goals best. A two-inch layer is mostly for aesthetic, a four-inch layer maximizes protection, and a three-inch layer is a happy medium between the two. We recommend three inches at most, as too much mulch can maintain enough moisture to invite decay near your plants.
How Can I Measure My Plots?
Let’s say you need to cover the ground around the perimeter of your home. Assuming you’ve already decided your depth, divide this irregular area into individual rectangles, then calculate the total area based on the length and width of each plot. Other shapes aren’t so bad, either. For triangular plots, multiply one side by the opposite tip’s distance from it and divide the result by two. For round plots, multiply the square of the radius by pi (3.14). Ellipses aren’t much more difficult: Multiply pi by the product of the plot’s longest and shortest radii. If you’re looking to stay within your budget, a little math can go a long way. The bigger the shape is, the more money exact calculations will save you.
Do I Need to Worry about Units?
Minding your units is important for one major reason. Bags of mulch are sold by the cubic foot (ft3), but truckloads are sold by the cubic yard (yd3). As unruly a unit as a yard might be in comparison to what the rest of the world uses, a yard is generally cheaper than the same amount of bagged mulch, so mind your conversions. That’s why online mulch calculators determine how much mulch you need in yards.
Use Our Calculator to Discover How Much Mulch You Should Put Down
If you don’t want to find the volume yourself, our calculator can do the trick. It receives as input the total area and the inches of depth you want, then it provides the number of cubic yards you’ll need. While it requires you to measure the total area, it accurately makes conversions across square feet, inches and cubic yards.
What Is Mulch?
As arbitrary as a layer of wood chips might seem, its uses go beyond aesthetics. Mulch is a protective layer of organic matter that not only adds aesthetic appeal to gardens, but it also keeps weeds from growing, thickens soil with moisture by blocking evaporation and provides nutrients to plants. The right amount can make a perfect foundation for a productive and beautiful garden.
Which Mulch Is Best?
Our organic hardwood is best because it’s pure and dense. At its youngest, our mulch protects plants from invasive roots and weeds, but at its oldest, it thickens the soil and provides nutrients to plants.
Pine bark is another popular option that looks equally good when it’s new, but it decomposes too quickly to be an effective long-term solution. Not only does hardwood take longer to decompose, but it maintains its color as it decomposes, avoiding adverse effects on your lawn’s appearance. Softwood prioritizes nutrification over defense, but there’s nothing to nurture if the plants can’t survive. However, if you don’t mind laying mulch more frequently, pine bark can be an effective option.
Other mulches, like cedar, take longer than hardwood to decompose. They provide adequate defense, but they don’t provide many nutrients. What’s great about hardwood is that it has the best of both worlds, maximizing defense and fertility.
Cheap mulch from the hardware store won’t protect your plants as effectively either, and it might even sterilize or plague your soil as it dissolves. As tempting as low prices might be, neglecting to use good mulch might damage your property.
Pick the Best Color
Aesthetic isn’t mulch’s singular purpose, but as long as you’re already buying mulch and different colors are available, you might as well pick the one that best complements your lawn. Dye doesn’t jeopardize the product’s nutrients, and each of our available colors has a distinct purpose. Use cases are as follows.
Plain Might Be Perfect
Our plain mulch comes in two textures: premium hardwood and premium bark. Premium hardwood owes its incredible popularity to how easy it is to spread and how well it complements most plants and landscapes. Premium bark is a bit finer, so it’s ideal for outdoor parties (you might want to take pictures).
Chocolate Makes Plants Pop
Our chocolate variety offers plenty of contrast to accentuate your plants’ bright colors. Chocolate is so dark in comparison to all plants that even green ones will appear to rival neon signs. Prioritizing color, chocolate mulch is perfect for a garden or flowerbed.
Red Keeps Lawns Rustic
Finally, red is effective for a pleasantly rustic look that complements many landscapes and historic structures. If you want to complement your historic property with mulch, red might be the best option. It’s almost as photogenic as premium bark.
Buy the Best Mulch from Our Yard in Woodstock, IL
Lumberjacks has been happy to deliver mulch across Chicagoland, Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin since the ‘90s. Whichever option you want, we guarantee that there’s nothing in our mulch apart from 100% organic hardwood. We’re proud that our dense ground covering keeps lawns fertile, durable and beautiful. If you’d like a consultation, we can help you figure out how to determine how much mulch you need. To order mulch this spring, please try our calculator and give us a call. You can also visit us at our flagship in Woodstock, IL.